February proved to be a better month for the Chevrolet Volt compared with January but sales were down substantially vs. February of 2013. In February, the Volt sold 1,210, compared to 918 in January and the 1,626 Volt’s sold in February of 2013, down 25%. In comparison, The Nisan Leaf sold 1,425 vehicles in February, more than doubling the February 2013 total of 653 units sold.
The most logical reason for the continued decline of the Volt vs. the Leaf is the price difference. Although GM reduced the price of the Volt in 2013, to $35,000 the car still remains more expensive than the Leaf which costs $29,000.. Both are eligible for a $7,500 federal tax credit.
The great advantage of the Volt is that there’s no range anxiety. When the battery is depleted, the car switches over to its range extending generator. The Leaf is solely electric, once the batteries are depleted, you have to push it home. However, due to the improving electric vehicle infrastructure, charging stations are becoming more readily available so range anxiety may soon become a thing of the past. Both are quality vehicles and excellent choices if one wishes to purchase an EV. So price differentiation may.be the only reason for sales moving in opposite directions.
On a side note, I recently test drove the new Cadillac ELR. It’s essentially a very upscale Volt. While the Car is beautiful and unique in appearance, GM simply can not justify the high price tag. I actually drove 2 ELRs, one cost $77,000 and the other $93,000. Unfortunately for GM, it just isn’t there. If you’re in the market for an electric vehicle, you would be far better off purchasing 2 Volts or 3 Leafs, than one ELR. This car will never sell enough units at that price to make it worthwhile which is unfortunate because it’s an impressive advancement in automotive engineering.