April Plug-In Car Sales: Toyota Prius Wins, Chevrolet Volt Takes Second, Nissan Leaf Third

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler
april plug in car sales toyota prius wins chevrolet volt takes second nissan leaf

It was a good month for the Toyota Prius Plug-In, with the newest plug-in car outselling the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf in April.

Pent-up demand and the desire to outdo your neighbors in Marin County likely had something to do with the Prius Plug-In’s 1,654 units sold in April. How long will the demand last? We’ll have to wait a while to see how it all shakes out.

Chevrolet Volt sales were down from March’s record of 2,289 sales, but with 1,462, the Volt still had one of its better months so far. Indeed, the biggest loser in April, 2012 was the Nissan Leaf. With just 370 sold, the Leaf was down year-over-year (with 573 sold in April 2011) and way off of its best month ever (1,708 sold in June, 2011).

Prius and Leaf inventory data was unavailable via Automotive News, but the Volt had a 61 day supply as of April 1, down from 154 on March 1st.

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  • Pastor Glenn Pastor Glenn on May 03, 2012

    supersleuth said "Purely electric cars are just not going to be practical until battery technology is radically improved." Agree +1. Have to add: these same words have been said for 120 years pertaining to electric cars.

    • Redmondjp Redmondjp on May 04, 2012

      This is a myth that I'm tired of hearing repeated on this site ad nauseum. For most people, an EV would work perfectly for a vast majority of their driving needs. Today's pure EVs have ranges of 80-150 miles. Worst-case in cold temps with lots of heater use, maybe 25-30 miles (enough to get to work where you can plug in). The RAV4 electrics that Toyota built have an excellent track record, see: http://www.twocentspermile.org/ For long trips, you use the second car or rent one for the weekend. I'd drive an EV myself (I owned one before but it was a 1980 model and I never had it on the road) but I can't justify the price since I have a paid-for Civic that will get me 35mpg. I have a friend with a Leaf who will hit over 20K miles in his first year of ownership. He has only once run out of "gas" with it, and got a free tow to his house courtesy of Nissan. I'm not for or against EVs, but the constant EV-bashing is just ridiculous.

  • Bikeguy Bikeguy on May 03, 2012

    Pretty good trick, taking Volt inventory from 152 days to 61 days in only 30 days, especially with 1/3 less cars sold than the month before. Even with shutting down the plant, you'd think the most you could improve is 30 days worth of inventory, especially if you sell less. I'd really like someone from GM to explain the math to me.

  • Herm Herm on May 03, 2012

    Just about now they are becoming practical, remember those brick size cellphones?, we are at that stage.. and the $7500 tax credit is really not that much to get the ball rolling.

  • Pete Zaitcev Pete Zaitcev on May 04, 2012

    If Leaf can only push 300 to 500, MiEV is going to move 50, I'm afraid.

    • CJinSD CJinSD on May 04, 2012

      If that was Mitsubishi's hail mary effort at remaining in the US market, they're toast.