Is there room for more contenders in the electric vehicle segment? With combined sales of the Nissan Leaf and Tesla Model S making up over 80 percent of all EV sales so far in 2014, it looks like the market is pretty much spoken for.
Based on HybridCars.com February 2014 sales data, Nissan sold 1,425 Leafs while Tesla moved approximately 1,400 Model S’ last month. Each car represents about 42 percent of the EVs sold last month, putting all other EV sales to shame. The Ford Focus EV sits in third place, moving just 129 units.
Far from an anomaly, January showed the same dominance of EV sales between Tesla and Nissan and in 2013, the two cars shared 86 percent of the EV market share.
Why are the Leaf and Model S EVs so successful? The Nissan EV was a pioneer in the segment, getting a jump on its competition not unlike the way the Prius did when Hybrids were introduced. Additionally, the Leaf is available throughout the country, in comparison to its rivals, which are seen as “Compliance Cars” and are offered in limited markets or as lease-only deals. As for the success of the Model S, few vehicles can compare with its range, performance and luxury features, not to mention its exclusivity.
The two cars represent two different takes on the EV market. The Leaf costs just $29,830 with destination and no incentives and offers a range of 84 miles. The Tesla Model S on the other hand starts around the $70,000 mark and offers 200 miles on a single charge.
The numbers from HybridCars.com also points to EV sales catching up to plug-in hybrid sales. A difference of only 397 vehicles separate the two segments, as 3,324 electric-only vehicles sold last month compared to 3,721 plug-in hybrids.