April Sales of Electric Vehicles Fall Despite High Gas Prices in USA

About 3,500 electric vehicles were sold in April in the U.S., down from about 4,000 sold in March, the best-ever month for electric car sales.

General Motors Co. said it sold 1,462 Chevy Volts in April, up 200 percent from the 493 sold in April 2011, but down from the 2,289 sold in March 2012.

Nissan has sold 2,103 Leafs in the first four months of the year. That means Nissan needs to average more than 2,200 a month for the remainder of the year to hit the target. The Japanese automaker sold 9,679 Leafs in 2011.

Toyota Motor Corp. said it had its best-ever month for its Prius plug-in hybrid electric, nearly doubling sales in April to 1,654, up from 891 in March.

Mitsubishi sold 79 of its electric car MiEV in April, up from 56 in March. Ford Motor Co. sold no Focus Electrics for the third straight month.

Among those top three models, the sales total for April was 3,486 plug-ins–versus 3,759. If all three models stay on pace, that means that U.S. plug-in sales might go as high as 40,000 for the year, versus about 17,000 last year.

In the second tier of electric-car makers, April sales of the Mitsubishi i minicar were 79–the best monthly number yet, bringing the year’s total to 215 (plus another 80 late last year).

At the time this article was published, Ford had not responded to our query on April sales of its Focus Electric hatchback. The company sold 12 of the cars in December and January combined, but none in February or March.

As always, both Fisker Automotive and Coda Automotive declined to comment on sales of their plug-in vehicles.

We’ll be curious to see whether larger media press those companies on this issue, or whether the world simply stops paying attention.

As always, and we wrote several weeks ago, electric car sales will rise–but it will be slow.

Still, with more than 27,000 plug-ins now running on U.S. roads, the progress is steady and the demand–if low–is definitely there.