Nissan LEAF and Chevy Volt sales – which the mainstream and EV press tend to use as the barometers of EV demand in the U.S. – rose in October with the monthly sales volume for the Volt hitting a record high of 2,961.
Nissan sold a much more respectable number of LEAFs than it did during the summer, pushing 1,579 off of dealer lots.
All told, GM has sold more than 30,000 Volts in the U.S. since Volt sales began a little less than two years ago while Nissan has sold about 15,000 LEAFs in about the same amount of time.
LEAF leap forward
The LEAF in particular had been slumping in the U.S. up to October. What explains the big LEAF leap forward?
Better leasing and sales deals are almost certainly a big reason behind the rise.
While the LEAF originally was leasing for nearly $400 per month with a hefty up-front lease payment of $2,999 when it was first introduced, media outlets are reporting that some Nissan dealers are offering LEAF lease rates of $219 per month.
Meanwhile, there have been reports of Volt leases of $199 per month and some dealers – including a local one we know of in Colorado – has been actively advertising a no-money down, 72 month/0 percent financing deal to buy a Volt.
EV fuel savings
When you add fuel savings to the picture, the $200 LEAF/Volt leases are a great deal, and they’re even better if you’re generating your own fuel via a home solar system
Here’s predicting that if Nissan and GM continue to offer generous lease/financing deals on their plug-ins, they’ll continue to sell in very respectable numbers, especially the Volt, which, because it doesn’t require buyers to cross the range anxiety threshold, is ultimately more attractive to most car buyers.
On the other hand, if Nissan and GM pull the current deals back, sales will certainly drop. Most Americans just aren’t ready or able to pay luxury car prices for a relatively new type of automotive technology.