Another month, another chance to see if more people bought a Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid or an all-electric Nissan Leaf. For 2013, the tally has been pretty much tied, with the monthly "win" switching back and forth between the two cars throughout the year. Now that we have July's sales numbers – 1,864 units for the Leaf and 1,788 for the Volt – the yearly totals stand at 11,703 (Leaf) and 11,643 (Volt). That's just a 60-car margin for the Chevy over seven months. Silver medals all around.

Still, July's numbers show a bigger improvement for Nissan than they do for Chevrolet. Year-to-year Leaf sales were up 371.9 percent compared to 2012. That's impressive, but only because just 395 Leafs were sold in July last year. Year-to-date, the Leaf has sold 230.3 percent more in 2013 in 2012, which is a good indicator that people are welcoming pure EV into their driveways. As for the Volt, year-to-date sales are up 9.2 percent. To put a positive spin on it, that means people continue to like the PHEV.

As always, our comprehensive monthly green car sales report will be up in a little while. For now, we can discuss how the 22,000 plug in vehicles sold so far this year by just two companies in just one country are changing the automotive landscape. Or not.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 49 Comments
      Tweaker
      • 1 Year Ago
      I wish you'd get off the Leaf/Volt comparison thing, there are other competitors in the market now. The world is moving on, when will you Sebastion?
      Technoir
      • 1 Year Ago
      The Volt is gettling long in the tooth.........please give us some refreshed sheetmetal, and a few powertrain updates and sales will take off again.
        mycommentemail
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Technoir
        And a lower price. The leaf really took off when the price dropped. Not rocket science, but I think the volt needs a price drop to accelerate sales.
      • 1 Year Ago
      "Now that we have July's sales numbers – 1,864 units for the Leaf and 1,788 for the Volt – the yearly totals stand at 11,703 (Leaf) and 11,643 (Volt). . . . . . . . . Year-to-date, the Leaf has sold 230.3 percent more in 2013 in 2012, which is a good indicator that people are welcoming pure EV into their driveways." But not quite as much as people welcomed Edsels into their driveways in the 1950's. The first year they were sold, Americans bought 63,110 of them; in the second model year, 44,891 were sold. If the Edsel had been subsidized like the Volt and the Leaf, they would probably still be around!!
        mycommentemail
        • 1 Year Ago
        That is an astute observation... Amazing parallels you have drawn here. After all, they are both cars... ...and that's where it ends. But still... identifying both products as cars. That's worth a mention. I guess.
      Jim1961
      • 1 Year Ago
      Leaf + Volt + Model S = 71% of US plug-in sales in July.
      unni
      • 1 Year Ago
      People Expect Volt 2.0 to Come soon , with 5 seats
        GR
        • 1 Year Ago
        @unni
        Yeah, with all of the added competition from the other EVs and plug-ins, it seems just about time for Chevy to either drop the price by a few thousand, or come out with a 5-seater Volt, or both. The Volt is one of the best cars on the market, but they aren't the only kid in the sandbox now. It's time for them to work a bit harder to stay ahead of the pack.
      stumpy
      • 1 Year Ago
      22,000 new vehicles running on (mostly) domestically produced energy... this is a very good thing.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @stumpy
        what a thief like you don't understand is anyone who buy this POJ is a thief!
          ElectricAvenue
          • 1 Year Ago
          Aaron: your license to do arithmetic has been revoked. :-) $4 billion divided by about 314 million (0.314 billion) people is $12.8 per person, not $12,800 per person. A billion (in the U.S.) is a thousand million. Please stop and think before posting. Does $12K per person even make sense? $4 billion isn't a huge expenditure as far as the federal government is concerned. The Department of Defense spent $707.5 billion last year. That's $2253 per person (NOT $2.25 million per person!).
          paulwesterberg
          • 1 Year Ago
          Jim can't you see that you are robbing the poor oil companies of their hard earned profits! Your duty as a patriotic American is to consume the earth's resources with reckless abandon even if it means sending billions of dollars to Canada, Saudi Arabia, and North Dakota! Put down that plug and fill your tank with Premium!
          Aaron
          • 1 Year Ago
          @John: Even just mail you the check for your percentage of the $4 billion we subsidize oil production companies. By my back-of-the-envelope calculations, that $12,121 EACH YEAR per person in the US.
          Smurf
          • 1 Year Ago
          Any POJ that runs on 100% American fuel is an upgrade in my book. Anyone who prefers we keep sending our kids to be killed overseas to protect foreign oil is worse than a thief. He is a traitor......
          Mark Renburke
          • 1 Year Ago
          John P: No, we are just DRIVING IT LIKE WE STOLE IT...and still getting 100+ mpg. Wait, didn't someone say to not feed the trolls? ;)
          John Hansen
          • 1 Year Ago
          I'll pay back the tax credit I got if you pay back your share of the money we've spent defending oil in the Middle East for the past several decades. Since your bill will be way higher, you can just subtract my $7500 and mail me the check for the remainder.
          Jim1961
          • 1 Year Ago
          Call the cops, 'cause I'm thief. LOL
      Jim1961
      • 1 Year Ago
      Edmunds.com has what they call "true cost to own" calculator. This calculator takes into account things like insurance, resale value, maintenance and fuel. The Chevy Volt is bested by the Nissan Leaf but NOT ONE CAR without a plug can beat the Chevy Volt. Not a Chevy Cruze, not a Toyota Prius, not even a puny Smart Fortwo. The Toyota Prius C is the only car without a plug that even comes close. In zip code 63122, Volt: $29,945, Toyota Yaris: $31,057, Prius Plug-in hybrid: $36,551, Smart Fortwo: $38,632, Toyota Prius C; $30,426 Holy crap, I'm having fun trying to find a non-BEV that can beat the Volt. I can't do it. Nissan Leaf S, $24,110. By the way, electricity is 8 cents per kiloWatt-hour in St. Louis. If your friends are skeptical about the cost of owning a plug in car you can send them the following link: http://www.edmunds.com/tco.html
        garylai
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Jim1961
        Jim1961, In all fairness, part of the reason the true cost to own is so low for cars with plugs is because the Edmunds calculator has $7,500 tax credit figured in. Without the tax credit, the same gas cars would have the lowest cost of ownership because the depreciation on the BEVs is so high.
          mycommentemail
          • 1 Year Ago
          @garylai
          True. But that is one of the reasons to have the credit - to give ev's a chance to establish market share and economies of scale. Regardless, the cost of ownership is the cost of ownership. Doesn't matter that some of that savings came in the form of a tax credit.
      • 1 Year Ago
      If you mean to say the YTD sales figures of the Leaf are 2.3x what they were by this time last year, then "Year-to-date, the Leaf has sold *230.3 percent more* in 2013 in 2012" should read "130.3 percent more". Currently the article says YTD sales are 3.3x compared to last year.
      A_Guy
      • 1 Year Ago
      It seems like the car I've always wanted, but in reality it will probably be out of my price range. If it started under $50k, maybe, but I don't think it will.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Sales predictions: 60,000 a year. Actuality: less than half, closer to one third. Cost to middle class taxpayer so that a yuppie can buy a 40K car and get a big fat present from Uncle Sam in the shape of a "rebate": $7,500.
        Spec
        • 1 Year Ago
        What I don't understand is why the people who complain about the tax-credits take advantage of them if they think the tax-credits are so overly generous?
      EZEE
      • 1 Year Ago
      It would still be the Volt in a heart beat. Nothing wrong with the leaf, but I simply need range, and the whole 1,000 mpg thing...wow. My only beef is, it is taking Chevy/GM way the EFF too long to come out with other models with the drive. Create a small truck with 2,000lb towing capacity (I don't need much...my boat is just a toy, really), then we are talking...
        Spec
        • 1 Year Ago
        @EZEE
        Yeah, the fact that there is no truck or SUV PHEV is strange. I think the stupid car companies have stereotyped all buyers and assume that no SUV/truck buyer would want a PHEV. I think they are wrong.
          Spec
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Spec
          @EZEE Yeah, I think there is a lot to draw right-wingers to EVs. They don't like foreign (and especially Muslim) despots and claim to espouse personal responsibility. Well, what better way to use personal responsibility to defund such despots than to get off foreign oil by getting an EV and powering it up with your own solar PV array. Former Reagan administration Secretary of State George Schultz lives near me and has a PV array and a Nissan Leaf. "Take that, Ahmadinejad!" he says! (google it!) But a problem on the right that prevents this view is a delusional view that the USA is filled with zillions of barrels oil and that we are just not drilling it up because tree-huggers like Obama are stopping drilling. Nothing could be further from the truth. US oil production has increased more during the Obama administration than at any time in the last 40 years. The fact is that we've used up all the cheap easy oil. We still have a fair amount of oil, it is just more difficult to find and much more expensive to extract.
          EZEE
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Spec
          @spec Read your other comment...you are on fire today.... I actually saw another tesla the other day. The coworker I we with never heard of it, so I had to go over everything (happily) 'But don't they only go 80 miles?' 'Why no! This one can go well over 200, depending on the options!'
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Spec
          No kidding! Where's the Volt minivan? I've got to think it'd sell like hotcakes among well-to-do, conscientious parents. PHEV is perfect for putting around town doing errands, picking up the kids, etc. in pure EV mode while still having capacity to go on summer road trips, visit grandma, etc. What's the deal, why isn't it out already? I don't get it!
          Jim1961
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Spec
          People who have never worked in the automotive industry think it's so damn easy to engineer and mass produce an automobile. A person who says, "stupid car companies" has probably never designed and built anything of any complexity. Usually, I respect your opinions, Spec, but you're acting like you don't have a clue. If you did, you'd know GM is working on the production version of the MPV5. Now, quit your whining and give us the kind of insightful comment I know you're capable of.
          EZEE
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Spec
          @Spec Now obviously it is because of the crowd I hang with, but everyone I know with a volt is a right winger. And they all love them! Likewise all of your friends that own trucks may be lefties. I would LOVE! A small truck. A genuine compact (one reason, besides it not breaking down, as to why I still have my beloved 2000 Ford Ranger) truck too.... Don't need a giant monstrosity. I was so happy,when I heard ford and Toyota were working on truck hybrids....but then.....fffffft.
          Aaron
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Spec
          What about the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV? http://www.autoblog.com/2012/09/28/mitsubishi-outlander-phev-plug-in-hybrid-video-paris-2012/
          Spec
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Spec
          Well Jim, I think they have stereotyped things and have lost out. Nissan stereotyped EV buyers as tree-huggers and thus named their EV the 'Leaf' and filled it with all sorts of recycled material and no leather in order not to offend animal lovers. GM felt EVs were not good enough and built a PHEV that is nice but has more ICE than an electric vehicle really needs thus making it very expensive. And what turned out to the surprise hit with EVs? A very high-end luxury sports sedan with great acceleration and long. None of the existing car-makers saw that market. So they've proven they don't understand the market.
        DaveMart
        • 1 Year Ago
        @EZEE
        It ain't a truck, but if you can settle for a small SUV and you are talking braked not unbraked weight, the Mitsubishi Outlook PHEV might do what you need: http://www.insideoutlander.com/specs 750kg unbraked, 1,500kg braked.
        gpmp
        • 1 Year Ago
        @EZEE
        I would totally be all over a small truck with a voltec drivetrain. I still think it is the killer app for the technology. If I could get 50/60mpge in mixed driving it would become my daily driver and still be available for out of town projects.
      • 1 Year Ago
      The sales of the 2014 Chevy Volt is certainly going to be less than 2013 model, because people believed Ackersn's comment that it will be much cheaper, he shot his big mouth with his "gun". Las year, the sales in August, Septermer and October was about 2800 per month, this will not be repeated this year, so the total sale of Chevy Volt will drop versus last year, unless GM announce a special deal: $12,000 off for limited time between Aug 5th and Aug 12th. GM will put off the price announcement until october! Realistically there will not be a bigger price cut IMHO. This company is put between a hard spot and a rock by green lunatics (many of them here at Cornell univ), they lose at least $5000 per sale w/o even considering fixed cost (R&D, factory, advertisement), and for this vehicle to become mainstream, the price has to be around $25,000, that is about 50% of what it costs to manufacture it!
        Harry
        • 1 Year Ago
        John, you drank the kool aid on the Volt. Did you know that nearly half the people on GM-Volt.com are conservatives? And these are the people that have supported the development of the Volt since 2007. All American electricity to power my Volt is a great thing, in my book. And the fact that George W Bush is considered to be the Father of the Electric Car (by Fox News) is like biscuits with my beer! LOL! This Reagan Republican is loving my Volt and can't wait to see what GM does with Voltec technology over the next 5 years. And Tesla is another great American company I hope will go from success to success!
        brotherkenny4
        • 1 Year Ago
        Cost of materials and labor were reported in a reuters article to be $24K and falling. The losing money thing has been debunked already. No new product makes money until you cover development costs, but they do make money.
        Jim1961
        • 1 Year Ago
        Green lunatics? LOL. I'll bet you're one of those people who think 97% of the world's climate scientists are involved in some global conspiracy. If that's not lunacy, I don't know what is.
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