Initially targeted to sell 20,000 units, sales figures released today are showing that the Nissan Leaf only sold a meager 685 Leaf EVs in August. That number stands in stark contract to the Chevrolet Volt, which isn’t a pure electric vehicle like the Leaf, but still sold 2,831 to far outshine the Nissan competitor. As sales are showing, it doesn’t seem to matter that the Chevrolet burns a little bit of gas. In fact, that’s probably a good thing because it offers to alleviate the range anxiety many electric car owners experience.
Apart from being the popular pick among consumers, the Volt broke its own record last month by selling 800 percent more cars than it did in August, 2011. While the bow tie brand’s fuel efficient option suffered through a slow start and controversy earlier this year, things are looking up now that drivers in California, one of its key markets, can take advantage of the HOV lanes recently restricted to electric cars and appropriately-passengered vehicles.
Meanwhile, Leaf sales are actually improved over July, but still utterly failing to meet the automaker’s expectations. That could be due, in part, to the fact that a cross section of owners are currently disputing the battery life Nissan advertises the car to have. Some owners say their car’s range dropped significantly after only a year of ownership.
Regardless, it seems obvious that the gap between the Volt and Leaf is growing from what was a crack last year to a gaping chasm. Worse yet, failed attempts could serve to build a negative stigma around electric cars, making them harder to sell down the line. Regardless of how anyone feels about EVs overall, the fact remains that CAFE standards are in motion to increase to 54.5 mpg by 2025 making maximum efficiency cars a must in the near future.