Published on January 5th, 2014 | by Zachary Shahan


Chevy Volt Sales Inch Out Nissan Leaf Sales In 2013

January 5th, 2014 by  

Originally published on EV Obsession.

Chevy Volt. Credit: GM

Chevy Volt. Credit: GM

After 6 changes at the top of the plug-in car tables in 2013, the Chevy Volt barely beat the Nissan Leaf in annual sales. The Volt logged 23,094, while the Leaf logged 22,610.

Despite many other big EV stories this year, that neck-and-neck race at the top of the sales charts still stood out to me as one of the EV stories of the year. Of course, the sales weren’t only dependent on demand. The Nissan Leaf has been undersupplied across the country for about 6 months. Production is finally supposed to be getting up to demand right about now, and that may be one reason why December was the best sales month for the Leaf.

This has been a fun race to watch and write about, but I think there’s also a hidden story to this story. Some of the other top EVs for the price are sold in very limited markets. The Fiat 500e, which was the “Best Electric Car of 2013” according to Road & Track, gets no love from its maker — which seems to be headed up by an EV hater — and is sold in extremely limited quantities. The Chevy Spark EV, which is considered to be much better than its gasmobile cousin and has gotten rave reviews, is only available in a few markets.

Aside from the top two, btw, the Tesla Model S clearly came in at #3 with about 18,000 units sold, and the Toyota Prius Plug-in came in at #4 at 12,088. I’m still waiting for Ford’s numbers to come in, but these are clearly the top 4 plug-in cars in terms of 2013 US sales:

  1. Chevy Volt — 23,094
  2. Nissan Leaf — 22,610
  3. Tesla Model S — ~18,000
  4. Toyota Prius Plug-in — 12,088

Also see:

13 New Electric Vehicles For Sale In 2014

11 Electric Cars That Cost Less Than The Average New Car In The US

Check out our new 93-page EV report, based on over 2,000 surveys collected from EV drivers in 49 of 50 US states, 26 European countries, and 9 Canadian provinces.

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About the Author

is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species) with the power of the typed word. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor, but he's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession, Solar Love, and Bikocity. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and energy storage expert. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in.

  • David Surrey

    Actually, you’re missing the entire last quarter of Tesla sales. Should be well over 7000 more Teslas. That would make them #1 for 2013.

    • no, that includes an estimate for the last quarter.

      • David Surrey

        Then your estimate is very low. Tesla sold 15,500 cars through the 3rd quarter, with most estimates coming in between 6000 & 7000 sold in the 4th quarter. That would put them right around 22000 for the year. Are you suggesting that Tesla only sold 2500 cars in the 4th quarter?

        • Hmm, sorry, just seeing this. Will have to take a closer look, but a lot of Model S production has been going to Europe in the past few months.

          • David Surrey

            Tesla’s own estimate moved to 6900 about a week ago. They likely will finish the year in a virtual tie with Nissan Leaf, give or take 100 cars. Tesla will be #1 by far in 2014. 30,000+ vehicles.

  • miles

    Your missing a zero at the end of the number of tesla sales. Awesome website, amazing content, thank you for the hard work in 2013. 2014 – here we go !!!!!!!

    • A Real Libertarian

      And I think that’s supposed to be a ~, not a -.

      • thanks! wait, it is a ~ … wonder why it isn’t showing like that for you.

    • woops, WTH? thanks! 😀

  • Jon Lindberg

    Considering all the negative bias and Volt bashing in the media, the distane for GM since the bail out. I think this is quite a feat and says a lot about how good the Volt really is.

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