Chevy Volt Nissan Leaf mashup

Chalk up a big win for the Nissan Leaf. In May, the world's most popular electric vehicle sold a record 3,117 units, the first time any pure electric vehicle has sold over 3,000 units in a month in the US (unless Tesla managed that feat but rolled the number into a quarterly report). This marks the 15th month in a row of record Leaf sales and the seventh where the Leaf was the top EV seller in the US. The challenge bar is set for someone to step up to compete with this all-electric wunderkind.

Chevrolet did sell over 3,000 Volts once, in August 2013.

The Leaf's one long-standing competitor, of a sort, is the Chevy Volt, which used to regularly outsell the Leaf but moved only 1,684 units in May. That's still an increase of 4.8 percent over 2013 but is part of a 4.5 percent decline in year-to-date Volt sales for 2014 compared to last year. The last time the Volt outsold the Leaf was October 2013. Chevrolet did sell over 3,000 Volts once, when it moved 3,351 in August 2013.

Let's take another look at those 3,117 Leafs sold last month. They represent a 45.8 percent increase over May 2013, when 2,138 Leaf EVs were sold, so someone is doing something right in Japan and Tennessee. So far, Leaf sales in the US are up 36.4 percent year-to-date, to 10,389 EVs. That's just under half of the 2013 total, and it was accomplished in five months. In 2013, Nissan sold a total of 22,610 Leafs. Anyone want to hazard a guess where the total will be at the end of the year?

As always, we'll have our detailed monthly sales write-up including other plug-in vehicles as well as hybrids and diesel car, up soon. For now, though, the big news is big Leaf sales. Read Nissan's press release below.
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Nissan Group reports May 2014 U.S. sales
May 2014 May 2013 % Change
Nissan Group Total sales (units) 135,934 114,457 +18.8
Nissan Division May sales 125,558 106,558 +17.8
Infiniti May sales* 10,376 7,899 +31.4

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Nissan Group today announced total U.S. sales for May 2014 of 135,934 units, an increase of 18.8 percent over the prior year and a May record.

Nissan highlights:

Nissan Division set a May record at 125,558 sales in the month, an increase of 17.8 percent. This marks a monthly record for Nissan division in 14 of the last 15 months.

May was the best-ever month for Nissan LEAF with 3,117 sales, an increase of 45.8 percent over the prior year. In May, LEAF passed 50,000 total U.S. sales since launch, further establishing it as the leader among electric vehicles.

Nissan Altima sales set a May record at 36,053, up 12.9 percent. Year-to-date, Altima has the largest sales increase of any car in the midsize category.

Nissan Sentra also set a May sales record at 21,932, breaking the previous mark set in 1984 when Sentra was Nissan's top-selling model. Sentra sales were up 75.4 percent for the month.

Sales of the Nissan Rogue crossover set a May record with 18,722, an increase of 8 percent.

Nissan Versa sales increased 30.5 percent to 11,243 in May, also a record for the month.

Juke crossover sales also set a May record at 3,825, an increase of 33.4 percent over the prior year.

*Infiniti sales total included for reference. For more information on Infiniti's May sales performance, please visit InfinitiNews.com.

NOTE: To ensure consistency in global sales reporting, Nissan North America calculates monthly variances on a straight-percentage basis, unadjusted for the number of selling days. May 2014 had 27 selling days, while May 2013 had 26 selling days.