Chevy Volt top-selling plug-in vehicle for 2012

Plug-in electrified vehicles finished up in a nascent market, with the Chevrolet Volt leading a top three-list including also the Prius plug-in hybrid and all-electric Nissan Leaf.

November’s Volt sales lull of 1,519 units was a cause of concern for Volt fans, but the car was back over 2,000 sales again for December with 2,633 units sold.

Year-to-date, this makes the Volt the top-selling plug-in electrified vehicle with 23,461 units delivered.

Next in line was the Prius Plug-in which sold 1,361 units in December, and 12,750 for the year despite a staged roll-out beginning in March – thus not a complete selling year.

And, the third place plug-in car for 2012 – among manufacturers that provide monthly sales figures – was the Nissan Leaf with a respectable 1,489 units for December, and 9,819 for calendar year 2012.

Nissan has previously said it would try for 20,000 Leafs sold within this fiscal year ending in March 2013, but its executives have also conceded its CY2012 sales have been less than hoped for, and the goal does look extremely optimistic.

Another car which may have reason for actual optimism is Ford’s recently launched C-MAX Energi which sold 971 units in December, and 2,374 for the calendar year.

Alan Baum, a consultant who puts figures together for the HybridCars.com monthly sales Dashboard also estimates the Tesla Model S sold somewhere in the vicinity of 900, and perhaps 2,400 for the year. These are not set figures however, as Tesla does not actually report numbers regularly, as is the case also for Coda and Fisker.

As for the Volt, its sales for the calendar year did not match early on predictions of 45,000 by GM – now long since retracted – but it did more than triple 2011 sales of 7,671 units.

True also is 2011 Volt sales were limited by a staged roll-out in ts first sales year last year, some regional supply shortages, and the controversy over the car’s battery beginning in November 2011.

For the past five months, the Volt has set a pattern of selling between 2,000 and almost 3,000 units per month, with the lone exception of November.

With the plug-in market as a whole up by nearly 200 percent due to increased units of some existing cars as well as addition of new cars, 2014 promises to be a year to watch also.

NOTE: We will publish the monthly sales Dashboard soon, pending resolution of minor tech issues.