Nissan LEAF Sales Overtake Chevy Volt’s in April
It’s still way too early to establish long-term market trends on competing electric vehicles, but based on April sales numbers, the Nissan LEAF has for now overtaken the Chevy Volt in popularity.
We are getting ready to publish a full set of hybrid, clean diesel and plug-in sales numbers for the monthly market dashboard on HybridCars.com. Here’s what we already know: General Motors sold 493 Volts in April, representing a decline from the 608 sold in March. Meanwhile, Nissan bumped up deliveries of the LEAF from 298 in March to 573 in April 2011.
Therefore, this is the first month since LEAFs and Volts started selling that the LEAF outsold the Volt. Automotive News reported that the decline in Volt sales was due to G.M. shipping demo models to Chevy dealerships for test-drives. (G.M. has long stated that the Volt is designed to bring in new Chevy customers to dealerships, even if those shoppers end up buying other models.)
The total number of plug-in sales in March was 1,067—the first time that sales broke into four digits. This figure includes one official purchase of the Mercedes A-Class E-Cell. There are zero official sales of the Smart ED (Electric Drive) in April, although 35 have been reported to date.
All told, since December 2010 when plug-ins first went on sale, there are now 2,797 new grid-enabled vehicles on U.S. road. The pace will have to rapidly accelerate to meet manufacturers' projections, and the U.S. government's ambitious goal of 1 million EVs by 2015. Based on reports of recent LEAF shipments, we expect Nissan’s EV sales numbers to considerably pick up in May.
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