The Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt were the first two mass-produced modern electrified vehicles to hit the American market late last year. Although the two vehicles are quite different from one another, the Nissan Leaf is an all-electric model while the Volt is a range-extended electrified vehicle, the two are often compared to one another when it comes to monthly sales. The Volt took an early lead but after a great May, the Leaf has closed the gap.

In May 2011, consumers purchased 1,142 Nissan Leafs. This is nearly double the 573 Nissan Leafs sold in April 2011 and significantly more than the 298 units sold in March. Year-to-date sales of the Nissan Leaf sit at 2,167.

While sales of the Nissan Leaf have trended upwards over the past few months, Volt sales have continued to decline. In March 2011 General Motors sold 608 units. This number dropped to 493 in April and 481 Volts were sold last month. A total of 2,184 Chevy Volts have been sold this year. There is now only a 17-unit margin between year-to-date Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf sales.

Nissan Leaf sales got off to a slow start but have nearly doubled every month for the past few months in spite of the Japanese earthquake and subsequent tsunami that interrupted plant operations. Unfortunately for Chevy, Volt sales are going in the opposite direction. If these two trends continue then this 17-unit gap will be bridged this month and sales of the Nissan Leaf will begin to greatly outpace Volt sales.