It’s been a rough summer so far for both the Chevy Volt and the Nissan Leaf, the first two plug-in vehicles from major automakers that ushered in the modern plug-in era. In June 2015, sales were down from their 2014 levels. The Leaf was down 11.6 percent and the Volt was down 31.1 percent. For July 2015, things didn’t get much better.
July 2015’s Volt sales of 1,313 were down 35 percent from July 2014 and are down 34.8 percent for the year-to-date. Nissan, on the other hand moved only 1,174 Leafs last month, down 61.1 percent. So far this year, Leaf sales are down 30.2 percent. What’s interesting with this steep decline in Leaf sales is that it allowed the Volt to outsell the Leaf for the first time since October 2013. Back then, the Volt sold 2,022 compared to the Leaf’s 2,002 units. So far, Nissan has sold 83,312 Leafs in the US since the EV went on sale in late 2010. Chevy has sold 80,292 Volts.
Even though Tesla doesn’t release monthly sales figures, there’s a good chance that the pricey Model S was once again the best-selling EV in the US in July, as it was in the first three months of 2015. At that time, Tesla delivered an average of just under 2,000 Model S EVs a month. We might get some insight into more recent numbers during the quarterly investor call on Wednesday.
As we’ve said before, the low sales for the aging plug-ins can be explained by the fact that both the Leaf and the Volt are due for upgrades. The second-gen Volt is coming in a few months.
Nissan is being cagey about when the updated Leaf will arrive, but given these latest sales figures, we wouldn’t be surprised at all if the undisclosed timetable gets moved up somehow.