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Despite Falling Gas Prices, Nissan LEAF Sales Continues To Set Records

Despite Falling Gas Prices, Nissan LEAF Sales Continues To Set Records

"Cheap gas will kill sales of hybrids and electrical vehicles conventional wisdom holds, but a closer look at the numbers through November shows a more complex picture."

States the Detroit Free Press.

The Detroit-based news outlet adds:

"Somewhat surprisingly, hybrids that still use gas, but don't need recharging, took the biggest hit. Through 2014's first 11 months, gas-electric hybrid sales fell 9% to 418,850, according to, slipping to 2.8% of the total U.S. light-vehicle market from 3.2% a year earlier."

"Plug-in hybrids and pure battery-driven models actually had a strong year. Sales of plug-in hybrids jumped 17% to 51,490 and sales of battery electrics rose 31% to 55,906, of which the Nissan Leaf accounted for nearly half (27,098). Leaf sales were not only up 35% for the first 11 months, they were up 34% in November when gas prices were well into their decline."

How can it be that sales of plug-in electric cars are still rising despite falling gas prices?  The answer, quite simply, is that saving money on fuel is not the leading factor that drives plug-in electric car sales.  Most plug-in electric car buyers are hoping to break free from gas...forever.  In this case, the cost of gas has no impact then.

The Detroit Free Press states:

"While Volt sales have tumbled 16% from 2013, Ford more than doubled sales of its Fusion Energi plug-in to 10,761. Toyota sold 14% more of its Prius plug-in (12,772 through November)."

Among the top sellers, aside from the Volt and the Model S, plug-in electric car sales in the U.S. were up almost across the board in 2014.  The vehicles that seem to suffer most from declining gas prices are low electric range plug-in hybrids like the Prius Plug-In Hybrid and Ford Energi models, which indicates to us that when gas prices fall, the plug-in models that offer the smallest of benefits over conventional vehicles become economically difficult to justify.

Pure electric cars sales are not impacted by short-term gas price drops.  At least that's what our sales figures show.

Source: Detroit Free Press

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