U.S. automaker General Motors chalked up a victory over its Asian counterparts last week in the U.S.' electric vehicle market, as its Chevy Volt outsold both the Toyota Prius Plug-in and the Nissan Leaf.
GM's rechargeable model sold 1,680 units in May, three times more than the same period last year, when it sold only 481 units. Meanwhile, Toyota sold 1,086 Prius Plug-ins, while Nissan's Leaf dropped 55 percent on last year, selling only 510 units.
According to Autonews, the Volt's sales rose after a production halt earlier this year, following a sales slowdown in the wake of reports of battery-pack fires after crash tests. Production picked up again in April, with the necessary safety modifications. Sales were also aided by changes that allowed the Volt to qualify for rebates, as well as new carpool lane access in California, the country's biggest EV market.
The Nissan Leaf has been struggling with availability issues, now that it is for sale in all 50 American states. Whereas some markets are well stocked, said Al Castignetti, vice president for North American sales, others have no units available. He predicted sales would hit at least 1,000 by July.
For the year to date, the Volt has sold 7,057 units, compared to 3,638 Prius Plug-ins and 2,513 Leafs. The Volt starts at $39,145, compared to the Prius plug-in ($32,000) and the Leaf ($35,200), before applicable tax credits.