NISSAN: Keep fleets coming back for more
17 September 2013
Leaf entering a new season
Nissan's Leaf pure electric vehicle is entering a new phase of its development in the UK, with fleets that conducted early trial runs now coming back and ordering more significant numbers than they did initially when they wanted to see how it worked in a business car context, according to corporate sales director Barry Beeston.
"When we first brought the vehicle to market people were taking it on a trial basis in ones and twos. It seems we have moved into a new phase lately and they are now purchasing more in line with fleet quantities," he tells BusinessCar, citing UK Power Networks taking 50 units and West Midlands Police ordering 30 cars.
Half of the 3000 vehicles registered so far in the UK have gone into fleet operations, with Nissan keen to ensure they go into relevant operations.
"It's about putting the right product into the right company that will use it for the right reasons, and qualification is very important for us," says Beeston.
Nissan has also recently added the option of battery leasing to the Leaf, cutting the upfront cost, although Beeston says the demand for that move came mainly from the retail environment: "With 90% of the product in fleet it's on a buy-buy for the car and battery; one issue with buy-lease is nothing to do with the car but the complexity it adds with two contracts.
"With leasing companies it kind of falls into the 'hard-to-do' box as it's out of the norm, and for the volume, some leasing companies look at the resource and administrations and decide it's not worth it for the profit."