Sales of electric vehicles got off to a slow start in January

Early-year electric vehicles are often hurt because some owners rush to buy them in December to take advantage of tax credits of up to $7,500 before the tax year expires. But poor weather and lower gas prices also were factors.

General Motors Co. said sales of its plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt fell 19.5 percent in January to 918, down from 1,140 in the same month last year. In January, GM also sold 41 Cadillac ELR vehicles, its upscale plug-in hybrid.

Ford Motor Co. said sales of its plug-in C-Max were down 48 percent to 1,418, while Toyota Motor Corp. said sales of its plug-in Prius fell 8.1 percent to 803. Nissan Motor Co. said sales of its all-electric Leaf nearly doubled in January to 1,252, up 93 percent over the 650 sold in January 2013.