In Maine, Chevy Volt Outselling Nissan LEAF By More Than 2 to 1

3 years ago by Eric Loveday 46

Chevy Volt

Chevy Volt

Nissan LEAF

Nissan LEAF

“In June, there were 103 Chevy Volts and 46 Nissan LEAFs registered in Maine, according to state motor vehicle registration records.”

That’s per the Portland Herald Press.

As the statistics show, since launch, the Chevy Volt has outsold the Nissan LEAF by more than 2 to 1 in Maine.

The top three selling plug-in vehicles to date in Maine are the Volt, Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid and Nissan LEAF.

Unfortunately, obtaining accurate sales figures is difficult due to this:

“The records do not indicate how many other plug-ins are on Maine roads because records do not differentiate when a car model has an electric version, a gasoline version or a hybrid version.”

So, for the Prius Plug-In (as well as other plug-ins), exact figures can’t be obtained.

We did however discover that “there were 300 plug-in electric cars in Maine as of last September, 40 percent of which were in the Greater Portland area.”

And that concludes this round of what’s become tradition now at InsideEVs: presenting obscure plug-in sales data.

Source: Portland Press Herald

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46 responses to "In Maine, Chevy Volt Outselling Nissan LEAF By More Than 2 to 1"

  1. Spec9 says:

    I think this will be be common in colder places. A gas engine provides a nice stand-by, it provides heat, no worries on reduced range.

    Pure EV companies need to develop better thermal management. When a pure EV is plugged-in while in cold temps, a thermal management system should keep the battery warm. This will ensure the car gets good range with the warmed battery. Grid electricity is cheap so you can use it to keep the batteries warm.

    1. bukweet says:


      When the lease on my Fit EV expires, I will be getting a second generation Volt.

      In the middle of winter in Rhode Island, my Fit loses more than half of its range… and that’s without heat!

      1. DaveMart says:

        I don’t know what the heck they did to get such poor cold weather range in the Fit EV.

        The Toshiba lithium titanate SCiB batteries they use were ‘supposed’ to have excellent performance down to -30C.

        Not much sign of that!

      2. ClarksonCote says:

        I have a co-worker that has experienced the same. I think some of the issue must be due to drooping pack voltage in the cold weather related to the chemistry the Fit EV chose.

        Agree that, at least in the Fit’s case, thermal management would likely go a long way towards fixing the issue.

        1. Djoni says:

          True, mileage decrease with cold weather, but the Leaf has now a heat pump which is reducing this effect a lot.
          But there still a lot that can be done, like heating the battery at the right temperature or higher and use it as a heat storage system.
          I’ll be use by the heat pump and recycle in the cabin up to the optimal running temperature of the battery pack.
          Since most of the degradation is cause by a cold battery that can not recover much energy from regen.
          It’s in fact one of the main reason for decresing milage, and one that is foget to often.
          All of us who drive in the cold know that there aint no regen until the battery get heated a bit(lot) wichh take forever in very cold use.
          Of course electric heater are not great for efficiency.

          1. ClarksonCote says:

            I was actually referring to the Fit EV. I agree that the Leaf’s new system should help with some of the cold weather range decrease.

  2. ggpa says:

    Agree with Spec9 on cold ….

    In addition, in sparsely populated places, trips tend to be longer.

    So we can expect the Leaf/Volt ratio in Maine to be more like Canada than California

    1. TomArt says:


  3. EV says:

    Volt looks so damn good… from the front

    1. Assaf says:

      I actually like its backside better. Individual tastes…

  4. David says:

    Ironic… you need ICE for heat.

    1. Mikael says:

      ICE’s are better on producing heat than propulsion, the other way around for EV’s.

      But there are other ways to do it, you don’t have to have an engine for that. An ethanol burner or something like that will work fine to give heat needed so that the battery can be used only for propulsion and get almost the same range in winter (snow, winter tires etc. will shorten the range anyway…just like it does of ICE’s too).

      1. Spec9 says:

        Yep. An ICE creates massive amounts of waste heat. That is very nice to have when you are in a cold climate. But when it is not cold, it is quite annoying since you need a complex cooling system that requires maintenance and eventually leaks.

  5. Ocean Railroader says:

    The farther North you go the less chances of running into a charging station go up. Along with that the colder temps drain range a lot faster.

    Personally I would be happy if Chevy was selling 5000 volts a month in Canada and the states north of New Jersey and Nissan was 5000 leafs a month south of New Jersey.

    1. Spec9 says:

      But you’ll eventually run into engine block heater outlets. You can charge off those. 😉

  6. Brian says:

    Yeah, this doesn’t surprise me either. Maine is a cold, rural state. Even Portland is more of a large town than a city. Did anyone think that the Leaf would do well there?

    1. Murrysville EV says:

      Has everyone forgotten how well the Leaf is selling in Norway?

      1. Brian says:

        Have you forgotten the insane incentives Norway has placed on EVs? Maine has nothing more than the federal tax credit.

  7. Big Solar says:

    I still think BEVs should have an option for a small gas one cylinder engine to run heat and serve (maybe) as a emergency generator. Mostly for heat in colder states though…..

    1. DaveMart says:

      Volvo (?) were putting small kerosene heaters in their electric cars at one time.
      Good idea in cold climates.

      1. Spec9 says:

        Yeah, I really think some pure EV makers would be wise to provide a liquid fuel heating system as an option for some colder climates. This will efficiently heat the car without wasting valuable battery energy. And they should have a good thermal management system that keeps batteries warm when it is plugged in.

        1. ModernMarvelFan says:

          The BEV purist will never allow a “fuel tank” on board their BEVs…

          1. kdawg says:

            Maybe they can use hydrogen to heat the car?

            LOL 🙂

            (i kid.. i kid)

    2. pjwood says:

      There’s a company trying this, with two cylinders 😉 , but they didn’t route a coolant line through the cabin. Instead, its either electric heat, or worse, an engine firing to charge a battery, for electric heat. Better than being stranded in a warm cabin, at 65-70 miles.

      With the Volt, a small fraction of a gallon warms the cabin about as soon as the engine’s thermostat opens.

      1. ClarksonCote says:

        Did you mean with 4 cylinders?

        1. Brian says:

          I’m pretty sure he was talking about the i3, and so he meant 2.

          1. ClarksonCote says:

            Ah. Was thrown by the last comment referring to the Volt.

      2. Spec9 says:

        That is a bit odd. But since they make a pure electric model, they had to have an electric heater system so I guess they didn’t want to design an ICE heater system just for the people that get the REx.

  8. Texasimev says:

    I have Mitsubishi iMiev and live in Dallas Texas
    normal 70-80 degrees range is 60 miles, cold weather (less than 40 degrees)range is 30 miles with heater

    the heater is poor, if we get ice on the windshield forget it, your not going anywhere as the defroster will never get enough heat to melt more than a tiny area
    even without ice the car is COLD

    If the heat is this bad in all EV cars, I don’t know how anyone in a really cold area could use a battery only car

    I like the idea of a Volt more and more, if the gas engine actually runs the heater as well, that’s a big plus to me

    When lease is up, Volt is top of list for next car

    I wish they would increase Volt battery only range as I have several days I go beyond 35-40 miles, many days I travel 30-35 miles charge for a bit and go another 25-30 miles. I’d go even farther if charging was faster and more available.

    I was told the Volt battery has more capacity than 35 miles, but the engineers have dialed it down in favor of reliability

    1. Brian says:

      The Volt actually has a larger battery than the iMiev (17kWh versus 16), yet it gets less range because the engineers were conservative, and very gentle on the battery.

      Here in upstate NY, my Leaf’s range is about half in the cold weather (less than 20 degrees I get about 35-40 miles) than in warm weather (70-80 degrees I get about 70-80 miles). Between 32-40 degrees, I get about 2/3 the warm-weather range (about 50 miles). But I have an older Leaf with a poor heater as well. The newer Leafs have a heat pump which should give you much closer to full range at 32-40 degrees.

      Don’t get me wrong, the Volt is a great car and I strongly recommend you look at it. But don’t count out the Leaf either.

      1. Texasimev says:

        I will look at Leaf as well but Volt engine solves my range issue. My job requires air travel on regular basis. iMiev doesn’t have the round trip range on a charge for DFW airport. There is only one charger in the parking areas and it is in the valet $$$ parking. I’m told some of the off site parking folks my add chargers and have your car charged when you return. IF so they will get my business.

        Love Field in Dallas is much better. The iMeiv can round trip on a charge. The parking there is great, they have an electric avenue right as you enter the parking garage. Twelve 220 v chargers in electric reserved spaces (with towing enforcement). The Volt/ Leaf ratio is about even. I’m the lone Mits at Love Field.

        In my neighborhood there are 2 Leaf, and 2 Telsa. In talking to Leaf owners their range/temperature/hvac experience is similar to mine. They do seem to get a handful more miles than I do. Leaf has a much nicer interior. iMiev has a cheap feel, reminds me of old VW beetle.

        Higher temps 90+ also reduce range. At 95 I lose about 10% to 15% before using the ac.
        Toss in the AC and I’m back to 40ish range.

        1. Brian says:

          Agreed, the Volt’s engine will eliminate any concern about range. That’s the whole reason it is there.

          My point was more that if the summer range of the iMiev works for you, than the winter range of the 2015 Leaf should also work.

          Out of curiosity, of the 2 Leaf owners you spoke with, do either of them have one with a heat pump? That would be the 2013-2015 Leaf SV or SL. The Leaf S and all 2011-2012 models have a much less efficient resistance heater.

          I have a friend who has the 2013 Leaf and lives in Oswego county (very cold and snowy in the winter). He regularly gets 50 miles in the depths of winter. He easily gets 60 miles when it is above freezing (which is your iMiev’s range in ideal temps).

        2. Djoni says:

          Strange that!
          I don’t experience a significant drop in milage with the A/C with a Leaf, in fact it is so little that I never hesitade to use it.
          True fact is here in Québec we don’t need intense cooling, but still irrelevant as distance goes.
          Worse case scenario, might cut 10 or 15 km on a run, wich is not constraining, and certainly not as much as heating in -30c°.
          At those temperature, only very short distance of less than 65 km that can be safely covered.

    2. Mike says:

      Chevy builds a hybrid to last 20 years, just like their ICE.

      1. Brian says:


        Chevy USED TO build ICEVs to last 20 years. The past few decades, I don’t know of many Chevy’s that are older than 10 years.

        That said, the Volt is definitely an exception, and built to last.

        1. kdawg says:

          There’s 20 year old Chevys along with many other GM & Ford cars driving around where I live. Also, I love seeing Pontiac Azteks that still look like they are brand new. They are like the Deloreans of the 2001.

          1. Brian says:

            That’s odd. Maybe it’s a cultural thing – that people around here aren’t as attached to American cars? It would make sense that the American car culture would be strong in Michigan.

            At the same time, everyone I know that has had a GM car built in the 90s has had it fall apart in 10-12 years. It’s not that they sold the car, it’s that they had to scrap it because it was worthless.

            Ford is another story. They seem to be able to build cars that last.

            1. ClarksonCote says:

              You don’t know many people then. 😉 I’ve heard the opposite. I know at least one person with over 300,000 miles on their 15 year old Chevy.

  9. Kyle Cuzzort says:

    I’m an Alaskan and one reason I chose the Leaf was because I did not want the gas engine to have to kick on to provide heat. Sure, my range drops – but I also made sure I was buying a vehicle that could still cover my commute!

    1. Spec9 says:

      Wow . . . was it hard to get in Alaska? I can’t imagine that the dealerships have them in stock. Did you have to special order? How is it doing in the winter?

  10. Missed the bigger story … “there were 300 plug-in electric cars in Maine as of last September” (2013).

    This June 147 LEAFs and Volts sold! ie: Maine now buying as many PEVs every two months as were registered in the state 9 months ago!

    Who cares what the ratio is … Maine is buying PEVs in much larger numbers that ever before. 🙂

    1. ModernMarvelFan says:

      I like this comment. 🙂

  11. GeorgeS says:

    I’ve had my Volt for almost three years now and it is such a nice car.

    I think of all the EV’s out there it is the best bang for the buck.

    So much tech in the car and very versatile.

  12. Ellison says:

    Perhaps they need more quickchargers. 15-20 minutes for another eighty miles is much better than ever buying gasoline.

  13. Lou says:

    Driving an I-MiEV myself now for almost 2 years, and in the NE(PA), I have not seen quite the range reduction that TexasIMIEV has. I absolutely agree, though, with his basic point that there is a dramatic reduction in range in the cold weather, compounded by the heater drain. I do garage my car every night(although not heated or a/c’d), maybe that helps. The heater drain is such an issue with me that I am currently investigating low mileage used Volts to replace my “I”. Quite a few very clean, base 2012’s in the 20K mile range for about $20K are available. I would buy as opposed to lease, the battery will be quite good for many more years, I believe. Mitsu has to: increase the battery size, improve the heater(either by way of the hybrid heat pumps or a diesel or propane heater). I really enjoy driving my “I” but winter driving is no fun at all.Of course I know that there will be no further “I”‘s coming. I imagine that a smart engineer who could effectively and safely provide an improved heater could make a decent chunk of change. Right now, as much as I would like to get the slightly improved “I”, I am leaning towards purchasing a Volt.

    1. Texasimev says:

      My iMiev is parked outside, so in the winter the battery gets cold and in the summer is gets plenty hot. When I say hot average temp in July and August is 96f 36c and many days it will rise to 105f 40c. The heat, when it gets above 90f 32c, definitely reduces battery range. The hotter it gets the more the reduction. Though not as much as the cold. Using the AC drops 4 to 7 miles off the range estimator 5 seconds after you engage. Even the fan speed seems to make a small reduction in the range estimator. I also hit local freeways and tollroads. The one closest to my house has 70 mph limit. At that speed the battery drains extra fast.
      I stick to the slow lane and aim for 60-65 mph. Right round 60 mph seems to be the point when the needle moves from Eco to heavy drain. Driving the i has caused me to look for alternate routes with slower speeds. For example if I travel to dad’s place on the tollroad at 65-70 mph it takes almost half a charge and 20 minutes but on surface streets at 35-40mph the trip takes 30-35 minutes but only takes 4 or 5 miles off the estimator. So it’s time vs charge.

      The Leaf folks in the neighborhood have 2012 models and both are leased and looking to replace them in 2015. One said another Leaf was his first choice. The other isn’t sure.
      If Nissan would bring out the mini van they talk about they both would be very interested in that but with no $ or release date it hard to know when that might be an option.

      As for me. The i lease ends in Feb 2015. I asked Alley (the lease co) if they would extend the lease and they said absolutely not. But I could buy the car for $22K.

      Not a good deal. I can get a new 2014 i Miev for $24k less the $7500 fed credit and the Texas $2500 credit for a net of $14k.
      Almost cheap enough to consider buying a new one even with it short comings. If Mits would just beef up the battery, do something about the heater, and include a battery heating circuit for cold weather, I think the car would have a greater appeal.
      They did add a seat heater for the passenger and increase the 110 charger from 6 amps to 8 amp for slightly faster charging.
      The i has been selling in Europe for over 5-6 years so it is an old design.
      They even have a mini mini box van iMiev variant in Europe!

      What the Mits people tell me is an all electric Outlander with approx 105 mi range is coming to the US in 2015 in the $25k range. These are already being sold in the UK and this summer sales have begun to take off. One dealer reported going from selling 4 in 4 months to 21 and 24 in June and July.
      Again this may not be in time for me.

      So yesterday I went Volt shopping.
      You can get a nice Volt for $37700 less Chevy $1000 rebate, $7500 fed, and $2500 Texas for a net of $26700. Didn’t hit the Dealer any extra $ off sticker yet. Chevy also has 48 months at 0% interest. I can’t buy now but in Dec, to get $7500 for 2014 tax year, even without the $1000 rebate, this is very possible. It’s that or drive the Dodge pickup, nick named slurp, from Feb until about this time next year and wait to see what new choices become available in 2015 and 2016 models