Cars are cool again – last month’s US auto sales were up 22% compared to June 2011. Inexplicably, the majority of sales are still old-fashioned gas burners, but plug-in vehicles are coming on strong. It’s becoming clear that buyers are favoring PHEVs over pure EVs.
June’s big winner is the Chevrolet Volt – it was the top-selling plug-in vehicle in the US in June, selling 1,760 units for the month. Volt sales reached 8,817 units for the first half of 2012, up from 2,745 units in the first half of 2011. It now appears that GM’s initial prediction of 10,000 units for 2011 was only a little premature, and should be handily surpassed this year.
The new Toyota Prius Plug-in roared out of the starting gate to take second place – no surprise considering the well-established Prius brand name. It sold 695 units, representing 3.6% of Prius family sales in June.
Nissan’s LEAF isn’t looking so good – the all-electric hatchback came in third for the month with 535 units sold, down 69% from the 1,708 units sold in June 2011. In the first half of the year, the LEAF sold 3,148 units, down 19% from the 3,875 units sold in June 2011.