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50 years from now when all the smoke has cleared the Volt will be credited for establishing the beachhead for EVs during the early part of the 21st century. 2012 was the crucial year in deciding whether a market segment for vehicles operating (primarily) on electricity was going to endure or simply fade away as all attempts for creating a demand for EVs had failed up to then. After the early adopter period of 2011, Volt sales finally took off in the late spring of 2012 in contrast to LEAF sales which floundered - low to mid three figures per month. Had the Volt not existed, the LEAF would most likely been history at this point. And Tesla was far from being ready with the Model S then.

Tesla has to be given a lot of credit for what they have done with the Model S, but it was the rising demand for the Volt in 2012 that kept the door open for Tesla to sashay though with the Model S in 2013. Once Tesla got rolling, they will be credited for bringing in a top-down approach during the creation of the EV market segment, while GM with the Volt and soon the Spark and Cadillac ELR will be credited with doing the heavy lifting from the bottom on up.

The LEAF will be mentioned, but as it has been riding the wake of others for its survival, it will be more of a footnote.
 
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