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World 2012: Volt best-selling EV. But should Chevy rejoice?

2011 Chevrolet Volt Production Show CarChevrolet Volt

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Chevrolet has announced that the Volt has become the best-selling Electric Vehicle (EV) in the world in 2012 thanks to sales tripling to 30,090 units. For those of you for whom this comes as a surprise (I must admit I had to read the headline twice when I first saw it), it must be said that this ranking is for ‘pure’ electric vehicles, not hybrid ones, otherwise the Toyota Prius in all its forms would be all over it. The Volt is followed by the Prius Plug-in with 27,181 sales and the Nissan Leaf, leader in 2011, at 25,435 units.

But this doesn’t mean it’s all rosy for EVs. Even though worldwide sales of all-electric and plug-in vehicles more than doubled in 2012 to exceeded 100,000 units for the first time at 119,000 and are predicted to increase by a further 89% in 2013 to 225,000, this is only one-third of the demand automakers had previously expected. Last year’s Leaf sales are not even half of what Nissan had targeted even though it became the first car in its category to sell a cumulative 50,000 units last January.

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