The Nissan Leaf, Nissan’s all electric compact car, is doing quite well this year. As a way of demonstrating its success relative to other electric cars, we’ll take the Chevy volt as our comparative instance. The Leaf is pulling ahead of the Volt now, while last year it was behind.

There is a bit of ambiguity regarding sales activity this year due to the fact that last year the labor day sales surge was included with August sales numbers this year, while last year they were included with September sales. Thus a decline in sales is to be expected this year because there were less official sales days, and there were no September labor day sales. Nevertheless, we can still get a sense of how the Leaf is performing in relation to the Volt in an overall sense. And since a drop in sales would be expected (and is in fact the case with the Volt), the Leaf has seen a big increase in sales this year, so this is even more impressive considering the mitigating factors mentioned above.

2013 Nissan Leaf

In 2011 the Leaf became the first all electric vehicle to go on sale in mass productions. While the electric market has grown steadily since then, and the Leaf certainly has some serious competition, it will always have the title of the ‘first’. While Leaf models are not as readily available as more popular Nissans such as the Altima or the Versa, they are also not obsolete. If you don’t want to go the new route, it is worth checking into pre owned.  We recently checked out the used Nissan cars at Sheridan, a local New Castle DE dealership.  While they do not currently have any in stock, the sales manager said they are happy yo be on the lookout for one, and in all likely hood can find you a used Leaf in a short amount of time. In September 2012, Nissan sold 984 Leafs.  This September that number has roughly doubled, climbing to 1,953. The Leaf is clearly growing in popularity and is coming to the forefront of the electric automobile trend. The car has been hitting record sales highs steadily for the past 7 months. There’s a good chance that it will continue to do so.

So how has its competition, Chevrolet’s Volt been faring? Not as well, though certainly not terribly. The Volt was in the lead hands down last year – Chevy sold 2,851 Volts last September. This year sales during the month of September have dropped to 1,766. Again, the latter figure is nothing catastrophic, and there is the Labor Day issue mentioned above to consider, but this tends to shows a definite down shift. The Chevy Volt is a very high quality all electric car, and this thus attests to the Leaf’s comparative perception by the public as an advanced and impressive plug in car. In other words, if the Volt is the one to beat in electric car sales, and the Leaf appears to be doing just that.

Hybrids are doing well too. Toyota’s Prius, their hybrid electric car, has seen some respectable September turnover. Toyota sold 1,791 Priuses last month. But then, while hybrids are green cars, they are not as green as all-electric vehicles, which produce no carbon emissions whatsoever. Regardless, the general upswing in electric car sales is as encouraging for the general public from an environmental standpoint as it is from a business viewpoint for Nissan. Thus we have an example of the relatively rare occasion when big business success and environmental responsibility are going hand in hand.


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