Which Will Sell More: Volt, Leaf, Or Plug-In Prius?

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Felix Kramer and his fleet: Nissan LEAF, Chevy Volt, Plug in Prius

Felix Kramer and his fleet: Nissan LEAF, Chevy Volt, Plug in Prius

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In the quest for efficient mobility, there are three major players currently battling for top spot.

The 2012 Nissan Leaf, 2012 Chevrolet Volt and 2012 Toyota Prius Plug-In all have one main aim--efficiency--but all go about reaching that aim in different ways, which also means that each has its own distinct advantages and disadvantages.

But in the long-term, which of the three is most likely to succeed? We're turning to you, our readers, and asking: which do you think will sell the most: Volt, Leaf, or plug-In prius... and why?

The Volt and Leaf have obviously had quite a head-start over the $32,760 plug-in Prius, having both been on sale for more than a year now.

Sales of each has been fluctuating over the past year, with the initial advanatage going to the $35,200 Leaf. In the first few months of both being on sale, Leaf sales soared above those of GM's hope, but more recently the $39,145 Volt has struck back.

Is this a sign that customers are still unsure of all-electric propulsion, and are happier taking the safe middle-ground of a range-extended vehicle? That being the case, the cheaper (and already fast-selling) plug-in Prius might be more of a success than either.

Toyota's safe approach of enhancing a car that already has a strong reputation--the regular Prius hybrid--could see it becoming a runaway success. The Prius is already a highly efficient car by the standards of most internal combustion vehicles, and giving it a few miles of useful electric power seems like an intelligent way of meeting the needs of most drivers. Initial sales have already begun to outpace the Volt and Leaf... but will it continue?

Drag race between Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf electric cars (The Fast Lane)

Drag race between Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf electric cars (The Fast Lane)

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Even running costs aren't so clear-cut. Back in April we looked at the relative cost per mile of the plug-in Prius and the Chevy Volt, and it showed that if you regularly drive between 16-65 miles, the Volt is cheaper to run, owing to its extra electric range. Below and above that, the Prius's lower MSRP and better economy swings the balance.

Of course, with rising gas prices, the all-electric, zero local emissions Leaf may be cheaper than either for some drivers...

One reader has already chosen their bed and bought the plug-in Prius, but all factors considered--cost, efficiency, looks, practicality, driving and emissions--which would you choose?


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