Friday, March 4, 2011

Roger Pielke Jr.'s "Iron Law"...

...which states that people will not pay more for energy simply to de-carbonize the economy seems to apply to "green" automobiles.

Peruse Chevrolet's February sales release, and you'll notice one number that's blatantly missing: how many Chevy Volts were sold. The number – a very modest 281 – is available in the company's detailed data (PDF), but it apparently isn't something that GM wants to highlight. Keeping the number quiet is understandable, since it's lower than the 321 that Chevy sold in January.

Nissan doesn't have anything to brag about here, either (and it avoided any mention of the Leaf sales in its press release). Why? Well, back in January, the company sold 87 Leafs. In February? Just 67. Where does that leave us? Well, here's the big scorecard for all U.S. sales of these vehicles thus far:

  • Volt: 928
  • Leaf: 173

With crude oil rising above $104/bbl today, a 2.5 year high, it is possible sales will pick up. For now, these cars appear to have little appeal.

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