Chevy Volt is Country’s Best Selling Plug-in Hybrid Through Q1

Although the Chevy Volt has gone through a gauntlet of misunderstanding and detractors since it was launched in December 2010, the latest version finished March as the country’s best selling plug-in hybrid.

Now with the first quarter behind it, the Volt also leads 17 other PHEVs sold in the U.S. with a modest 5,563 sales.

The next down from it is the still-rolling-out Toyota Prius Prime. This Prius-Liftback-based car now gets 25 miles range which is less than the Volt’s 53, but its 54 mpg in hybrid mode is much better than the Volt’s rated 42 mpg.

To be sure also, the sales numbers in discussion are minor league, as PHEVs grow from their present 0.48 percent market share of the total U.S. market.

Prius Prime.

PHEVs to date have amounted to 19,293 units out of 4,013,949 passenger cars and trucks sold from January through March. That is otherwise known as a drop in the bucket, but it’s all going somewhere as carmakers slowly move toward plug-in cars – of the PHEV variety and battery electric variety as well.

Speaking of which, the BEVs are doing somewhat better than the PHEVs, with Tesla’s Model S leading the board of 13 models for sale in the U.S. with an estimated 3,100 sales.

To date, the BEV take rate is 0.53 percent amounting to 21,410.

These numbers hovering around 20,000 units for the year for PHEVs and BEVs are thus about one-quarter the number of the U.S. hybrid vehicle market, which through March has 82,939 units in the bag.

But, coming back to the Volt, it is doing OK for a legacy carmaker’s plug-in offering, and its 5,563 sales through March are not far behind Tesla’s 6,000 estimated for the Model S.

It’s also doing well for a car that politically motivated haters lined up to try and kill in the cradle, as just one of countless attacks demonstrates:

The Volt’s greatest asset is arguably its 53 miles range which lets a majority of owners stay off gas entirely meaning it is for all intents and purposes a pure EV when needed, and a hybrid when it has to be for longer drives.

Notable also is it can take full acceleration in EV mode, and does not need the gas engine to kick on as do “blended” PHEVs like the Toyota, and all the rest.

The Volt is so effective in fact, that it has actually outsold its new gee-whiz sibling, the Bolt EV which offers 238 miles range on a charge.

Bolt EV.

The Bolt sold 978 units in March, albeit it is still rolling out and not available in all markets. It has sold 3,092 units this year, and actually trails the on-its-way-out Nissan Leaf. The Leaf is rated 107 miles, but costs less, and they’re discounting them more too, so all told, it saw 1,478 sales in March, and has 3,287 for the year.

So, all this means the Volt is handily exceeding the Bolt so far but 2017 is still young, so we shall see how they and the others fare the rest of this year.


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