Chevy Volt Vehicles Outsell All Plug-In Cars in the U.S, and Here is Why


Chevy Volt sales may be seem slow, but they still outsold the rest of the plug-in cars on the U.S market in 2012. In 2012, they accounted for 45% of all plug-in electric car sales in the United States, at 23,461 units, and when you account for the Volt’s European cousin, the Opel Ampera, the picture looks even rosier.

The ChevyVolt is sold worldwide, however, most of them are sold in the United States. Outside of the U.S.A, far fewer Volts have been sold.  People in countries in which the Volt is not sold will travel often have to the U.S, buy them, and literally ship them to their country themselves. That said, the Volt is for sale in Canada from many Chevy dealerships.

Outside of the U.S, worldwide, only 1,336 were sold, 1,225 of which were sold in Canada. In China and Europe combined, only 111 Volts were sold.

But the Chevy Volt also sold as the Opel and Vauxhall Ampera, so there are three brands selling the same car. Opel is German, and the Vauxhall version is right hand drive for the U.K. GM sold 5,293 Ampera vehicles in 2012. This is still only a quarter of the Chevy Volt sales in the U.S, but still 48 times more than the 111 Volt sales in China and Europe.

Combined, worldwide sales of the Volt and Ampera were 30,090 which, while still short of GM’s 40,000 unit goal, is surprisingly strong given the endless criticism of GM’s plug-in hybrid. Based on the pattern of Volt sales in 2012, there is likely to be a substantial increase this year, and another in the future as a price drop is expected.

Source: Green Car Reports


About the Author

loves attending and writing about/photographing events, and he writes on CleanTechnica, Gas2, Kleef&Co, and Green Building Elements. He has a keen interest in physics-intensive topics such as electricity generation, automobiles, refrigeration and air conditioning technology, energy storage, and geography.
  • Markw

    You have a typo in the first line …slow. You should also mention that the max production capacity(60,000) is often use by volt critics as a sales target. It is not and never has been. This is a classic straw man attack.

  • Oollyoumn

    Maybe math changed since I was in engineering school, but when did 45% become more than all others combined? As plug-ins go, the Volt has been the most successful so far, but that is likely to change, and it is currently falling fast. Just looking at the market share for December, it’s well under 40%. Ford has yet to get the plug-in Fusion to sale, and from what I’ve read on days supply, Ford’s hybrids have some of the shortest supply for cars in the country. It’s possible Ford plug-ins will sell is much larger numbers once capacity ramps up. The Plug-in Accord had not yet gone on sale either. The 2013 Leaf, with much lower pricing has not hit the market yet either. I suspect that for 2013 the Volt’s market share will fall below 30%, maybe below 25%, and eventually be at or below GM’s combined market share. GM does quite well with no competition, but otherwise they struggle.

    • T Adkins

      your math isn’t wrong but they did not say they outsold all other plug-ins combined.

      “….they still outsold the rest of the plug-in cars on the U.S market in 2012…. In 2012, they accounted for 45% of all plug-in electric car sales in the United States….”

      Just 2 separate statements.

      persoally I don’t hold a lot of hope for the Accord but want to see how Ford and the Leaf do

    • Christopher DeMorro

      @ Oollyoumn

      Correct me if I am wrong, but nowhere in this article does it say the Volt outsold all other plug-in cards combined. If you account for the Ampera sales as well, then that is a true statement, but the article does not explicitly state this. Instead it says the Volt outsold all other plug-in cars on the market, again, a true statement.

      • JakeY

        You can’t account for Ampera sales and then ignore international sales for other plug-ins (for example the 2012 Leaf sells better in Japan than it does in the US).

        • Christopher DeMorro

          @ JakeY

          True, but Nissan has yet to release international sales, and if U.S. sales are any indicator, they are nothing to write home about.

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  • Larry

    All I can say is that nobody will do a plug in as good as the volt concept wise (Mostly always electric with motor charging batteries and so running under electric most all the time. I want one but will wait until the price goes down.