This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
See Cramer's multi-million dollar portfolio for FREE and get his new book Get Rich Carefully! Learn More

Sales Accelerate for Electric Cars

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Last week was an eventful one in the world of electric cars. Let's begin with the March month sales numbers in the U.S.:

  • Nissan LEAF: 579
  • Toyota Prius plug-in: 891
  • Chevrolet Volt: 2,289
  • There are of course other electric cars selling in the U.S. from makers such as Fisker, Mitsubishi, BMW, Ford (F) and others, but in the month of February, those sales were relatively negligible.

    So the total for Nissan (NSANY), Toyota (TM) and Chevrolet (GM) was 3,759, or an annual sales rate of 45,108. In all of 2011, Chevrolet and Nissan combined sold a little over 17,000 in the U.S.

    Follow TheStreet on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.

    In the second half of 2012, we should expect the rate of electric car sales to increase. Ford is bringing the C-Max Energi, Tesla (TSLA) is bringing the Model S, and Toyota is bringing the RAV4 to market, just for starters.

    Volt production, which had been temporarily halted, will restart a week earlier than planned to meet growing demand.

    Chevrolet started production in February of the versions of the Volt sold in several international markets. Some of these sales are under labels of Opel, Vauxhall and Holden, and we do not yet have accurate numbers of their initial sales here in March. GM had previously alluded to 7,000 reservations in Europe alone, but who knows how firm these reservations are or were.

    What, you may ask, explains the Chevrolet Volt's sales leadership here in March? The primary reason is that Volts manufactured starting in February are eligible for single occupants in California's carpool lane. But, you may ask, so is the Toyota Prius plug-in, no? Yes, but here is the math showing why the Chevrolet is so much more attractive than the Toyota in this instance:

    A fully loaded Prius plug-in is $39,525 before tax adjustments. A Chevrolet Volt is $44,575. But the Volt will give you $5,000 more back on your taxes, thanks to a battery that is four times larger than in the Prius plug-in. So adjusted for taxes, these two cars cost essentially the same. However, the Prius gives you only six miles of all-electric range, compared to the Volt which gives you 35 miles. Six versus 35? Not a close call there, buddy.

    Yes, the Prius is slightly roomier than the Volt, but in all other aspects, the Volt is a more capable car, technically speaking. It gives you a vastly superior all-electric range, it is much faster (acceleration), and it generally drives a lot more like a European premium sports sedan than an eco-box. So that should explain why the Volt sold a lot more in March than the Prius plug-in.

    Stock quotes in this article: GM, NSANY, TM, TSLA 

    Select the service that is right for you!

    COMPARE ALL SERVICES
    Action Alerts PLUS
    Try it NOW

    Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

    Product Features:
    • $2.5+ million portfolio
    • Large-cap and dividend focus
    • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
    • Weekly roundups
    TheStreet Quant Ratings
    Try it NOW
    Only $49.95/yr

    Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

    Product Features:
    • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
    • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
    • A custom stock screener
    • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
    Stocks Under $10
    Try it NOW

    David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

    Product Features:
    • Model portfolio
    • Stocks trading below $10
    • Intraday trade alerts
    • Weekly roundups
    Dividend Stock Advisor
    Try it NOW

    Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

    Product Features:
    • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
    • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
    • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
    Real Money Pro
    Try it NOW

    All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

    Product Features:
    • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
    • Intraday commentary & news
    • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
    Options Profits
    Try it NOW

    Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

    Product Features:
    • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
    • Actionable options commentary & news
    • Real-time trading community
    • Options TV
    To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
    DOW 16,408.54 -16.31 -0.10%
    S&P 500 1,864.85 +2.54 0.14%
    NASDAQ 4,095.5160 +9.2910 0.23%

    Brokerage Partners

    Rates from Bankrate.com

    • Mortgage
    • Credit Cards
    • Auto
    Advertising Partners

    Free Newsletters from TheStreet

    My Subscriptions:

    After the Bell

    Before the Bell

    Booyah! Newsletter

    Midday Bell

    TheStreet Top 10 Stories

    Winners & Losers

    Register for Newsletters
    Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs