This was the year General Motors Co. and Nissan made good on their promise to bring mass-produced electric cars to the market. But don’t count on seeing one in traffic soon.
Sales so far have been microscopic and they’re likely to stay that way for some time because of limited supplies. GM sold between 250 and 350 Chevy Volts this month and Nissan’s sales totaled less than 10 Leaf sedans in the past two weeks. Production for both is slowly ramping up.
It will be well into 2012 before both the Volt and Leaf are available nationwide. And if you’re interested in buying one, you’ll need to get behind the 50,000 people already on waiting lists.
It’s still unclear just how large the market for electric cars will be once those early adopters are supplied. The base sticker price is $40,280 for the Volt and $32,780 for the Leaf, much higher than most similar-sized, gas-powered cars. If those prices rise, it could make them even more of a niche product than predicted.
Buyers also are worried that advertised lease deals may not last, and a federal tax rebate of $7,500 could disappear if Congress decides battery-powered cars are no longer a priority.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)