Prius most traded-in car for Volt and Leaf, because of HOV stickers?
During last week's CA State Senate meeting on electric vehicle deployment, GM's Shad Balch and Nissan's David Peterson both claimed the Toyota Prius was the number 1 traded-in vehicle for the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf. The claims came between trading barbs on the competing electric car fast charging standards, and could have been written off as car manufacturer one-up-manship, if it weren't for a press release published by GM a couple days ago making the same claim. While this is the sort of data car manufacturers must know, it isn't very well publicized.
Unfortunately a search for solid figures on the cars most traded in to buy electric cars came up largely empty handed, other than GM's recent press release, and a few reports last year.
As for why Prius owners would be trading to either a Chevy Volt or Nissan Leaf, the reason isn't the obvious one about Prius being early adopter clean vehicle enthusiasts who are a natural fit for electric car ownership. Instead it has to do with stickers allowing solo drivers to drive in the carpool lanes in California.
GM's press release talks about the large number of Chevy Volt buyers who have never been GM customers before. GM positions this as a success from developing the Volt, because it is winning new customers to GM. The Toyota Prius is the most traded in car, followed by the Toyota Camry, Honda Civic and BMW 3 Series.