As we entered the final quarter of 2012, the Nissan Leaf had one last chance to stage any sort of comeback in terms of annual sales in the battle with the Chevrolet Volt. Nissan started the final quarter of 2012 strong, posting its best month of the year but the Japanese automaker still fell well short of the electric Chevy.
The Chevrolet Volt sold 2,961 units in October 2012, making last month the best ever for the Volt in terms of monthly sales figures while also presenting an improvement of 167% compared to the same month in 2011 when only 1,108 examples of the Volt were sold. This marks the third consecutive month where the Volt has posted a new sales record as GM continues to watch the electric sedan packing a range extending electric engine grow month over month. On the year, GM has sent out 19,309 Volt sedans – accounting for a 286% increase over the first ten months of 2011.
By most standards, the Nissan Leaf had a great month in October 2012 with 1,579 electric vehicles delivered accounting for almost as many units as any two months from this year. These 1,579 EVs delivered marks an increase of 86% over the October 2011 but due to the record month by the Chevy Volt – the Leaf still trailed in the electric vehicle market by a healthy margin. On the year, Nissan has delivered 6,791 new Leaf EVs which is 16% worse than the figures from the first ten months of 2011.
It should go without saying that the Chevrolet Volt is pretty much guaranteed to lead the electric vehicle segment for the 2012 sales year as with a lead of over 12,000 units, there is really no chance of the Nissan Leaf catching up even if GM stopped selling Volts right now.
An interesting note from October 2012 – each of the past four months has shown a growth in overall sales between these two main electric vehicles. When you add in the other models, there is a gradual growth over the course of 2012 that proves that people are not becoming less interested in these super-efficient models. Some media sources talk about models like the Chevrolet Volt and the Nissan Leaf as though they are flash in the pans or fads that will wear off as time goes on but based on the direction of the sales figures throughout 2012 – it looks like the contrary is true.
As more affordable electric vehicles like the Ford Focus Electric and the Coda Electric Sedan hit the market and the cost of technology continues to come down while the range of these models continues to improve – the electric vehicle market could continue to attract more and more new buyers. In the meantime, the Chevrolet Volt has emerged as the most popular EV in the American market as the only affordable EV that offers extended range via a gasoline engine. The Volt packs the reliability and gasoline efficiency of a hybrid while also offering vastly more all-electric range than any hybrid on the market today.
Wondering why we compare the sales figured of the pure electric Nissan Leaf to the Chevrolet Volt with its gasoline range-extending EV drivetrain? Click here for a quick explanation!