The Chevrolet Volt continues to beat the Nissan Leaf in February 2013 sales
The Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf both posted positive year over year sales growth in February 2013 but as has been the case more often than not over the last year, General Motors’ extended range electric sedan handily beat the all-electric Nissan Leaf in monthly sales. Both EVs are doing better than they did through the first two months of 2012 but sales continue to be far better for the Volt – leading many to wonder if the extended range EVs will be the preferred choice of American buyers due to the simple fact that they cannot leave you stranded so long as you can find a gas station.
In February 2013, General Motors delivered 1,626 examples of the Chevrolet Volt which, interestingly, is the exact number of Volt sedans sold in the first two months of 2012. 1,626 electric Chevys sold in February accounts for a 58.9% increase in sales over the same month in 2012 while also being 42.6% better than the first month of 2013 when 1,140 Volts were sold. February sales were a bit lower than the average monthly tally through 2012 of 1,955 Volt sedans sold per month but with a month to month gain combined with a year over year gain – GM can’t be too unhappy with how the Volt is selling right now. The fact that the Volt also outsold the Nissan Leaf by a margin of almost 2.5 to 1 is likely to put a smile on a great many people working in the GM Renaissance Center as well. On the year, GM has sold 2,766 examples of the Chevrolet Volt – up 70.1% compared to the first two months of 2012 while also holding a huge early lead in electric vehicle segment sales.
The Nissan Leaf had a pretty solid month in February 2013 with 653 units sold. This is an increase of 36.6% over the number of Leaves (Leafs?) sold in February 2012 while also accounting for an increase of three units over the number of electric Nissans sold in January 2013. Based on those figures, the Nissan Leaf had a good month but the fact that the Leaf is still selling at a much slower rate than the Chevrolet Volt shows that things could be a great deal better for the Nissan EV in the USA. For the first two months of the 2013 calendar year, Nissan has sold 1,303 copies of the Leaf – up 12.9% from where they were at the same point in 2012.
The introduction of new all electric vehicles in the US market may be having a negative impact on the sales of the Nissan Leaf but until the Japanese automaker begins building the Leaf here in the US for the local market, constraint issues will continue to prevent the Leaf from making a real run at the Chevrolet Volt. Even when Nissan can provide more than enough Leaf EVs to satiate the demand in the US, it is hard to say if there will be enough prospective buyers for the Leaf to reach the lofty numbers that the Volt has enjoyed in 2012. The Volt’s best months have shown almost 3,000 units sold while the best sales month ever for the Leaf saw just 1,709 units sold. In the long run, the Leaf has to battle other pure electric vehicles like the Ford Focus Electric and the Fiat 500e while the Volt continues to go relatively unchallenged in terms of the extended range electric drivetrain.