Nissan Leaf, Chevy Volt Sales Battle It Out

Green car sales for the month of August 2011 looked pretty decent across the board as we take a look at monthly sales figures from some of the top auto manufacturers in this space, including Toyota, GM and Nissan. In general, sales of Toyota hybrids look strong as always, while sales of the newer GM Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf continue to move along at ok rates – which is to be expected given the early adopter status these vehicles still have, their newness to the market and production issues both companies have faced.

Toyota said that in August is Camry and Camry hybrid models combined had sales of 30,185 cars. The Prius, meanwhile, sold 9,491 units. Overall, Toyota said for last month it posted sales of 10,035 hybrids, while Lexus reported sales of 3,238 hybrids for the same time period. For Toyota this is an increase of 56.1 percent over August 2010.

nissan leaf

image via Nissan

Nissan and GM, meanwhile, reported respective sales of 1,362 Leaf EVs and 302 Volt plug-in hybrids. For Nissan, this gives it a total of 6,168 Leaf electric cars sold to date this year. GM, meanwhile, reported year to date sales figures of the Volt at 3,172 cars.

The latest sales figures from these three big green car manufacturers tell us a few things. First, regular hybrid sales clearly lead the way right now, especially given their longer history, while Leaf and Volt sales are just getting started. Next, Nissan looks to be winning more of the hearts and minds of those early adopters buying the newer green cars, almost doubling sales for this year of its offering over that of GM.

I am the editor-in-chief and founder for EarthTechling. This site is my desire to bring the world of green technology to consumers in a timely and informative matter. Prior to this my previous ventures have included a strong freelance writing career and time spent at Silicon Valley start ups.

    • evfan

      Perhaps this article should be titled…u00a0nNissan Leaf, Chevy Volt PRODUCTION Plods AlongnnAs far as I know, if I want to down to a Nissan lot and buy a Leaf, I can’t, because there is a long waiting list of buyers ahead of me and due to the Japanese disaster, Leaf production had been delayed. (I should say that I follow pure electric vehicles the most, so I’m not sure about production on the Volt, but I can safely guess that it is far lower than most or all hybrids.)nnThe conclusions are not well thought out either. Hybrids have been in production for 10 years or more, and so have a clear production schedule from the business side. The Leaf and Volt are being “tested” on the market, so production is low and therefore output and therefore sales.u00a0nnAgain, a very sloppy job reporting on this topic. Up your game

      • You raise some good points, and admittedly the author of this post is having a bad hair day. We’ve updated it somewhat – thanks for the feedback.

        • evfan

          Very admirable. Much better. To me the conclusion we can see in this market is that there is an unmet demand for economical, pure electric vehicles. Corporate and govermental bodies can now “but GREEN American” and will for their fleets. These are different niche markets within the green car world. nnI feel I can safely project that Toyota will kill with their plugin hybrid model if at a similar price point to the Leaf. This will satisfy the mass green market of individuals who still fall prey to range anxiety or truly have long distance commutes that cannot be met by today’s battery technology.

      • Anonymous

        Just to throw something more into the mix – I understand that Nissan cut off their Leaf waiting list because they had enough names to keep them busy for the next 12 months. u00a0nnNissan is in the process of setting up enough capacity to build 500,000 Leafs per year. u00a0The new Tennessee plant should be on line in the next few months with a capacity of 120,000 units per year. u00a0And a higher battery production which suggests that Nissan expects to sell more than 120k in the US and to import EVs without their batteries.nnGM is upping capacity to 60,000 next year so they expect sales to be lower. u00a0I understand that GM is selling all the Volts they can produce. u00a0But a lot of the first models went to dealers as demo cars.nnAnd let’s not forget Ford which will be releasing their Focus EV in a month or so. u00a0They’ve set up a complete assembly line for the EV version of the Focus, so they seem to be expecting to push some numbers.nnWhat’s really interesting is whether these dedicated assembly lines and factories are going to start bringing down prices quickly.

        • I don’t think GM is selling all Volts they can produce. Apparently lots of unsold Volts are available nation wide.

    • jaspk

      Drink your own bath water if you wish.u00a0 Volt sales are a disaster and will remain so for an over-priced and under performing car that the average car buyer will avoid for more cost-effective transportation.u00a0u00a0 Everyone likes “green”, but few are ready to bust their own budget for it.

      • Anonymous

        Perhaps you missed the news that the US economy is in the crapper?nnThat aside, while EV sales did drop badly in July, by the end of August Nissan had returned to meeting their goal of selling 1,000 Leafs per month and GM more than doubled their July Volt sales. u00a0Volt sales went from 125 to 302.nnLook for numbers to increase. u00a0GM is now making 125 Volts per day. u00a0The new Leaf factory should open this fall or early winter. u00a0By early next year we should have a better idea about market demand, we’re still seeing a supply shortfall now. u00a0 It may take longer to determine how the general public feels about EVs.u00a0nnu00a0A lot of the early units are going to corporate fleets. u00a0Corporations understand that it sometimes makes sense to spend more up front if it adds to the bottom line over time. u00a0 When calculation “cost-effective” it’s not just the purchase price that should be considered.nnBTW, I take showers. u00a0Sitting around in ones filth never made sense to me. u00a0That it would occur to you to drink u00a0that stuff, well, ….