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PHOTO CAPTION: 2013 Nissan LEAF; line has sold more vehicles in early launch years than competitors.

Which EV Had Best Marketing Launch

Nino Marchetti considers the marketing and sales track records to date for the Toyota Prius, Nissan LEAF and Chevrolet Volt, concluding that based on the numbers, the LEAF had the best launch.

Published: 18-Feb-2013

What is the best selling electric car of all time? It depends upon who you ask. If you consider electric vehicles to include anything with an electric motor, such as hybrids, than the Toyota Prius smokes all others just based upon its history, though when you breakdown the math of early years of green car sales by model, a different picture looks to be painted. If you go however by the pure definition of an EV though, which is to say a vehicle propelled forward only by an electric engine not supported by any time of under the hood gasoline devices, than that title continues to go to Nissan and its Leaf.

Nissan said it recently celebrated a milestone in its continued dominance in the smaller electric car market, having passed 50,000 units sold since December 2010 when the vehicle debuted. By comparison, the Prius, as of November 2012, had cumulative global sales of over 2.8 million since its introduction in December 1997.

Comparing the two by yearly sales volume of early years on the market makes things a little interesting. Given the shorter history of the Leaf versus the Prius, one finds the latter in the same period of time – a little over two years, to be exact – actually selling less then the former, with estimated sales numbers from 1997 to early 2000 for Toyota’s hybrid hitting around 33,000 units or so.

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