Nissan Leaf Sales Slightly Down In April; Chevy Volt Sales Slightly Up

April saw a bit of a turnabout with Nissan Leaf sales dropping month over month while Chevy Volt sales went up but the Leaf is still holding its lead as America’s best-selling plug-in car since launch.

Last month Nissan reported 1,553 Leafs sold compared to 1,817 in March and Chevrolet delivered 905, a comparable numerical swing in the upward direction next to 639 in March.

Last month the Leaf assumed the lead after many months of catching up to Volt’s sales lead, and their cumulative sales tally since respective December 2010 launches puts the Leaf presently still head at 77,960 sales versus the Volt at 76,136 – if it really matters at this point.

It was a tradition from the start to track these two, but as gen-two Volt prepares for launch September or October and Leaf holds the fort until late 2016 for 2017 we may see a trading places again. Beyond this the novelty calling for simplistic comparisons may wear off as the mainstream is slowly catching on to respective pros and cons.

Yesterday we reported the Idaho National Laboratory showed Volt drivers traveled 94-percent the range of Leaf drivers on electricity alone in one year meaning the original Volt “extended-range EV” is effective.

The 2016 Volt is due to increase daily range potential by 25-30 percent and buyers are waiting for that car which may prove to be the best gas saver on the road among mainstream-priced plug-in cars if current real-world driving trends hold out.

A Volt is basically an EV with its own charging station on board. If you run the battery dry it keeps going on gas, not so with a pure BEV. If a BEV’s range is “84 miles” that is not how far you can drive it unless you time it perfectly to a charger, but more likely you must maintain a cushion to get it to the charger.

A 50-mile Volt will go 50 miles. An 84-mile Leaf will go as far as you are comfortable up to that limit.

Of course when 200 mile BEVs begin showing up as soon as October 2016, a trading of places may yet again begin to happen in the favor of pure EVs.

But for now, as always, the automakers’ job is to move iron.

Last month both Chevrolet and Nissan were running promos to sell what they have on the lot at this point.

Chevrolet has increased rebates discounted the car’s monthly lease prices from $299 down to $249, while Nissan in April began offering its “No Charge to Charge” in two new markets in Indianapolis and Fresno, California.

No Charge to Charge is now in 15 U.S. markets including San Francisco, Sacramento, San Diego, Seattle, Portland, Nashville, Phoenix, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Houston, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, Chicago and Atlanta.

“By mid-2015, Nissan plans to offer the “No Charge to Charge” program at Leaf dealers in 10 additional U.S. markets,” Nissan said in a statement.

By mid-2015 Chevrolet plans to offer the 2016 Volt.