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Nissan Leaf, Toyota Prius Plug-In Deals: Price Wars on Electric Cars |

Electric cars such as the Nissan Leaf and ToyotaPrius Plug-In began 2013 with a sales slump. In the months ahead, automakers hope to boost sales with increased production and cheaper prices.

A few weeks ago, Reuters noted that only 650 Nissan Leafs were purchased in the U.S. in January 2013, compared to around 1,500 sales per month in October, November, and December. Sales of the Toyota Prius Plug-In have also been muted in early 2013, with 874 purchases in January, down from 1,361 the month before.

February was another weak month for Leaf sales, with 653 purchases. Among the many factors cited as reasons for slowing plug-in sales, both Toyota and Nissan point out that it’s not entirely due to lack of demand but problems with supply. In other words, there simply haven’t been that many vehicles available for sale on dealership lots. That tends to hurt sales.

That issue should be remedied, at least by Nissan, which expects to ramp up production of the Leaf in its Tennessee plant in the near future. The plant hasn’t come close to reaching full production capacity yet. There’s also the simple issue of price: Nissan and Toyota know they’d sell more plug-ins if the initial prices were lower—on par or at least in the vicinity of similarly equipped gas-powered cars. That issue too is being remedied by the automakers.



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