In the month of September, the Nissan Leaf outsold the Chevrolet Volt, 1,953 to 1,766. For the Leaf, it was a large increase over 2012 when it sold 984 units. The Volt however saw a large decrease in sales compared to 2012, when it sold 2,851 units. It must be noted that September of 2013 had fewer sales days than 2012 which included Labor Day. So it’s not exactly a true comparison. That being said, the Leaf, if not growing substantially in popularity, appears to be holding its own despite the range anxiety one need not have with the Volt due to its extended range. Year to date, the Chevy Volt has sold 16,760 vehicles compared to the Leaf, which has sold 16,076. Both vehicles have benefited from cuts in their prices, the Volt $5,000 and the Leaf, $6,400.
More importantly, both vehicles are proving to be extremely reliable. Both receive high marks from Consumer Reports for their reliability. I am in my 30th month of Volt ownership and other than having to change the oil one time, the car has been completely maintenance and trouble-free. For those who don’t enjoy gas stations or spending weekends working on their cars, the Volt and Leaf are the perfect vehicles. Get in and drive. That’s the extent of ownership.
In Canada, the EV is not catching on quickly as in the US, the Volt selling only 84 units compared to the Leaf’s 56 units. For the year, the Volt has sold 597 units making it the leading EV. It’s actually curious that in a city of over three million like Toronto, with a “green” agenda, EV’s have not been more successful. Perhaps the vehicles are not yet as readily available as they are in the US.
Note: Shares of Tesla Motors stock tumbled after the automobile website Jalopnik.com posted photos and a video it says were submitted by a reader, of a Tesla S engulfed in flames. Company spokeswoman Liz Jarvis-Shean said the fire Tuesday, “was caused by a large metallic object hitting one of the battery pack’s modules.” Two years ago, battery fires occurred in three Chevrolet Volts after crash-testing, but NHTSA investigators determined that the Volt was no more risky than vehicles with gasoline engines. The same determination will be made regarding the Tesla. Gasoline powered vehicles burn up all the time but those incidences are not reported because at this point it’s simply a risk, albeit a small one, of driving around in a vehicle with a flammable liquid.
Battery technology is in its infancy and there will be some bumps in the road along the way. However, investment in the technology not only makes sense but is clearly necessary as fossil fuels are a finite resource. If we are to advance in to the future, and remain at the forefront of the developed world, the time, money and fortitude necessary to develop this technology must be unwavering.