Skip to main content

Nissan LEAF edges out Volt, Model S for 2014 plug-in dominance

What's the best-selling electric car of all time? It's also the one that outsold all others last month thanks to increased manufacturing capacity and continuously growing consumer interest.

Nissan has announced official sales figures for the month of February and they are about 200 units higher than last month and more than double those of February 2013. The Nissan LEAF is now made, batteries and all, at the company's Smyrna, Tennessee plant and this, along with continuing consumer demand, are keeping the all-electric car as the world's best-selling EV.

The Chevrolet Volt had a down month, dropping about two hundred units from last year's sales figures, while the Tesla Model S remains steady at an estimated 1,400 units for the month. The LEAF sold 1,425 units for February 2014.

Numbers from other plug-in electric makers aren't in yet, with the exception of a few in the 50-unit range, but historically, cars like the Prius Plug-in, Fusion and C-MAX Energi, Focus Electric, and Fit EV are well under the thousand unit mark.

The overall electric car market is still miniscule when compared to the total vehicle market, of course. Nissan LEAF sales themselves are impressive, however, even when compared to Nissan's total U.S. sales. The LEAF made up about one percent of the company's total sales for the month, which ranks it higher than the total market share of battery electric cars in the U.S.

This streak of sales for the LEAF means it's continuing dominance in the 2014 plug-in market, coming out on top for both months reported so far. So far, it's about 477 units higher than the Model S and about 549 units over the Volt for the year.

Source for sales figures:


pjkPA (not verified)    March 3, 2014 - 8:12PM

The question that should be asked when talking about electric car sales is this...
How many of the Leaf sales where in Japan? since the Volt costs a Japanese buyer $80,000 because of "non tariffs". While we give them $7500 plus to dump their electric cars here.

pjkPA (not verified)    March 11, 2014 - 6:30PM

In reply to by Aaron Turpen

Thank you for posting that. My question still is ... How many Leafs would be sold in the US if we put the same VAT on it that Japan puts on the Volt? The Volt in Japan still sells for twice the price because of unfair barriers. They know that if they played on a level playing field they could not compete... and we are paying for it in millions of lost jobs and a huge national debt. The EC made the Volt "The EC car of the year" then put a $40,000 VAT tax on it.

Aaron Turpen    March 11, 2014 - 10:59PM

In reply to by pjkPA (not verified)

Just as many because the LEAF is built here so any tariff you attempt to put on it would do nothing since it's not an import. The Volt doesn't sell well because it's not a great car for most people. Some people love it, yes, and it has a market, sure, but it's not the greatest thing on four wheels. The LEAF is a versatile, useful little car within its parameters. Those parameters happen to fit a relatively large number of people (price, range, charge capability). So it sells very well. Globally. The Volt, which sells for a far higher premium, doesn't. Them's the breaks.

Parks McCants    March 4, 2014 - 1:40AM

Apples to Oranges: While you compare the "give away" Leaf to the Volt( Hybrid) 1.4 liter gas range extender, and the very expensive 300 mile range Tesla S, the world waits for a major auto manufacturer to step up production on a viable LONG RANGE E.V.. built it and they will buy it. It's not that the demand for affordable E.V. transportation is lacking, it's that affordable mass-produced E.V. transportation is not available. The debate has trudged on for decades. It's crap, non-sensible gibberish promoted by internal combustion engine manufacturers.

Aaron Turpen    March 5, 2014 - 12:44PM

In reply to by Parks McCants

Demand is lacking. Carmakers build them and they sell at the rate they're being built, no faster. EVs have a limited use until someone, as you say, comes out with a "long range" option. Tesla did that, but it's not selling at breakneck rates either. You can claim it's the "internal combustion makers" if you want, but the reality is that there are serious, real limits to what can be done with battery electrics. Claims of super-tech aside, the real world says that affordable, realistic, long-range EVs are not possible. Yet.

jstack6 (not verified)    March 11, 2014 - 12:19PM

Electric would sell even better and not need any incentives IF the USA stopped subsidizing OIL. The USA imports $1 Billion a day in OIL. It creates tons of pollution. In Europe gas cost $8-10 because they don't subsidized it. I'm tired of paying for your OIL you burn in over weight vehicles that make deadly pollution and are less than 20% efficient. Check the facts.

pjkPA (not verified)    March 11, 2014 - 6:36PM

In reply to by jstack6 (not verified)

About half the price of gasoline is taxes now... how is that "subsidizing" oil?
The oil companies in the US pay the highest corporate taxes in the world ... how is that "subsidizing".
If you hear of a US company "not paying taxes" it's because they have so many loses... it was a very bad year. Air pollution? the air is cleaner where I live now than it's been in 100 years. And no... the CO2 that you breath out is not a pollutant no matter what our out of control "EPA" says.

Aaron Turpen    March 11, 2014 - 10:55PM

In reply to by jstack6 (not verified)

Here we go again. Nearly EVERY DROP of oil we import is used to make plastic, not fuel. Feel free to Google that. Those plastics are a HUGE part of your EV. We subsidize oil AND electrics whereas the Europeans only subsidize electrics and guess what? Their EVs are still just a tiny fraction of their total sales while oil-burning vehicles dominate. Sorry to rain on your rant.