The EV Market In Context: 15 Cars That Are Selling Worse Than The Nissan Leaf (And Chevy Volt)

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

Because electric cars represent the first fundamental technological shift for the automobile since its invention, their appearance on the US market has elicited quite a bit of skepticism. And as with any new technology, the first generation of EVs does have some serious downsides. For example, you can charge a Nissan Leaf at any outlet, but it takes 21 hours. Also, the Leaf’s range that was once promised at 100 miles is typically under 70 miles in the real world. Plus, it’s not exactly cheap. In the face of these challenges, you might think the Leaf, the first mass-market pure-EV in the US, would be forever doomed to a small niche of the market. But small compared to what? To give a real-world taste of how America’s first pure EV is selling in the context of the broader market, here are the year-to-date sales numbers for the Leaf and 15 other vehicles that you might not expect to be selling worse than an electric car. Incidentally, all of these models are also selling better than the market’s other pioneering plug-in, the Chevrolet Volt… which now has its own graph in the gallery below.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • Solracer Solracer on Oct 08, 2011

    I think all of those 7200 Leafs (Leaves?) must have been sold in the Seattle area because I see one pretty much daily. It still has a ways to go to match the Prius (which is pretty much Seattle's official car) but they aren't just a curiosity. Never understood why GM didn't offer the Volt here first and instead let Nissan establish a beachhead. It will be interesting to see if the Volt can dent the Leaf's dominance of the electric vehicle market when it goes on sale here.

  • Skink Skink on Oct 09, 2011

    It's silly to compare Leaf sales to those of any non-electric. Leaf buyers are eligible for $7500 US government incentives. Leaf buyers in CA get additional incentives. Then, on the other hand, is the low production rate, frustrating those who want to buy them. Some people don't buy Leaves because they can't buy them. Other people don't buy them because they still cost too much even after incentives. Those who buy Leaves now probably paid $1000 for a BluRay player when they first dropped. Still others don't buy Leaves because they don't go far enough on a charge. Still others are skeptical of the Leaf's ability to start, run for any distance , provide adequate cabin heat and defrosting capability in cold weather. Things will probably get better on these fronts.

  • Scott Le Mans - Steve McQueen. It's an oldy and cult only but those who saw it know who's cars were featured.
  • Sobhuza Trooper Gas powered generators? The Wretched Past. UGH!!!! Battery powered generators? The Glorious FUTURE. YEA!!!!! Let California Californicate the World!!!!
  • Yuda Power grid is already failing with the few chargers there are This is just gonna make things worse for normal people
  • Yuda EVs in general are a scam LMAO I'm not surprised
  • Lou_BC "In 2007, 85% of Americans drove themselves to work and 6% rode with someone else. But by 2018, while the 6% of Americans who carpool has remained constant, there has been a decrease in the percentage of those who drive themselves to work, edging down to 77%." .................. If people can't recharge at home, it would be logical to set up charging infrastructure at workplace parking lots. That would cover 77% of the population. An 8 hour workday should be adequate to keep an EV charged.