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Tesla Model S outselling Chevrolet Volt & Nissan LEAF

Sat, 27 Apr 2013 00:00:00 -0700

Tesla never managed to make any money out of their electric Lotus – the Tesla Roadster – but it does look like they’re on to a winner with their electric  executive saloon, the Tesla Model S.

Despite moans that the headline-grabbing sub-$50k Model S was never a reality – and a starting point of $70k – the Model S looks set to outsell the two most successful ‘alternatively fuelled’ cars – the electric Nissan LEAF and the range extender Chevrolet Volt – in the first quarter of 2013.

Sales of the electric Nissan LEAF, which costs from $29k in the US, in the first quarter of 2013 were 3,965 units and the Chevrolet Volt, which costs from $40k, sold 4,421 units. But Tesla look set to announce the Model S managed to sell an impressive 4,750 in the same period, according to the Detroit News.

Bot the LEAF and the Volt sold far more round the world than Tesla (Tesla is only selling the Model S in the US at the moment), with around 30,000 of each sold in 2012, but tesla reckon they’re going to shift 20,000 Model S in 2013 – mainly in North America – so they’re not far behind even on a worldwide reckoning.

It’s an impressive performance from a start-up and one in the eye for Tesla’s detractors, but it does tend to prove what we’ve been saying for a long time: Electric cars are not a mainstream replacement for the ICE car, they’re good only as a toy for the better off, a city commuter car or a local delivery vehicle.

True, the Model S isn’t really a toy, but it’s not exactly a mainstream car either, with just its batteries costing more than an average car. But Elon Musk does seem to have found a real sales niche for the Model S, although how much tax breaks for company car drivers of EVs is are responsible for driving sales, we’re not sure.

By Cars UK