• Jan 3, 2011
2011 Chevrolet Volt – Click above for high-res image gallery

Before 2010 came to a close, both General Motors and Nissan launched their respective plug-in vehicles. For GM, it was the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid that made its December debut. The Leaf, Nissan's battery-powered hatch, landed in a lucky buyer's driveway on the 11th of last month. With both automakers making good on their promise to debut mass-produced plug-ins by the end of 2010, the question of which vehicle tallied more total U.S. sales in the month of December can, with a limited degree of accuracy, now be answered.

The Associated Press reports that GM sold somewhere between 250 and 350 Volts in the U.S. before 2011 rang in*. On the other hand, Nissan reportedly sold less than 20 Leafs in the U.S. by the end of 2010. Production volumes for both vehicles will continue to ramp up in the coming months and that's where the real battle lies, but if you're dead set on comparing actual 2010 U.S. delivery numbers, than it's the Volt that outsold Leaf by a substantial margin.

*UPDATE: GM tweeted that the official number was 326.



Photos copyright ©2010 Chris Paukert / AOL


[Source: Associated Press via NPR]


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  • 38 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Wow, the media has managed to turned "GM and Nissan sold every EV they can build and will be sold out for the whole year" to "EVs are selling poorly".

      I personally believe that the automotive media has a death wish toward electric cars. They don't like the idea, don't want to learn anything new and are in love with the noise, smell and look of an ICE engine. They will tolerate EVs as long they can still play with Porsches and Ferraris.
        • 4 Years Ago
        The media likes bad news, enjoys seeing itself as skeptical, not-to-be-fooled contrarians, and is a great megaphone for simplistic FUD rather than detailed refutations of FUD.

        But I don't think they have it in for EVs.

        Except perhaps for Fox and other right-leaning "conservative alternative" media that mistakenly thinks that oil is conservative, free-market, and patriotic, rather than being the main or sole funding mechanism for a gaggle of anti-American, state-socialist petro-tyrannies.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I don't get the comparison of the hybrid Volt to a full electric.

      The Volt should be compared to the Prius in which it is most similar.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Interesting. You should try telling that to my friend who owns a Volt and drives to and from work each day on electricity only. I'm sure he'd love to hear from you how that makes a Volt more like a Prius than a Leaf.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Complete nonsense.

        The Prius is a gasoline car with a little electric engine to stretch out the gasoline.

        The Volt is an electric car, with a little gasoline engine to stretch out the electricity.

        Like the Leaf, the Volt can go all-electric for all your regular, daily driving, and plugs in at night to recharge, ready in the morning for the next day's driving. Like the Leaf, the Volt can travel at maximum, highway fast-lane speed solely using its electric motor.

        By contrast, the Prius is unable to plug in, and relies on its gasoline engine to charge its battery at all times. If the Prius can even move without burning gasoline, it can't move at more than parking lot speeds.
        • 4 Years Ago
        The Volt is just like the Prius, except with a larger battery (that can be charged externally), because the engine is connected to the drivetrain. A series-hybrid is a vehicle that has an engine, that has a sole-responsibility, to provide electricity to an electric motor. A parallel-hybrid (like the Volt and Prius) has an engine that, not only, provides electricity to an electric motor, but also has an output shaft connected to the drivetrain of the vehicle to propel it.

        Some try grouping the Volt into its own category called a series/parallel-hybrid, but in the end it is truly just a parallel-hybrid, a.k.a. Prius.

        At the Leaf is a real electric car (and looks like a real car too)! :-)
        • 4 Years Ago
        The Volt is just like the prius.....accept the battery is THIRTY TWO TIMES larger. People really compare a Volt to a prius? Come on....hahaha! The only commonality is they both use two types of fuel, electricity and gas.
      • 4 Years Ago
      A story about a pointless misleading statistic? C'mon. Both sold every car they made available.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yep, sales numbers are definitely constrained by production on both vehicles. The interesting sales numbers won't be available for at least 6 months.
        • 4 Years Ago
        the point of this post is not which car is winning the most sales, but which one really hit the market first. In terms of the very first sales, it's pretty much a dead heat, but clearly the continued sales show the Volt is ready a little ahead of the Leaf, which I think is an interesting bit of news.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Simply because of the facist Volt commercials, Volt outsold Leaf...
      • 4 Years Ago
      Well the only real electric car here is the LEAF - period - and as long as the pairing BY THE MEDIA to the Volt is hyped up like we see here again, it gets your attention to read the article, and just remember: A LEAF does not need to ever visit a gas station, and the Volt does. Huge difference. Ones electric and the other is gas with electric assist. A vs B.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Hmmm, well I'm not a huge Volt fan as people can tell from my posts about it over time, but I don't think it's fair to say it is not an EV at least part of the time. And for people with a short commute, it could be an EV 90%+ of the time.

        • 4 Years Ago
        Volt is an electric car, is that clear ? It replace 100% petrol ride up to 40 miles approx then the rest is the same old story about out-dated petrol use proposed by gm subsidarie now and also they continue to sale problematic incomplet product like a volt selled without energy producing integrated machinery like for exemple self charging battery, solar panel, adapted windmill, biofuel producing apperatus. The leaf is more bothersome with just a battery, also sold without adapted electricity producing devise, so you end-up stalled on the road pretty easilly without tool to compensate. Don't buy any of these cars for now.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Must be another slow day at autobloggreen. Wake me when there's some real news.
      • 4 Years Ago
      How could it not? The dealer my friend bought his at got two Volts. Nissan appears to have sold only 1 Leaf to private customers nationwide. This dealership ALONE outsold the Nissan Leaf nationwide.

      Until Nissan fixes their supply problems, sales figures will be more driven by supply than anything else.
        • 4 Years Ago
        btw, a danish engineering magazine is reporting that the Fisker Karma will be for sale in 2 months at 95900$.
        not sure where they got the info and what exactly it means but remember Henrik Fisker is danish.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Actually, there have been 6 real sales of the LEAF in December. Still a LOT less than how many GM has sold. But then again, this is old news to anyone following the forums mynissanleaf.com and gm-volt.com. Just shows how little research ABG staffers actually do on their own.

        It appears that the 7th LEAF was delivered on Saturday and a lot (I'm guessing about 50) of customers were notified today that they would be receiving their LEAF within the next week.

        I'm expecting Nissan to quickly ramp up production from here. It was rumored that the batch of cars getting delivered to customers in the next week should have been delivered last week, but Nissan found a minor issue with the cars and fixed that issue in port before delivering the vehicles.
        • 4 Years Ago
        dan:
        Yeah, it's a demand problem. Look at all those thousands of unsold Leaf cars sitting on dealer's lots.
        Are you for real?
        • 4 Years Ago
        I don't think it's a supply problem. I think it's a demand problem. Who's want to pay that kind of money for a car that can not be used for a long trip? Not me and not many others.
        • 4 Years Ago
        1) By the time that GM dealership got 2 Volts. 3 Nissan Leaf's were sold. San Fransisco, San Diego, and Tennessee.

        2) The "supply problem" is that Japan is not in Michigan!
        • 4 Years Ago
        I'm suspecting that sales figures will be more driven by supply for the next year or two...
        • 4 Years Ago
        totally agree with Miles. The Volt and Leaf are both production-limited, and will be until the battery supply chain ramps up to produce large numbers of big battery packs.

        Still, at least GM has been halfway smart about the slow ramp with their "advisory board" to get good feedback from people who know EVs and tech.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Dan, you are right. There are dealers with Volt's sitting in their lot so supply is not an issue with the Volt. In fact there was a story about a NY dealer that couldn't unload their Volt to a real customer so a car salesman from a Chevrolet dealer in Georgia flew to NY and bought the car so they could have a Volt in Georgia where the car is not for sale yet.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Joeviocoe:
        I agree that Nissan is working at a disadvantage here because shipping from Japan takes longer than driving cars across the US.

        However saying that this is Nissan's only supply problem is bogus. Presumably at some point Nissan had a plan in place to produce a proper number of Leafs and get them on ships for delivery before the end of 2011. The shipping time across the Pacific didn't change in the last 3 years, so it would seem that Nissan has other supply problems besides shipping times.

        I do hope they get them ironed out quickly, and there's no reason to believe they can't.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I'm just ecstatic that GM actually sold a Volt in 2010 like they said they would. Many said it couldn't and wouldn't be done, but it was done and in the time frame they said it would be done.
      • 4 Years Ago
      In my opinion, this argument is precarious or even trickish. The numbers are still too low. It seems someone would like to see potential leaf buyers get scared a Leaf purchase is premature.
      • 4 Years Ago
      One reason why GM sold more Volts is b/c Gov't agencies mandate purchases from Government Motors.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Let's look at this number in a year.< /thread >
      • 4 Years Ago
      I won't buy or drive any of these new electric cars available right now for purchase for cash if the electricity getting into it is polluting and costly and difficult to get and take long to enter the battery. Don't buy another problem.

      As i said many time here and also in greencarcongress. com, it's time to put onto the market solarpower electrical generator-performance-enhancer and range extender onto the roof of these problematic cars. Don't buy anything until the product is pollution free and fuel free. just a solar panel on the roof can power your daily ride almost every day without nuclear, coal or natural gas and long hazardous dangeurous and buggy recharge problems like it is actually if you buy one of these cars.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Out sold or out built/shipped? Come on guys, you know the difference.
        • 4 Years Ago
        My point is that how many they could have sold and how many they did sell are different things.

        The title of the article implies that Chevy could sell more Volts than Nissan could sell Leafs as if people preferred Volts over Leafs. That is what I'm commenting on. We don't know which people preferred yet and won't until both reach true production numbers.

        If you want to argue about whether shipping ability limits sales so they are the same right now, that is up to you. But it is not what I was talking about.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Nissan only sold 6 Leafs. Do you really have difficulty believing GM sold 7 Volts in December?
        • 4 Years Ago
        No, I'm talking about the difference in being able to build them vs. How many they could sale. They couldn't build more than 6 Leafs and ship them for whatever reason. It was not how many they could have sold.

        Make sense?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Those aren't two different things, they are the same. If you can't get more than 6 Leafs to a dealership to be sold, then you get outsold when Chevy sells 300 Volts.
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