EVs, plug-in hybrids sales slowing in January image

Electric vehicles and plug-in electric hybrids have had disappointing sales in January after poor 2012 sales.

Although GM said sales of its plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt rose 89 percent to 1,140 units compared to January 2012, it is still much lower than recent months. In December, GM sold 2,633 Volts. January 2013 is the worst month for the Volt since February 2012, when GM sold just 1,023 cars.

As for Nissan, the Japanese carmaker hasn’t released January 2013 sales figures yet for the Leaf EV but said the current 2012 model is approaching sold-out status as the carmaker prepares to introduce the upgraded 2013 model from February.

Last year Nissan sold about 10,000 Leafs, nearly half of which were sold in the final three months. “We now are almost out of MY ’12 Leafs. We won’t be able to meet that pace again until we can fill the channel with the new supply of ’13s from Tennessee,” Nissan was quoted as saying by the Detroit News.

Ford is offering significant discounts of more than $10,000 on leasing its slow-selling vehicle. The base price of the Focus EV has been dropped by $2,000 for cash sales and by up to $10,740 for three-year-sales. Ford sold just 685 Focus EVs in 2012, while it built 1,627 units, making it one of the poorest performers among EVs on the market.