Nissan is celebrating LEAF sales milestone on National Plug-In Day

Nissan is celebrating LEAF sales milestone on National Plug-In DayOn this National Plug-In Day, sponsored by Nissan, the company is celebrating dropping a new milestone for sales in the Nissan LEAF electric car.
Since the LEAF was introduced in December of 2010, the company has sold more than 35,000 of the all-electric cars in the United States since it was first introduced. Since the launch of the 2013 model in Development, the company has seen sales jump 317 percent year-over-year. Aggressive market progression in key cities like Atlanta, St. Louis and Denver are helping drive this progression.
Erik Gottfried, Nissan’s director of EV Marketing and Sales Strategy, said: "From the ahead of schedule adopters to the most recent buyers, our owners consistently tell us that Nissan LEAF quickly becomes the car of choice in their household, and they spread the word in this area LEAF to their family and acquaintances. Nissan is sponsoring National Plug In Day to celebrate the growing presence of electric cars like Nissan LEAF and the role that our owners are playing in spurring the next around of EV buyers."
National Plug-In Day has also grown and this weekend will see 80 events in cities crosswise the country with thousands of public, both EV advocates and those who are unusual in this area electrics, attend parades, tailgating parties, ride-and-drives, live music and more. In our sneak preview of the Naitonal Plug-In Day event for Denver, Colorado, for example, there were seven electric vehicles on hand to drive, including cars from Ford, Tesla, Chevrolet and, of course, Nissan. Most events experience this weekend will include ride-and-drives where those interested in electric vehicles can kick the tires and take the car for a spin to see what the EV hype is all in this area.
National Plug In Day, organized by Plug In America, Sierra Club and the Electric Auto Association, is a nationwide celebration made to heighten awareness of and highlight the benefits of plug-in vehicles, such as Nissan LEAF. For more information on National Plug In Day, including information on local events, stay

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Record Numbers of Hybrids, Electric Cars Were Bought in March

Americans bought record numbers of hybrid and electric vehicles as gas prices climb and new models arrive in showrooms, giving the vehicles their greatest share yet of the U.S. car market.

Consumers bought a record 52,000 gas-electric hybrids and all-electric cars in March, up from 34,000 during the same month last year.

The two categories combined made up 3.64% of total U.S. sales, their highest ever monthly market share. The previous high was 3.56% in July 2009, when the Cash for Clunkers program encouraged people to trade in old gas guzzlers for more fuel-efficient cars.

And though their share of the market remains small, it's a big leap from the start of the year, when hybrids and electrics made up 2.38% of new car sales.

Buyers were drawn by new models like the Toyota Prius c subcompact, the Prius v wagon and Camry hybrid. Gas prices higher $4 per gallon added to the cars' allure.

Stronger sales of the Volt and the Nissan Leaf were a positive sign for makers of gas-electric and all-electric cars. The two vehicles have struggled to gain acceptance from buyers worried about how far they can drive on a battery charge.

Another suggestion: Volt maker General Motors had to change the car's charging system because its batteries caught fire after government crash tests.

GM sold only 7,671 Volts last year, below its goal of 10,000. But in March, it set a new monthly record of 2,289 for the Volt, an electric car with a small backup gas engine. All-electric Leaf sales nearly doubled to 579.

Gas prices drive sales. The nationwide average for a gallon of gas jumped 19 cents in March, from $3.73 to $3.92, and it crossed the $4 mark in California even earlier. The $4 mark was a significant psychological milestone for some buyers.

We expect hybrids and electrics to make up about 6% of U.S. sales this year, although sales could drop if gas prices fall or if buyers get more accustomed to higher prices.

Hybrid and electric sales also rose with high pump prices last spring, but fell after prices moderated and the Japanese earthquake disrupted Prius supplies.

We predicts hybrids and electrics will double or more their market share to 15% by 2017, in part because there will be more options on the market.

Last month, 35 hybrids and electrics were on sale, double the number from 2008.
sales  %tages Record Numbers of Hybrids, Electric Cars Were Bought in March
The proliferation of models will also bring down costs. Hybrids cost around $2,000 to $4,000 more than their gas counterparts, which can make them less interesting to buyers.

It can take 11 years' worth of gas savings to recoup the $4,595 premium on the Honda Civic hybrid, or 5.2 years to make back the $3,400 premium on the Toyota Camry hybrid.

The price difference between the Camry and Camry hybrid has fallen by $800 since the hybrid was introduced.

Toyota's Prius hybrid cars were the runaway best-sellers last month. They made up 57% of all hybrids and electrics sold.

The Prius c, an entry-level hybrid that is 19 inches shorter and $5,000 cheaper than the regular Prius, sold nearly 4,900 in March, its first month on the market.

Top 10 hybrid and electric cars sold in March: Continue reading

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