2012 Chevrolet VoltEnlarge Photo
At the start of each month we report sales figures on each electric car currently on sale in the U.S.
Over the last few years, the highest electric sales have been a two-horse race between the 2012 Nissan Leaf and 2012 Chevrolet Volt. And for several months now, the Volt has been leading.
That looks set to continue for August, with The Detroit News reporting that General Motors expects Volt sales of over 2,500 this month.
The figure will comfortably eclipse the model's previous best, when Chevy shifted 2,289 Volts back in March, and with 18,663 sold in total by the end of July, the Volt should finally break the 20,000 barrier in the U.S.
GM also expects 2012 Volt sales to outpace the total number of Prius sold by Toyota in the model's second year, 2001. Like the current crop of electric cars, Toyota's hybrid was initially a slow-burner, but over the past decade the Prius has rapidly become a fast-seller.
Chevy puts the Volt's increasing sales down to improved customer awareness. Demand is currently increasing in some of the Volt's key markets, such as California, Michigan, Illinois and Florida. One in three Volts sold are in California, where the model has also recently been granted carpool lane access.
The company has also built enough Volts to cope with demand while the factory is shut down for four weeks from mid September, for retooling. The Detroit Hamtramck plant which builds the Volt will also construct the new 2014 Chevrolet Impala.
Despite the increasing sales, GM has abandoned its 2012 sales forecast of 45,000 Volts, though internationally the model could hit 40,000 units this year--including its European equivalents, the Opel and Vauxhall Ampera.
The question is, what will it take for the Leaf to start out-selling its American rival?...