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Chevy Volt Sales Neck & Neck With Toyota Camry Hybrid, & It Beats Almost Every Other Hybrid

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Despite the generally negative view on all-electric vehicle sales performance in the US over the past few years, when you look closer at the numbers, it appears that some plug-in vehicles are becoming increasingly competitive with popular non-plug-in hybrids as of late.

In particular, the Tesla Model S (which is #1 in its car class) and the second-generation Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid (PHEV) have been going neck and neck in sales with many of the most popular conventional hybrids out there. The only conventional hybrids that have been outselling the Model S and the Chevy Volt as of late are the Toyota Prius and the new RAV4 hybrid, apparently.

2017 Chevy Volt Blue

As an interesting comparison, the second-generation Volt managed to move 12,214 units between January and July of this year — as compared to 12,494 Toyota Camry Hybrid sales and 12,975 Toyota Prius C sales during the same period of time. The Volt is actually now outselling all but 5 hybrids available in the US, out of a field of more than 35!

That’s pretty incredible when you consider how much of a price difference there is between the different models, and it shows how much more mainstream the Chevy Volt has been become than other plug-in cars.

As these very interesting comparisons were brought to my attention by Jeff Cobb’s interesting article over at, I’ll go ahead and quote some of the most interesting passages from his coverage:

“Here the comparison is closer than Tesla’s segment-transcending Model S luxury performance sedan. The Volt is positioned as a fuel-saving part-time electric car, and the market is indeed rewarding Chevrolet over better-established, and cheaper hybrids from the well-regarded Toyota. As true of Tesla, not hurting things is a $7,500 federal tax credit and potential state incentives, which in the Volt’s case gives it nearly net cost parity with the Camry Hybrid which received a through mid-cycle update in 2015.”

It should be remembered, though, that the entirety of the $7,500 federal tax credit isn’t actually available to everyone — many people don’t make enough money to benefit from the full credit. And even those who do have to wait until they’re doing their taxes to get the credit — not everyone can wait that long when dealing with $7,500. These factors limit the number of people who can make use of the credit. (Obviously, if there were cheaper plug-ins available, then this wouldn’t be the case.)

2017 Chevy Volt Steve


“The Volt is helped by many other factors not least being it was redesigned in 2016, and it has a reputation as being fun to drive and high-tech cool. It’s dimensionally smaller than the true-five-passenger Camry however, and still much more pricey than the Prius c which will be due for a refresh, having been introduced in 2012. People in this green car demographic otherwise know the Volt’s 53-miles EV range can make it effectively gas-free for more than 80% of all daily driving needs, so that and other psychographic factors mean it could be called a relative success.”

What I’m curious about, though, is what will happen to Volt sales following the launch of the all-electric Chevy Bolt. Will Volt sales drop considerably? Or will there not be much overlap in potential customers?

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Written By

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.


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