The battle rages for the title of the best-selling plug-in vehicle. For the first time, both the Chevrolet Volt and the Toyota Prius ousted the Nissan Leaf for overall sales. Volt deliveries tripled in 2012 to 30,090 units, making it the top seller of the three, with the Prius coming in at second with first-year sales of 27,181 units. The Leaf, leader in 2011 sales, only sold 25,435 in 2012.
Sales of all-electric vehicles have doubled since last year, and will continue to rise with a projected 89 percent increase. However, that is one-third of the demand automakers have previously expected. According to Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn, by the year 2020, electric cars will account for at least 10 percent of all auto sales. The Leaf continues to struggle, with its 2012 sales not even reaching half the number the company had targeted. Electric-vehicle business will now be under the guidance of Nissan’s CEO.
“The lower sales compared to prior forecasts are a disappointment to auto manufacturers and more significantly to their battery suppliers,” wrote Ali Izadi-Najafabadi, analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, in a recent report. While the Nissan Leaf may have fallen behind Chevrolet’s Volt in terms of units sold, in January the Leaf was the first car in its segment to reach cumulative sales of 50,000 units.
GM’s Dan Akerson commented earlier this month that GM is working on an electric vehicle to have a range of 200 miles, going along with the company’s wishes to have a million hybrid or fully-electric vehicles on the road by 2017.
Source: Washington Post