August new-vehicle sales in the U.S. were up an impressive 17 percent compared to the same month last year, with almost every automaker posting solid gains. But perhaps a bigger surprise has to do with how well plug-in and electric vehicles performed on the market.
Chevrolet and Nissan are the biggest sellers of rechargeable electrics in America with their Volt and Leaf nameplates, respectively. Thanks to low-cost leases these vehicles have been moving at an increasing clip.
Volt sales were up 18 percent in August 2013, with deliveries totaling 3,351. The Leaf’s performance more than tripled, rolling the sales odometer to 2,420. The Volt also leads the Leaf in production. Just about 15,000 examples of the Chevrolet electric have been produced through the end of August compared to slightly more than 14,000 Leafs.
Attractive lease payments are likely the reason for these sales increases. Nissan and GM for example are advertising monthly rates of anywhere from $199 to $299, while Toyota is offering a $299 lease on its RAV4 EV.
Overall, electric vehicles seem to be gaining traction in the U.S., albeit slowly. For the year sales of plug-in and other EVs fell just shy of 58,000 units. Not bad for the first eight months of 2013. Fewer than 52,000 were delivered in ALL of last year.
When hybrids are included in that mix, electrics are doing even better. All told sales are up 28 percent this year, with nearly 400,000 hybrid, plug-in and electric vehicles delivered through August.
Source: Automotive News