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Nissan raises Leaf electric car production following surge in demand

Posting in Transportation

Nissan has increased its production of the Leaf following a hike in consumer demand.

The automaker says that after slashing the price of the electric vehicle (EV) earlier this year in the United States, demand for the car has risen so much that the firm must dedicate additional resources to its production.

In the U.S., the price of the Nissan Leaf was reduced by over $6,000 to $29,650 after production was moved from Japan to the country, which resulted in lower manufacturing costs. According to Nissan's senior vice president of U.S. sales and marketing Jose Munoz, the EV is still making a profit at this reduced rate. Speaking at the NADA/J.D. Power Western Automotive Conference in Los Angeles, the executive said:

"From a purely attraction and branding point of view it's already a very good car."

The Nissan Leaf seems to be an exception to the rule when it comes to consumer demand for electric vehicles. Cumulatively, over 35,000 Leafs have been sold since March this year, but in total, a very small percentage of cars sold in the U.S. are electric or hybrid models, as reliance on traditional fossil fuel models stays entrenched in the consumer marketplace. A high starting price, range anxiety and a lack of information surrounding charging are often considered to be barriers to making the shift to an EV.

Munoz said that Nissan was still deciding how much output would be increased, but added it will be "important," as the firm is currently selling over 2,000 Nissan Leafs a month in the United States. This is a big jump for the company, which sold under 10,000 in total last year.

Via: The New York Times

Image credit: Nissan

— By on November 20, 2013, 5:06 AM PST

Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure