Chevy Volt sales drop in November, Nissan Leaf remains steady

Plug-in sales dropped slightly in November with Nissan Leaf's steady sales unable to make up for the drop in Chevy Volt sales, Voelcker writes. The Chevy Volt range-extended electric car, logged 1,519 sales.

Junji Kurokawa/AP/File
Nissan Motor Co.'s latest LEAF electric car is displayed for media in Tokyo, in this November 2012 file photo. Sales of the Nissan Leaf battery-electric car rose to 1,539 in November, almost matching last month's total of 1,579, Voelcker writes.

Sales of plug-in electric cars fell slightly in November, with continued steady sales of the Nissan Leaf not enough to make up for a decline in Chevy Volt numbers.

This month's total may not quite equal last month's plug-in sales of 6,784. The big unknown, however, is deliveries of the Tesla Model S--which Tesla won't discuss.

With just a month left in the year, up to 50,000 electric cars are likely to find buyers during 2012--almost triple the 2011 total of about 17,500.

This year's sales leader, the Chevy Volt range-extended electric car, logged 1,519 sales.

That brings the Volt's total so far this year to 20,828, though the November number is barely more than half the October total of 2,961--a number helped bynow-expired sales incentives.

"Volt sales were modest in November due to availability in most key markets including California, our largest market," said GM spokesperson Michele Malcho. 

"We had a really low daily stock for most of the month," she continued, "and expect to have more Volts available in December."

Sales of the Toyota Prius Plug-In, the second best-selling car with a plug, will be reported later today.

While it has the lowest electric range (6 miles continuous, 11 miles total) of any plug-in car on the market, the plug-in Prius clearly benefits from being part of the best-known family hybrids in the world.

Sales of the Nissan Leaf battery-electric car rose to 1,539, almost matching last month's total of 1,579, and more than double its November sales of 672 a year ago. November marks only the second time this year that more than 1,000 Leafs have found buyers.

That still leaves the Leaf in third place, however, with 8,330 sales so far this year. If the December sales keep pace, it will at least ensure that more Leafs are sold this year than last year's 9,674.

Also to be reported later today: sales of the Mitsubishi i-MiEV and Toyota RAV4 EV, along with leases of the Honda Fit EV.

Ford will break out the sales of its plug-in Energi models, along with the battery-powered FordFocus Electric, in a report due tomorrow.

Tesla Motors [NSDQ:TSLA] is still not reporting sales of its new Model S all-electric luxurysport sedan, though the Internet abounds in rumors about what that number may be.

Analysts suggest a likely number might be in the mid- to high hundreds, but the actual number won't be known until Tesla's quarterly report in early January.

Smaller makes Fisker, Coda, and Wheego also do not report monthly sales.

[Editor's note: The name of Nissan's alternative-energy vehicle was misspelled in the summary of the original version of this blog.]

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