The first models that come to mind for mass-market plug-in vehicles are probably the Chevrolet Volt, Nissan Leaf, and more lately, the Ford Fusion and C-Max Energi. But the best-selling plug-in vehicle for the first quarter of 2013 is expected to be our 2013 Automobile of the Year, the Tesla Model S. Bloomberg reports that the company will reveal the sales results as part of their official sales and financial report to be released on May 8.
Tesla is expected to report 4750 deliveries of the Model S when it releases first-quarter sales and financial results. The Volt sold 4421 units and the leaf sold 3695 units in the same period. This accomplishment follows the company's earlier announcement of a new fleet of loaner vehicles and a "no-fault" battery warranty, as well as the expectation it will post its first-ever quarterly profit.
General Motors spokesperson Jim Cain lauded Tesla's apparent victory, saying, "Any success for a company in this space is helpful for all other makers of plug-in vehicles."
Although the Model S has taken the lead for this quarter, both the Volt and the Leaf have been on-sale longer than the Model S, and have more affordable starting prices than the premium Model S, which can crest six figures in top-of-the-line trim. Despite Tesla's apparent successes, many auto industry analysts remain skeptical of the company's long-term viability.