The sales story of the two longest-running plug-in vehicles in the US is reaching an equilibrium for 2013. We've mentioned the past few months that the running annual totals for the Nissan Leaf and the Chevy Volt were nearly identical. As of the end of September, they were 16,760 for the Volt and 16,076 for the Leaf. The November numbers are now in, and the song remains mostly the same. Last month, the Volt sold 2,022 units and the Leaf moved 2,002. The new running totals? 18,782 (Volt) and 18,078 (Leaf).
For the Leaf, 2,002 sales meant October was yet another record month, putting the streak at eight. In October 2012, Nissan sold 1,579, so this year saw a 26.8 percent increase, partly due to a $6,400 price drop at the beginning of the year. Erik Gottfried, director of Nissan's electric vehicle sales and marketing, said in a statement that improved availability of the S trim helped increase sales in new markets like Houston and Boston. He added, "Atlanta held on to the title of No. 1 Leaf market for the third month in a row, narrowly edging out San Francisco. As Leaf sales continue to diversify geographically, we saw particularly strong sales in the Central Region led by Denver and Salt Lake City."
The numbers for Chevy look good, too, with overall brand retail sales up 15 percent. The Volt, though, actually saw a 31.7 percent year-to-year drop compared to October 2012. Last year, Chevy sold 2,961 Volts in October and this marks another big comparative monthly drop (Volt sales were also down 38.1 percent in September). For the year-to-date, Volt sales are off 2.7 percent, despite a $5,000 price drop in August. The plug-in hybrid sold 19,309 units in the first ten months last year.
As always, we'll have more green car sales figures in our detailed report soon.