UPDATE: The official press release says that "Volt [sales were] up 7 percent," but Randy Fox let AutoblogGreen know that this is simply due to a change in the fleet/retail mix between March 2013 and 2014. The actual number sold was exactly the same in the two months.

A month ago, Nissan's director of EV sales and marketing, Toby Perry, said he expected to see the Leaf's sales momentum continue into March. It wasn't a big leap, since January and February were slow sales months in 2013 (around 640 each) before a big climb to 2,200 in March. In 2014, the first two months of the year were better (around 1,300 each) but Nissan can still be happy that the Leaf just had the best March ever and its second-highest sales month ever, with 2,507 sold.

That's a 12.1 percent increase from 2013 and Perry said in a statement to AutoblogGreen that one reason is all of the buyers who are becoming evangelists for the vehicle. "We've also seen an increase in showroom traffic as we enhanced our marketing presence in March," he said. Nissan pointed to cities like Washington, DC, Raleigh-Durham, NC and urban areas in Texas as strong Leaf markets last month.

On the Chevy Volt front, January and February were also slow months in 2014, down roughly half from the 2,000-ish the plug-in hybrid was selling at the end of 2013. For 2014, sales were up slightly from the first two months of the year and Chevy spokesman Randy Fox told AutoblogGreen that the March number was "pretty flat, year-over-year." Even with that warning, we were surprised to see the total come in at 1,478. Why's that? Because the total for March 2013 was ... 1,478. So, yeah, that's pretty steady even if there were 26 selling days in March period this year compared to 27 last year.

As always, our more complete report of last month's green car sales will be coming soon.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 33 Comments
      ChrisH
      • 8 Months Ago
      It would only have cost m 132 dollars to do the same, but I drive a diesel VW which has been averaging 40 mpg per tank. Cost differential between it and what a Volt would cost, I could never make it up.
      Sofia
      • 8 Months Ago
      Nissan Motor Co. (NSANY) reported the company’s best-ever monthly performance, posting unit sales of 149,136.
      Smurf
      • 8 Months Ago
      The Chevy Volt continues to be America's best kept secret....
      • 8 Months Ago
      http://bostontrucks.net/jason/chevy_volt_near_boston.htm
      EVSUPERHERO
      • 8 Months Ago
      I would have never thought this would be the case. EV purists are winning out. I guess the gas drivers just don't give a rip. Pollution pile purists are winning out as well. Petrol heads do not believe in a middle ground and certainly do not want to pay for it. So much for market surveys aye GM.
        Ziv
        • 8 Months Ago
        @EVSUPERHERO
        EV, part of it is the simple fact that gasoline is an incredibly good bargain. Making a battery cheap enough to come close to an ICE on price while having enough AER to make the car a full utility vehicle is seemingly only possible at the Tesla S end of the price spectrum. Given the plateaued demand for oil and the new surge in production in the US, we may not see gasoline go over $4 a gallon for several years. It may be that the electric car was legislated into existence a few years too early. Or maybe it was fated to be a slow start up as the economies of scale and the advances in the Li-Ion (or alternative chemistries) industry simply take a decade or more to fully kick in. I love my Volt, but it looks like I am not sharing the love with a lot of other people.
          krona2k
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Ziv
          The major oil companies profits are falling now even at $100. I'd guess we are due another bump up within the next 2 years. The so called glut is a media fantasy.
        Grendal
        • 8 Months Ago
        @EVSUPERHERO
        The Volt is not marketed right. It would do a whole lot better with marketing the car properly.
          Grendal
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Grendal
          And that may have been true at that time...
          brotherkenny4
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Grendal
          GM has historical baggage. Some people don't change their minds because of television commercials.
          Joeviocoe
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Grendal
          Same was said for the EV-1
        David Murray
        • 8 Months Ago
        @EVSUPERHERO
        Not really.. For the year of 2013, more plug-in hybrids were sold than pure electrics. It remains to be seen which is winning out in 2014 because Ford hasn't released their PHEV sales numbers yet... hopefully later today.
        porosavuporo
        • 8 Months Ago
        @EVSUPERHERO
        Note that there are about a million viable hybrids to choose from, Volt included, whereas model range for EVs in a normal middle class income bracket is basically one and a half cars in north America right now. Lets get these i3s in dealerships here, schneller !
        Smurf
        • 8 Months Ago
        @EVSUPERHERO
        Not necessarily.... If the Volt and LEAF were the same price, I would say yes, but there is still a $9000 (30%) difference in the price between a LEAF and a Volt. Basically America is saying, for 30% less, they'll choose a BEV over an EREV.
          scraejtp
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Smurf
          Only a $5000 difference. Not too far off the extra charged for the range extender in the new BMW i3. Still somewhat significant a full BEV suits your needs.
          Smurf
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Smurf
          $26K MSRP base price vs. $35K MSRP base price adds up to $9000 in my book... You can play with options and make a smaller gap by having less options on the Volt and more on the LEAF, but you can do that with any vehicle... The base MSRP price difference is $9K
          Smurf
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Smurf
          $26K MSRP base price vs. $35K MSRP base price adds up to $9000 in my book... You can play with options and make a smaller gap by having less options on the Volt and more on the LEAF, but you can do that with any vehicle... If you play with the options in the other direction the price difference may be even more that $5K
          Smurf
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Smurf
          $26K MSRP base price vs. $35K MSRP base price adds up to $9000 in my book... You can play with options and make a smaller gap by having less options on the Volt and more on the LEAF, but you can do that with any vehicle... The base MSRP price difference is $9K
          Smurf
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Smurf
          $26K MSRP base price vs. $35K MSRP base price adds up to $9000 in my book... You can play with options and make a smaller gap by having less options on the Volt and more on the LEAF, but you can do that with any vehicle... If you play with the options in the other direction the price difference may be even more that $5K
      markrogo
      • 8 Months Ago
      While Volt says are a disappointment (and I'm losing clarity as to why), the fact Leaf sales keep growing is good news for the EV revolution. People are learning that a well-designed, low-range reasonably priced car can be good for lots of things. And they are buying them.
      herkimermedia
      • 8 Months Ago
      I used 16 gallons of gas, and $35 of electricity last month, to go 1360 miles in my 2013 Volt. That is $92 for 1360 miles. A few times, I had to go on 300mi trips....so a Leaf just wouldn't work for me. But the cost-savings with this car is still incredible. I figure I save about $150/mo over a gas-only car for the same distance. (That's $1800 a year. Yay, math!) The best part? I live in WI...so my mileage is going to get better and better as it warms up. Someday, I would love a Tesla, or other long-range BEV...until then, this Volt is amazing.
        TPGIII
        • 8 Months Ago
        @herkimermedia
        Using the same numbers on a Prius I get 1360mi/50mpg = 27.2gal*$3.229(my last purchase) = $87.83. 50mpg is easy, but riving carefully and with reasonable weather the average mpg can go into the upper 60s. While there may be other reasons to buy a Volt, saving money is not one of them. The Prius is infinitely more usable, lower TCO, and even better looking.
          scraejtp
          • 8 Months Ago
          @TPGIII
          @ TPGIII See my comment above regarding initial purchase price. The Prius is more expensive than the Volt after federal incentives. (Especially comparably equipped) I would say the Volt is hands-down the better looking car, but looks are subjective. The Volt acceleration and handling are better and you can feel it. If you haven't driven one you should, there are many Prius converts. Most people will save money by charging the car, even with the lower ICE MPG. It is a bonus that you rarely have to stop at a gas station, some people get away with 1-2 times a year.
        HollywoodF1
        • 8 Months Ago
        @herkimermedia
        Your savings numbers work out to comparing your car to one that gets 20 MPG (I'm good at math, too.) That's well below the national average. I don't think that really represents the car that you would have chosen as an alternative to the Volt. You probably would've opted for one that got about 38 MPG, for which there are several in the Volt's size, price, and performance class that do that. This works out to a savings of $35.50 a month, which probably doesn't cover the extra cost of the Volt.
          Dactyl
          • 8 Months Ago
          @HollywoodF1
          I replaced a Ford Escort with a Leaf (36 months ago) and keep a Passat (V6) SW as ICE backup/2nd vehicle. Leaf is driven 12k mi/yr) The Ford got 22 mpg and the Passat gets about 20 mpg (mixed) here in HI. I use PV to charge the Leaf. I have struggled a bit with how to calculate gasoline savings (avoided costs) since I would have replaced the Ford with a hybrid (~40 mpg). However, I paid off the PV system in a little over 3 years (its 4.2 yrs old now) with combined house/Leaf -- electricity avoided costs (~$10k) based upon the 7200 kWh/yr I produce (HECO charges@ ~0.32/kWh on Oahu) and gas savings of at least $3.6k (@ 40 mpg & $4/gal) during that time. So now I have minimal electricity costs ($17/mo hook up charge), no gas cost for the Leaf. So I don't even worry about the payback any more. Not the same situation for everyone, though, especially if you're paying only 10 cents/kWh!
          Smurf
          • 8 Months Ago
          @HollywoodF1
          If you traded in a 20 MPG vehicle to buy a Volt, like I did, these comparison would be spot on....
      Grendal
      • 8 Months Ago
      Neither does buying a luxury car, but plenty of people do that. Oh. And you also exaggerated the number by saying 38 MPG. The average car in the Volt classification gets about 28 MPG to 30 MPG with mixed driving.
      brotherkenny4
      • 8 Months Ago
      He could be comparing what he actually drove to what he now drives, which is plenty fair. There are greater societal benefits that we all reap from the decision by many to drive plug in vehicles. These are environmental, economic and political/social. Less pollution, less war (we fight our wars for oil), lower cost of gasoline (supply and demand bubbie), and scaring the owners of the country (the NSA/CIA/bankers who are the puppeteers of our so called leaders). The three biggest profit markets in the world are oil, guns/weapons and drugs, all of which are intertwined (see afghanistan) in our political, social and economic system, which is of course really a type of facist oligarchy. Decreasing our oil consumption strikes directly at the power that enslaves us.
      scraejtp
      • 8 Months Ago
      @ HollywoodF1 38 MPG combined is high for anything besides a hybrid or diesel. @ ChrisH A diesel Golf base price is $25k+. A volt is $35k-$7.5k (Fed) = $27.5k (-State/Local Incentives) And it is a little easier to get well below MSRP on the Volt than the Golf. The Volt is not an expensive car, and often is cheaper than most hybrid or diesel vehicles.
      krona2k
      • 8 Months Ago
      Plus all these other economical ICE cars will not drive as well as a Volt. Have you driven a modern EV?
      boggin
      • 8 Months Ago
      The Volt Plug-in Hybrid outsold the Prius plug-in hybrid for March, even with Toyota offering an additional $1,000 off the lease down and a monthly lease $20/mo less than the Prius v. Ford should announce Fusion/C-MAX Energi sales numbers tomorrow. The Leaf BEV did well also.
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