Nissan Leaf Owners Just Made an Insane Amount of Money

by Gabrielle DeSantis

The Nissan Leaf is a strange little EV. Not because of any sort of stylistic or mechanical issue. In fact, the small EV hatchback is a solid ride. No, it’s strange because it’s currently outpacing Tesla models in resale value. I guess sometimes the old ways still work? Or perhaps it’s due to the ludicrously topsy-turvy auto market. The truth, in all likelihood, is a little bit of both, but I assure you I’ll earn my pay and get to the bottom of it.

The Nissan Leaf is an excellent little EV

The Leaf is fantastically practical | Nissan

First, a little about the Nissan Leaf. Basically, it’s one of the oldest electric vehicles in the game. The Leaf rolled silently onto the scene back in 2010. And honestly, those first few years were rough for the little EV hatch. It had abysmal range. I mean bad. It was 120 miles at best. But, we were still kind of figuring out the EV thing as a civilization a decade ago. Heck, we still are.

Thankfully, the Nissan Leaf made like a good employee and demonstrated consistent improvement. Later, in 2018, the Leaf figured things out. It lost the acne, hit the gym, and turned into a half-decent long-distance runner. By that I mean, Nissan gave their EV hatchback some modern features. Most importantly, it got some real range, at a healthier 226 miles. Credit to Nissan, as the brand managed to develop their own EV platform and add range all in the span of less than a decade.

Owners have been making money all along

A stack of hundred dollar bills
Leaf owners are making money hand over fist | Igor Golovniov via Getty Images

Evidently, the Leaf has taken this can-do attitude to the marketplace. Or rather, the marketplace has suddenly decided small electric hatchbacks are the hot new thing. Who needs a Tesla when you can have a Nissan Leaf? Well, according to a study by iSeeCars, the Nissan Leaf is actually appreciating in value or has in the last year. The study found that the Leaf has risen in value by an astounding 48.1%. Clearly, the Leaf is the comeback kid.

Well, the market has a lot to do with that, in truth; much as I’d love to paint the Leaf as the hero here. Recent shortages across the automotive supply chain, including the ever-present lack of semiconductors have made it hard to get what you want. And just like the Stones, consumers can’t get what they want (at the dealer) so they’ve turned to the used market. That’s largely the reason values on the Nissan Leaf have shot up.

Is it still a seller’s market out there?

The front end of a red 2018 Leaf on a forested backroad
The Leaf got a much-needed update in 2018 | Nissan

However, it also has to be said that the Leaf has gotten here on some of its own merit, as we discussed above. For now, if you’ve got one and can bear to part with it, do so. Otherwise, it’s best to sit tight. Eventually, the supply chain will ease. Then, there’s likely to be a large crash in the market that’ll present a lovely opportunity for all you buyers waiting in the wings.

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