It was a good sales month for both the Nissan Leaf and the Chevy Volt, with the two 'elder statesman' plug-in vehicles reaching numerical milestones in July. The Leaf sold 3,019 units and the Volt crossed the 2,000 sales level for the first time in 2014, hitting 2,020 sales. With Tesla also announcing it is delivering around 2,500 Model S EVs a month (but that's globally, compared to the US-only numbers for the Volt and Leaf we're talking about here) and Ford's plug-in vehicles selling well, we are certainly in a golden moment for EV sales.

The Volt was a bright spot for the Bowtie brand last month.

For the Volt, the 2,020 units sold represents a 13 percent increase from July of 2013 even thought year-to-date sales are down 8.7 percent this year compared to last year. Overall, total Chevrolet deliveries for July 2014 were up eight percent compared to 2013, so the Volt was a bright spot for the Bowtie brand last month.

On the Leaf front, this is only the second time that the EV has sold more than 3,000 units in a month (the other being in May of this year). The year-over-year increase for the Leaf was 62 percent in July and represents the 17th straight month of record sales, as Nissan is more than happy to report each month. Overall, Leaf sales are up 34.6 percent, year-to-date, and Nissan's director of Leaf sales and infrastructure, Brendan Jones, said in a statement that a free public charging incentive was responsible. "Since we launched the No Charge to Charge promotion in the first 10 markets, we've seen a surge in Leaf sales in those areas. Leaf sales in the northeastern US are also picking up with new tax incentives for Massachusetts and Maryland residents." With No Charge To Charge set to expand to 25 markets over the next year, we expect Leaf sales to continue to grow.

We will have our monthly look at all green car sales available soon, so stay tuned.


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  • 33 Comments
      • 9 Months Ago
      I bought a 2012 Volt and it has gone way past my expectations and has performed so well that I ordered a 2015 Volt back in May. I hope it will be delivered in a week or two. I've been able to drive the 2012 Volt, mile per mile, like it was 1970 again when I was a senior in high school and gasoline was 37 cents per gallon. At 12 cents per kilowatt hour, I'm nearly driving my 2012 Volt 100 miles for about $4 in electricity. Back in 1970, I could drive my Camaro about $100 miles on $4 worth of gas. My 2012 has been back to the dealership for two oil changes that I really didn't need and two tire rotations. Add this to how affordable an EV is to drive and I wonder why more people aren't bailing out of conventional gasoline powered cars and going with an EV, especially if the just need to commute in a city back and forth to work. I admit I also have a 4x4 pickup, two vans and Malibu ECO, so we can benefit from all different "perks" that each vehicle has. If the 2016 Volt is anywhere as wonderful as my 2012 Volt has been, I'm trading the 2013 Malibu ECO in on a 2016 Volt that we would order. I'm so curious about the 2016 Volt I plan on making airline reservations for the Detroit or Los Angeles auto shows so I can see first hand what the 2016 is like. I've never-ever had a "back-to-back" same car purchase (where I bought the same model twice in a row) and my 2015 Volt will be my first "dance with the one that brung ya" experience and if the 2016 Volt is as promising as I expect it will be, it'll be "Volt #3" in a row.
        btc909
        • 9 Months Ago
        I would hope the clown car Delta II platform goes away. I'm fine with 4 seats.
        Grendal
        • 9 Months Ago
        I liked your story. This is what I've been complaining about. How can GM screw up all this outstanding customer satisfaction? You love your car. That should translate to huge increases in sales of the car, instead the sales have languished and even dropped. Gahhh! It's so frustrating. C'mon GM, sell the car!
          Marco Polo
          • 9 Months Ago
          @Grendal
          @ Ziv, 'Conservative' is not a interchangeable with 'Reactionary' . In the same way as the old unreconstructed socialist left , tried to re-vent itself by trying to hi-jack the environmental movement, a lunatic reactionary group of ultra-right, is putting themselves forward as ' Conservatives. Neither are relevant, nor representative of the majority of folk for whom the they claim to speak ! They're just pests on the body politic, roadblocks in the way of responsible human progress. It's unfortunate that they confuse load noise, and obtuse obstructionist behaviour with '' conservative" principles.
          Ziv
          • 9 Months Ago
          @Grendal
          Luke, the Volt is a car that Conservatives have loved for years. GM Volt dot com did a survey on the political affiliation of its readers, and Conservatives/Republicans were around 40%, with both the independents and the Liberal/Democrats at 30%. The leadership of the GOP tried to get a point across by slamming GM and electric cars and they shot themselves in the foot. Rick Perry of Texas has been backing wind power and electric cars for 6 or 7 years, which is pretty incredible considering that the electric car idea was pretty new in 2006. Electric cars are a vital part of our American energy future and I think that the shortsighted attacks on electric cars are already getting walked back by a lot of conservative leaders. The conservative people have already known how great electric cars are, so it shouldn't take more than a couple years for the party leadership to catch on to which way this is going to end up. At which point they will flip flop on the issue and take a "leadership" position supporting electric cars.
          • 9 Months Ago
          @Grendal
          And to top my story, I've been a Republican all my life (although no a very good one if judged by the extreme elements AKA Tea Party types and the "journalists" on Fox News. What I can't understand is the professional naysayers out there who constantly bash the Volt, suggesting (in the words of Neil Cavuto of Fox News, "The Volt is a piece of $hit" as he said on the air, and you can find on YouTube. The Volt is beyond extraordinary and some people would prefer look up at the sky on a pretty day and say they see no blue above them and they want you to believe the sky is grey. I've been calling GM "Gawdawful Marketing" for the past two years. The early attempts their ad agency made for TV commercials were so anemic and lackluster that they didn't work. My niece was visiting us when a TV commercial came on showing a young woman by a Volt in a studio saying "Sometimes I forget where the gas cap is..." and my niece remarked "do only idiots buy Volts?" Then their ad agency produced the commercial with a robotic dog sticking it's head out the window of a Volt. The "dog" stole the show and nobody even knew that it was riding in a Volt. About a month ago, I took my Volt in for the second oil change and a tire rotation. They have a retired man who runs a shuttle so customers can get a ride to work or back home and I was visiting with this man, and telling him how enamored I was with my Volt and he says to me "I thought Chevrolet quit making the Volt?" And a surgeon about a year earlier to me the same thing when I was chatting to him. GM makes this advanced and technologically incredible car, then they refuse to advertise it. Any first year marketing student in college would understand that a new and advanced products need effective advertising... and GM has dropped the ball on "story telling" in a mighty big way... I don't get their "sales strategy" but at least I sure "get" their car, and I'm just a goat rancher in Texas.
      Smurf
      • 9 Months Ago
      The Volt will probably see a bump in sales for the rest of the year from folks whose 2011/2012 Volt leases are expiring, and they are buying/leasing a 2014 or 2015 Volt. That should sustain Volt sales until the GEN II 2016 Volt comes out....
      thecommentator2013
      • 9 Months Ago
      EVs are the most sensible cars for most people.
      Sebastian Tristan
      • 9 Months Ago
      EVs are becoming more and more accepted by the general population. The more time passes, the more they realize that it's safe and also a viable option.
        thecommentator2013
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Sebastian Tristan
        What people need to realise is that an EV will meet most of their transportation demands. Once people understand, there is no going back to a conventional car. You couldn't sell me an ICE-only car anymore.
      Koenigsegg
      • 9 Months Ago
      leafs are definitely not selling for their looks
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Koenigsegg
        Only an entomologist could love the look of a Leaf... but it's an EV, so other than driving in a bug-eyed looking car, I have no complaints about a Leaf.
        Ziv
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Koenigsegg
        I always thought it really resembled a catfish, there was a photo of a channel cat on the top and a Leaf on the bottom and it was hilarious how similar they looked. But you can't beat the price to buy and to operate. http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?3446-Nissan-Leaf-Is-it-ugly-or-beautiful
      Zeta
      • 9 Months Ago
      I guess this is due to the fact that more and more people are exposed to information about these cars and the price of ev has gone down considerably as compare to a couple of years ago. A small step for man.
      Marco Polo
      • 9 Months Ago
      I hate to bring a note of pessimism, to an otherwise positive article. As a very 'early adopter', I'm naturally delighted to see more models employing EV technology, and even more EV models being offered by auto-makers. However, what worries me, is EV sales are still almost completely dependant on heavy government(s) subsidies and incentives, which if removed, would collapse the EV market. Sales of EVs are still far to small smaller to justify the huge investment in their production. The increase in the US auto-market in 2013, was almost double the low point in the aftermath of the recession. Yet, apart from those states with heavy government incentives, EV sales haven't enjoyed a proportional increase in market percentage. The GM Volt/ Ampera, is a great piece of innovative American engineering and technology, but it's been let down by some pretty inept, and apathetic advertising and marketing. (not helped by the deep animosity some US citizens have for GM). The Tesla model S is a great achievement by a innovative new US car maker, but still sells less than 30,000 units a year, despite its army of ardent fans. Tesla sells mostly to very affluent citizens in countries with huge government incentives. (that's not a criticism, of Tesla, just an accurate observation). Hopefully, the long awaited economy models, will break that pattern, but that's yet to be proven. The really committed EV manufacturer, Carlos Ghosn's Renault-Nissan Alliance, made a truly heroic, colossal investment in it's electrification program, heavily supported by the governments of France, Japan, and others. Yet, again despite all tat effort, the sales of Leaf, and other EV's produced by the Alliance are an economic failure from a purely commercial veiwpoint. EV enthusiasts, (like all enthusiasts) can get a bit unrealistic and one-eyed about reality. The problem is no longer proving that EV's can be built, and EREV's can be really great vehicles, the problem now is how to persuade motorists to abandon the convenience of ICE vehicles. The mileage and economy of the average ICE vehicle has improved dramatically over the last decade, just as voters and consumers have started to lose interest in environmental issues. As the over-hyped claims of immediate collapse in the supply of Hydro-carbon energy proved erroneous, the average global citizen lost interest, and became more concerned about immediate economic issues. My concern is that while hardcore EV supporters, may remain as committed as ever, condemning all who disagree as heretic's, the general public is losing interest. The answer can't be even more draconian government support in the form of regulations etc, such actions will inevitably produce a voter backlash, and prove counter-productive. My hope is technology will provide the answer. A major advance in ESD technology, that will enhance the ability of EV's to compete with the convenience of ICE.
        blaznazn
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Marco Polo
        I think subsidizing electric vehicles heavily until they get off the ground would be a very solid long term investment. Currently the US government spends more than a trillion $$ on purchasing oil from highly unstable governments in the middle east and elsewhere. Putting even 100 billion $$ in EV subsidies isn't just an "environmental" gimmick, its a tactical long term plan to reduce oil consumption, reduce the stranglehold the middle east has on us, and while were at it, pull the troops out of these warzones. Historically , the past 50 years of wars the USA has been in have all been about oil in some way or another. How much of that contributed to the massive deficit? EVs are not just a fad at this point, they have to become an imperative.
        Grendal
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Marco Polo
        Improved ESDs in whatever form they take are certainly important and, in many ways, inevitable. Tesla's attempt at their gigafactory is one way to significantly drive prices down. Given your overall point that enthusiasm for the new technology might be waning and loss of government support possibly devastating is a valid concern. I don't see the support going away anytime too soon unless there is another worldwide crisis that devastates economies. Governments still have a need to reduce pollution and still see alternatives to the ICE as way to achieve that. As for beating ICE's, I can say that we are getting pretty close. There will be a tipping point even with sticking with the direction we're currently on. My instincts are saying that it will happen within 20 years. At that point nearly every car sold will be using batteries or some other form of energy storage with electricity as the primary power source for personal mobility. A major advance will just speed up the 20 year timetable. If governments dropped all support tomorrow then I would add an extra 10 years to the timetable but it would still be an inevitable changeover.
          Grendal
          • 9 Months Ago
          @Grendal
          I think the Model S is a great example of the possibilities. If you give consumers a compelling reason to make the switch to an EV they will do so. The Model S is selling like crazy within its market segment. As technology progresses it could easily eclipse competitors. The key to this though is that it needs to be compelling and then you will have the consumer make the switch. So far we are still pretty limited in the choices and which segments have a compelling choice for consumers. We are only at the very beginning of all this. It was only 3 1/2 years ago that the Leaf and Volt arrived to give people a choice. It was only 14 years ago that hybrids arrived and look how well they have altered the car buying landscape. Give it time, Marco.
          Marco Polo
          • 9 Months Ago
          @Grendal
          @ Grendal I sincerely hope your instincts are proved right !
          Marco Polo
          • 9 Months Ago
          @Grendal
          @ Grendal Again, I hope you are proved correct.
        ElectricAvenue
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Marco Polo
        "The Tesla Model S [..] still sells less than 30,000 units a year [..] to very affluent citizens in countries with huge government incentives." That's a lot of claims made with very little backing. Technically the Model S is already selling at more than 30,000 per year. "Very affluent" is a judgement which I would not agree with. I know I'm not, and I own a Model S. The government incentive here is exactly $0. Nothing. Zip. Nada. In fact, there's a 1% luxury tax. I think it highly unlikely that government incentives are crucial to Tesla's sales. Even in the U.S., the incentive in almost all states is less than 10% of the cost of the car, right? I have found the exact opposite of your claim that "the general public is losing interest". I get asked about the car pretty much everywhere I go. Sometimes it's by people who have never even heard of Tesla before, and sometimes it's by "Tesla fans". I just met someone today who saw the car parked and came to talk - he has one on order. It seems to me that sales are accelerating, as people see Superchargers pop up and the cars become less rare. I can't predict the future, but the recent sales trend certainly has been an accelerating one. "The convenience of ICE vehicles". You mean, the convenience of having to go to gas stations, of having to get oil changes, of having to deal with failures such as "won't start", of replacing parts such as mufflers, of cars overheating, of... You're wearing rose-coloured glasses when looking at the ICE world.
          Marco Polo
          • 9 Months Ago
          @ElectricAvenue
          @ ElectricAvenue' I really don't want to offend you, and i admire your passion for EV's, but it's kinda difficult to discuss with someone so defensive. But in reply to your comment , " make a lot of claims made with very little backing", I would rely ; 1) I'm quoting the article, which says Tesla is selling 2500 units per month, "globally" . ( 12x 2500 = 30,000 ) Not that it matters, even 40,000 is still infinitesimal in a 16 .5 million US market. 2) My statement that the Tesla model S is an expensive motor vehicle, sold to the affluent in affluent nations, is correct. It's absurd to try and pretend that Elon Musk is expecting a sudden rush of orders from the ordinary folk in Chad, Bolivia or even Mississippi ! 3) It's always a fallacy to extrapolate figures from a low sales base. After all, if you only sold one car last month but two this month, you could say " look a 200% sales increase" over three months! But in reality, you've still only sold three cars. 4) I'm afraid your personal anecdotal evidence, (while interesting to you), doesn't really count as a substitute for actual research ! The truth is obvious from the article, which makes an accurate observation of how government incentives, subsidies, tax credits, and policies to encourage adoption, are essential to advancing EV sales. 5) I didn't say the public was losing interest in EV's, so much as losing interest in "green issues" in general. As for rose tinted glasses, ..well... let's see, in 2013, US vehicle sales increased by 6 million against the number sold in 2010. But less than 100,000 0f those nearly 17 million vehicles were EV's (including GM's Volt) . The sales of Volt and Leaf have remained fairly static, which is disappointing given the massive incentives provided by the US government. These are real facts, do your own research, just citing some guy you met who told you something, isn't really the basis for refuting this data.
        EVSUPERHERO
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Marco Polo
        We've already asked whether the Tesla Model S sells more units than the equivalent BMW, Audi or Mercedes--and now Nissan is outselling regular vehicles with its Leaf. Not Corollas or Ford Focus countrywide, of course--but apparently every other Nissan vehicle in March, in Portland, Oregon. With Jukes, Sentras, Versas and other affordable vehicles available from Nissan, that's quite an achievement for the Leaf. http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1083699_best-selling-nissan-in-portland-leaf-electric-car--due-to-electric-highway
          EVSUPERHERO
          • 9 Months Ago
          @EVSUPERHERO
          As of the end of July Leafs continue to out sell all other Nissan's here in Portland. Yes, it is a small market here but at least the numbers make sense to many buyers here. That is why they buy, it's the numbers. Now they get free fuel at the charging stations like Tesla for the first two years. Leafs net cost is about 21,500 dollars. 100k miles later the Leaf saved it's owners at least 10k dollars in fuel alone. The net is 11,500 dollars. A 21,500 dollar ICE vehicle net at the end of 100k miles is 31,500 dollars. I am being conservative in my estimates not over reaching to make Leafs look better. Now if you counted all the lbs savings of Co2 coming out of the tail pipe, reduction of the trade deficit and how terribly smelly a ICE becomes after a 100k miles, well let's just say everyone is better off except the oil and ICE corps.
        Frank
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Marco Polo
        Mp, I agree with your sentiment. But much of big oil takes on government help. Seems like congress is sending money to big oil, drectly or indirectly. We are all on the government tit to one extent or another. I doubt the road you drive on was paied by you in full. The voter backlash is very much fanned for political gain. Strangely there is no voter backlash when congress sends another subsudy to big oil, or all the tax incentives involving children. Why should my tax money go for one to have children.....the globe is overpopulated....bla bla. It less a matter of expense and more matter of one's priorities. I thought is was funny when a guy with a 60,000 dollar diesel dully pick-up towing a 20,000 dollar harley motorcycle complains about the cost of a chevy volt or 80,000 dollar tesla. One can buy a certified used volt under 20,000 dollars. That puts it in the range of even modest job holders. As for convinving ICE drivers, it has to work for them and be a priority. Not everyone has a garage or inclined so.
          Marco Polo
          • 9 Months Ago
          @Frank
          @ Frank, Governments like big oil ! Why wouldn't they ? Big oil is the only industry that consistently produces huge economic surpluses. Big oil generates an enormous part of the governments tax revenue, and is the most valuable taxpayer. In addition, Big Oil funds most of Western World's retirement-pension liabilities . In the absence of big oil, this burden would fall on the taxpayer, and devastate most economies. Big oil is also one world of the largest employers ( the 'black top you drive on, is an oil product!) . Even when the US imports oil, it still gets the best in trade deals. The US no longer imports much from the middle east, but continues the trade because the US exports more in US produced trade goods, than the value of the imported oil. ( in addition, much of the middles eastern oil, is refined and re-exported as a value added product ! ) . The dynamics of world economics are more complex than just single issue idealists imagine. Don't get me wrong, I'm a very early EV adopter , and have owned a specialist EV business for 17 years. However, I'm also a realist. I believe that the environmental cause, including EV's, has been done great harm by extravagant claims, unrealistic expectations,( usually driven by ideology ) and the general public have grown weary of all the hype. To survive, and justify investment funding, EV technology must reach sales figures of 5% or more. In the US alone, that's about 800,000 sales per year. I think that's possible, but not guaranteed if government incentives are withdrawn. Relying on government policy, is always a risky business.
        Ziv
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Marco Polo
        Marco, I have to reluctantly agree with a lot of your points. But the fact of the matter is we simply do not know what BEV's and EREV's will be priced at when the credit runs out. If the Gen II Volt MSRP is $29,990 next year, it may start to sell really well. Volt and Leaf sales of 2,000-3,000 cars per month are chump change in the long run but it is a good start, if it allows the economies of scale to build sufficiently to allow for GM profitably sell Volts for $27k and Nissan to sell Leafs for $23,000 in 2017 when the credit will probably expire. The cost to purchase an electric car will inevitably go up after the credit expires, but it may not go up enough to slow the sales rate too much if enough of us electric car buyers are telling our friends how much fun these cars are to drive. I don't think the general public is losing interest at all. As the price of electric cars continues to drop and the amount of Teslas continues to climb, more and more people are looking at electric cars with an open mind. I agree with you that this isn't a done deal, but if we keep seeing 7% improvements in price and weight every year, then the ESD's we will be buying in 2017 will be noticeably better than what we have now. I think that the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 was fairly well thought out and the chances are good that it will achieve its primary goal. “to move the United States toward greater energy independence and security, to increase the production of clean renewable fuels, to protect consumers, to increase the efficiency of products, buildings, and vehicles...”
          Ziv
          • 9 Months Ago
          @Ziv
          Fair enough. I think the electric car manufacturers would be wise to market their cars as being quieter, more convenient to refuel (home at night, no stinking gas stations) and performance. (Near silent luxury combined with instant torque and power when you want it) It wouldn't hurt to throw in a locavore aspect to it, either. "Power your car with American/English electricity instead of gasoline/petrol! You know who profits from gasoline/petrol sales? Foreigners!" ;-) Seriously, though, I think that in the next couple years we are going to see electric car makers try a whole slew of different ad campaigns in which electric cars are faster, cleaner, quieter, cheaper to operate, easier to refuel, more fun and simply more patriotic than ICE vehicles. I don't know if the price is going to drop enough by the time the credits expire in the US, but I hope that they will. BEV/EREV's don't have to have MSRP parity with ICE vehicles but they have to be within several thousand dollars. Here is hoping that the electric car prices drop enough and electric car sales continue to soar!
          Marco Polo
          • 9 Months Ago
          @Ziv
          @ Ziv Like I said to Grendal, I sincerely hope your optimism is proved correct.
          Marco Polo
          • 9 Months Ago
          @Ziv
          @ Ziv I agree with your opinion that the more EV's sold helps acceptance, especially with more models from prestige maker becoming available. Nor do I think that the general public is losing interest in EV's, so much as losing interest in environmental issues in general. But in the end, all products must be sold on their merits, and what the consumer believes is good value. If environmental concern in general weakens, the EV must sell on convenience and economy. EV's are not perceived as convenient as traditional ICE models, and with dramatic advances in fuel economy, the economic savings are not sufficient motivation to encourage widespread adoption.
      Spec
      • 9 Months Ago
      EVs are here to stay. I hope sales increase but at least I can be happy in knowing that I'll always be able to buy an EV in the future. You really couldn't do that before 2010. I was driving in my EV today on 280S in Silicon valley. As I merged in I was behind a Tesla Model S and in front of a BMW i3. This area has a seriously high penetration of EVs. I hope other areas get on the bandwagon.
        Frank
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Spec
        I live in the big city. Twice a day ill see a tesla, leaf, or a volt. Yet to see the new bimmer erev. I suspect to see more volts as the 11and 12s come off lease and in the used market and leasee goes and get the newest volts, and their old volts find a new home.
        Grendal
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Spec
        I'm a lot more in the sticks than you. I typically see a Leaf, Volt, or Tesla about once every other day. Not bad for a small city. There is plenty of room for improvement around here though.
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