Nissan Leaf Sales Faceplant; Chevy Volt Laughs and Points

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
nissan leaf sales faceplant chevy volt laughs and points

Nissan Leaf sales have all the buoyancy of a cinder block, meaning buyers clearly weren’t impressed with the extra miles of range added for 2016.

The venerable electric vehicle recorded 979 U.S. sales in May, up from the previous month’s 787 units, but down a whopping 53.5 percent from a year earlier. If the model’s perpetually smiling face could frown, it would.

It’s a sign that economic forces, increased choice and age are all catching up to the Leaf, which once sold 3,186 units in a month (August 2014). Electric vehicle enthusiasts are already nerding out over a looming crop of 200-mile EVs, so a range bump to 107 miles isn’t very sexy.

Since coming on the scene in late 2010, the Leaf’s nemesis has always been the Chevrolet Volt — the EV for commuters too afraid to ditch gas altogether. A restyle of the Leaf is still a couple of years away, but Chevy just gave the Volt a complete makeover, and it shows in sales.

The Volt had its best May showing this year, with 1,901 units sold. That’s better than the Leaf by a long shot, but still way off the Volt’s record of 3,351 in August 2013.

Some automakers haven’t released their May sales figures yet, but April’s tally showed total plug-in vehicle sales outpacing last year’s numbers, though not by much. Canadian figures aren’t in yet, but April was (oddly) the best sales month to date for both the Volt and the Leaf.

[Source: InsideEVs] [Image: Nissan Motor Corporation]

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  • Tsoden Tsoden on Jun 01, 2016

    Leafs do not seem popular where I live in Canada... Used ones are even more rare than new. Rebates are fairly impressive though...$9800 for the "S", $10500 for the "SV" and $11500 for the "SL". The real kicker though is the Cost new seems much higher here: "S" - $32,698 "SV" - $37,398 "SL" - $40,548 Note: all prices are before tax and fees. Too rich for my blood.

  • Indi500fan Indi500fan on Jun 01, 2016

    It sounds like nice used Leafs are heading toward golf cart prices. Perfect wheels for school kids or senior citizen duty.

    • Redmondjp Redmondjp on Jun 02, 2016

      Kid: "Mom, can I borrow your car? I have to get to work." Mom: "Did you forget to plug in your car again last night?"

  • 415s30 415s30 on Jun 05, 2016

    There is a car dealer near me that specializes in selling these when the leases are up. He always has at least six. I see them all over Marin. I think people are buying the previously leased ones to try it out.

  • Lemko Lemko on Jun 06, 2016

    I can't imagine how miniscule the sales numbers must be for the Mitsubishi MiEV.