The Prius was mocked by more than a few when it came to America with predictions that it would be a sales flop because Americans love big cars and because the car cost too much and because the savings at the pump were too little to justify the additional expense. The mockers look foolish now. Gas in those days hovered around or below $2 and the thought of $3 gas seemed silly.
Today the Prius is a huge commercial success with a bright future, while the Hummer that was developed at the same time is history. Will either the Leaf or Volt or perhaps both be the next Prius or be a passing fancy, nothing more than a fad, more Hummer than Prius commercially?
Sales for the Leaf were 3,875 cars and for the Volt were 2,745 vehicles in the first 6 months of 2011. Both cars were on sale in limited parts of the country and were snapped up by consumers as soon as they hit showrooms. A GM spokesman states that only 100 Volts are in inventory and production is ramping up.
Both cars have hit the market when gas pushed by $4 so Nissan and GM get a top grade for market timing. The Leaf and Volt are expected to be on sale throughout the country in 2012.
Next year will be a big one for the Leaf and Volt, and competition for the electric car dollar will heat up as other automakers are bringing more electric cars to consumers.