The Volt walked softly last month, but it carried an increasingly “big stick” in the form of exceptional sales performance against not only plug-in vehicles, but against alternative energy vehicles of all types, including hybrid, diesel and natural gas.

As noted on the August sales Dashboard , if the Volt’s 2,831 units sold were compared against hybrid automobile and SUV numbers, it would have been beaten by only four other hybrids in North America.



The three Toyota Prii variants and Camry Hybrid did top it, with three of these beating it by around 1,000 units or less. Specifically, the Camry Hybrid sold, 3,840, beating Volt by 1,009 units sold; Prius c sold 3,428, beating Volt by 597 units; Prius v sold 3,325, beating Volt by 494 units.

The Volt, being a more or less $40,000-plus car, even though it is potentially subsidized, does cost more, and higher price usually hurts sales. So for the Volt to come so close to these cars priced for the most part in the 20s, that is not bad.


Top 10 (out of 39) hybrids.


The Volt even outsold Chevrolet’s much lower priced Malibu Hybrid, which delivered 2,414 units, although this car's sales are expected to rise in months ahead.

But comparing the Volt to hybrids is not even an apples-to-apples comparison.


All plugs-ins (note Tesla is estimated).


Stacking the Volt against cars in its own category – plug-in electric – it was no contest. The Volt was on its way to tripling the Prius PHV’s 1,047 sales, which was followed by the Leaf’s 685 sales. The rest of the plug-ins are not worth mentioning as competitors, selling under 40 units each (though we do not know whether Fisker (not listed) did better than sub-100, as it might have, but that company is keeping mum).


Top 10 diesels (out of 16).


And while we’re comparing the Volt against others in “green” car classes, the Volt was beaten by only one other “clean diesel” out of a list of 16 diesels That was the Jetta TDI, which outsold the Volt with 4,421 units. Next down on the diesel chart was the Passat with 2,563 units sold.

In sum, the Volt may still be pooh-poohed by critics, but its 2,831 sales placed it sixth overall out of 67 alternative energy cars and SUVs comprised of 39 hybrids, 11 plug-in cars (including Tesla, Coda and Fisker) 16 diesels, and one natural gas car (the Civic, 579 sold).

The numbers speak for themselves.