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Nissan Leaf will die, but return as electric SUV, report says

A report citing comments from the company's European boss reveals the Leaf hatchback isn't long for this world.

Is this goodbye?
Jon Wong/Roadshow

The Nissan Leaf isn't long for this world, but fear not, according to a new Autocar report on Monday. The car will gain a successor in the form of small electric SUV. The website, citing comments from Nissan's head of European operations, Guillaume Cartier, reported this Leaf-replacing SUV will arrive for 2025 as part of plans to continue building cars in the UK.

What isn't clear is how this may affect the US and North America. Surely, if Nissan plans to scrap a hatchback for Europe, it'll do the same for the US; SUVs remain top dogs in this market. Nissan did not immediately return a request for comment on the news. Today, Nissan builds the Leaf in Tennessee, as well as the UK and Japan.

The news, as I alluded to, makes a lot of sense, if Nissan confirms the shift for the US. The Leaf isn't exactly a hot seller in the US. Through the first eight months of this year, data from Experian shows only 10,238 Leaf EVs were registered. That's compared to 22,799 Chevy Bolt EVs and 105,445 Tesla Model Ys. Of course, Nissan could also forego a Leaf replacement and bank on the Ariya SUV to kickstart its EV efforts in North America. It's not entirely clear yet.

As for the Ariya, Nissan this year delayed the electric SUV's launch into 2022, due to the semiconductor chip shortage. The first vehicles were meant to be on sale already, but instead, we'll see the car launch early next year as it stands.