If you’ve been following the growing electric car momentum, you probably know about all of the buzz that’s built up around the most anticipated electric vehicles of the year – the Nissan Leaf and the Chevy Volt. The Chevy Volt has already won the title of 2011 Green Car of the Year at the LA Auto Show and as a result, GM has announced significiant investments in the car in order to meet public demand. On the other hand, the Nissan Leaf has been named the 2011 European Car of the Year and has just been released in the US to massive pre-order figures and much excitement. Both of these cars appeal to the green driver in us, so the Inhabitat team decided to take a closer look at the two models in order to compare factors such as price, range and general convenience, and determine which is the better electric vehicle. If you’re in the market for a new non-gas-guzzler ride to save you money at the pump, hit the jump for our in-depth comparison to see which of the new EVs is best for you!

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Different EVs For Different Markets

One important distinction between the two cars is that they cater to two different markets – the Chevy Volt is very much a sporty commuter sedan, while the Nissan Leaf is the ideal ride for city driving. As such, the Nissan Leaf has an all-electric, emission-free range of 100 miles. Meanwhile the Chevy Volt has a somewhat limited 40 mile electric range, but makes up for that in spades with its gas powered generator, which adds a range of 300 miles to the car on longer journeys. The Volt is also aimed at the family market with the higher end price of $41,000 (roughly $33K after the federal tax rebate) while the Nissan Leaf is better for single communters with a cheaper price of $32,000 (roughly $25K after the federal tax rebate).

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While the Nissan Leaf has seen massive initial sales in Japan (and has increased annual production from 50,000 units to 250,000 to cater to demand), GM is aiming to invest heavily into the Volt in order to sell more than 10,000 units during the first year of it entering the market. As you probably know, the Nissan Leaf was just released this weekend in the US, and the Chevy Volt just started shipping to dealers this morning!

So based on budget and what you’re looking for in an electric car, which one would you go for? The Chevy Volt or the Nissan Leaf?

+ Chevy Volt Starts Shipping to Dealers + Inhabitat Test-Drives The Chevy Volt + The Chevy Volt Official Website + Nissan Leaf Released in the US + Nissan leaf