Chevy Volt reclaims US plug-in sales crown from Nissan Leaf

After all these years, the two best-selling plug-ins have sold almost the exact same amount.

Sure, the big plug-in "sales" news of the last week was the tremendous number of Tesla Model 3 deposits. But as we all know, Chevy and Nissan have been building and selling plug-in vehicles for over five years now, and as the monthly sales figures rolled in, something interesting has happened.

Let's start with the latest numbers. Volt sales hit 1,865 last month, a 192 percent increase over March 2015's paltry 639 sales. Year-to-date, the new Volt is solidly beating the plug-in hybrid's meager numbers from 2015, when Volt customers were mostly waiting for the second-gen model to arrive. The 3,987 Volts sold this year 2016 are up 113 percent over the 1,874 in the same time in 2015.

Things were not as good for the Nissan Leaf last month, but the world's best-selling all-electric vehicle is not out of the running yet. 1,246 Leafs were sold last month, a drop of 31 percent compared to the 1,817 sold in March 2015. Year-to-date, Leaf sales are down 28 percent, 4,085 to 2,931.

This is the first time since March 2015 that the Volt has been in the lead.

The more interesting numbers, though, come from adding up all of the sales of these two plug-in leaders since they went on sale in late 2010. In those 5-plus years, the Chevy Volt has sold 92,737 units, while the Nissan Leaf has sold 92,522. That's a difference of only 215 cars, and it marks the first time since March 2015 that the Volt has been in the lead. Given Nissan's refusal to talk about a second-gen Leaf in any detail, we have to assume that General Motors will continue to expand its lead for the foreseeable future.

We'll have our more in-depth look at all the green cars sold in the US last month posted soon. Stay tuned.

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