While many people have written off the Nissan Leaf as yesterday's darling of the EV market, with General Motors and its Chevrolet Volt grabbing many of the headlines, perhaps many so-called experts were too quick to write off the raider from the Far East. July figures show that there were 1,864 Nissan Leaf sales in July against 1,788 Chevrolet Volt sales.
Interestingly, while sales of the Chevrolet Volt fell by 3% compared to the same period last year, sales of the Nissan Leaf increased by 372% compared to the same period last year. So what does this mean?
Further sales data
The Nissan Leaf has also outsold the Chevrolet Volt in the first seven months of 2013 compared to the same period in 2012, registering an impressive 11,703 sales against 11,643 for its counterpart. The increase over the relevant period in 2012 was an impressive 230% for the Nissan Leaf and just 9% for the Chevrolet Volt.
There is no doubt that new entries to the marketplace are grabbing the attention of EV enthusiast but there is also no doubt that old favourites such as the Nissan Leaf (the new Nissan the 2013 was recently launched) are beginning to make themselves stalwarts of the industry. This is interesting, the fact that we are now starting to see a core element of the industry going forward, as well as impressive sales competition in the short to medium term.
Is competition the key?
While many people had not expected price competition, and indeed sales competition in the EV market for some time, we recently saw the likes of Nissan and Chevrolet reduce the price of their vehicles with some other companies now looking towards the leasing route as a way into the marketplace. While there has been speculation that some EV manufacturers are now trading at a loss on their EV portfolios, it seems they are more than willing to take a short-term loss to give themselves a long-term credible position in the marketplace.
Quote from ElectricForum.com : "Using the Nissan Leaf as an example; what is the current estimation for how long its batteries will last and how much will it cost to replace them? I know such estimates are approximate considering how quickly advances are being made in this area."
It will be interesting to see how the likes of Tesla react to the new kids on the block and indeed with the likes of BMW, Audi and other well-known companies also making a play for the EV market, perhaps we are now reaching a new point in competition. The concept of electric vehicles is certainly changing in the minds of consumers and while many do not expect EVs to challenge traditional powered vehicles on an initial purchase price comparison until 2017, perhaps this could come sooner?
Big names and big rewards
When you bear in mind the big names now operating in the EV industry, it seems that we can expect more competition, more investment and more price reductions in the short to medium term. We would only whisper this at the moment but it does seem as though EV companies have finally cracked the minds of traditional motorists who are now more likely than ever to consider an EV as their first vehicle. Momentum in the EV market just seems to get better and better and better!