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Volt selling well as other green cars falter

Sales of the Chevrolet Volt extended range electric vehicle have been very much up and down since the car launched. At one point Chevrolet placed production of the Volt on hold due to poor demand only to restart production earlier than expected due to an uptick in sales. At the same time, sales of the pure electric-powered Nissan Leaf have continued to struggle as it becomes clear Nissan will be unable to meet its lofty sales goals for 2012. 
 
Nissan had expected to sell 20,000 electric vehicles in the U.S. during 2012 and has so far only been able to sell 3,543. During the month of July, Nissan sold just 395 Leaf EVs, which represents a decline of 58% compared to July 2011. 


Nissan Leaf
 
Although Nissan isn't selling very many Leaf EVs, the automaker still insists it will meet its 20,000-unit goal for 2012. That goal seems very unlikely since Nissan will need to sell close to 3,300 Leaf EVs each month for the remainder of the year.
 
"Our target has not changed," said Nissan spokesman David Reuter on Wednesday, acknowledging that, "sales to date have not met our expectations."
 

Chevrolet Volt
 
GM is faring better with its Volt with sales rising compared to July of 2011 to 1,849 units in July 2012 compared to only in 125 units in July 2011. Through the first first seven months of 2012, GM has sold 10,666 Volt extended range electric vehicles for an increase of 270% compared to the first seven months of 2011.
 
Detroit News reports that sales of the Volt have been boosted by factors outside of Chevrolet's control, including the fact that California granted lone Volt drivers the ability to access carpool lanes. One in every three Volts sold are purchased in California.
 
GM sold more than twice as many Volts in July as Toyota sold Prius plug-in hybrid vehicles. Toyota moved only 688 of the latest Prius variant during July.

Source: Detroit News



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Range is the deal breaker for the Leaf.
By quiksilvr on 8/2/2012 10:05:24 AM , Rating: 2
If it was hitting 300 mile ranges for under $40k it would be selling like hot cakes.




RE: Range is the deal breaker for the Leaf.
By Sazabi19 on 8/2/2012 10:23:30 AM , Rating: 2
I have to agree with you. I think that Tesla is doing well and they are in the proper side of the country for it, but with states towards the North and in colder areas the mileage suffers in all electric vehicles. The range has to be the part that scares people the most, like me. Will I tend to drive 300+ miles in 1 go? No, probably not, but the idea of me being able to fill up in ANY location on a map (city/town/BFE) is what keeps people relaxed. Fueling a car takes maybe a few mintues, sure no one likes the price for it but when you can't find a specialized charger accept in certain locations it makes people twinge a bit. Also even IF you have the special charger for it to charge it properly it will take at least 30 minutes to get a decent charge, that's still not full so you won't be getting all of your mileage on it and have to stop sooner. I don't mind the idea of hybrids but I think they need to mature, which is only 1 of the reasons I have yet to adopt one, the other being price. Looks are not such a huge issue for me, I would like for it to look nice but that is not a must. Anything other than a special charger would have the occupant sitting for probably 1 hour+. If we could get turbo's hybrids I think that would do well, get a decently powered vehicle with already good mileage and tack on a battery to help out in coasting or maintaining speed. I am not a car guy so I don't know if this is possible but it seems with a bit of engineering it could be accomplished, diesel or gasoline. I am keeping my options open for a fuel efficient (and price efficient) vehicle as I will be changing out in a year.


RE: Range is the deal breaker for the Leaf.
By othercents on 8/2/2012 10:31:39 AM , Rating: 2
The Leaf has a specific market and requires a two car family or travel via other means. The Volt like the Prius is more for the average family and if you live close to work then the plugins can give you a significant cost savings while allowing you to still make those longer drives when needed.

The only reason why the Volt doesn't work for me is because it only has 4 seats. The rear seat is two buckets with a large middle hump for the battery. While I could use it as a commuter I couldn't go anywhere with my family of 5. I think the Prius fits better for my family.

Other


By Sazabi19 on 8/2/2012 10:57:35 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, I think you are completely correct on what you said. I probably should have added in there somewhere something about SINGLE people like me. I have no need for a second car. If I had someone I lived with and we worked near the same area an electric may be ok depending on distance. I live within about 8 miles from the city, far enough not to catch rif-raf but close enough to get to work quickly (about 20 mins). An electric vehicle would do ok for me in this circumstance but there are other places I drive that it wouldn't work without charging frequently. The fact that we are researching better electrical storage is nice but I don't feel it has matured enough yet and is still waaay too expensive to be feasible. It is great for some people but not the masses yet. Turbos are a good solution for the here and now while we look into other things.


By GreenEnvt on 8/2/2012 10:29:09 AM , Rating: 2
Indeed.
Whether or not the Volt is a good car or not aside, I think the concept of the Volt is the near-term future.

An electric vehicle with some form on power generation onboard to extend it's range, whether this is a gas engine, diesel, fuel cell, nuclear, or bottled farts, is great.

Ideally, I'd love to see the cars have this onboard generator be modular, so you could swap out a gas engine for a fuel cell.

This type of design can bridge the gap until battery technology progresses enough for general population use.


By Qapa on 8/2/2012 6:27:27 PM , Rating: 2
While that is problematic, I still say, sell it in Europe at US prices, and they'd sell easily!!

Well, except for some recent reports about the batteries not liking heat... and getting reduced range - reduced from what it starts at, then it really becomes a problem!


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