Electric vehicle sales growing

electric car IMG_9250Expanding options and ­improving technology are having a positive effect on U.S. electric vehicle sales. Americans bought 40,000 plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) during the first half of 2013, more than twice the amount bought over the same period in 2012, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). PEVs include plug-in hybrids such as the Chevrolet Volt and all-electric ­vehicles such as the Nissan Leaf.

“More and more Americans are taking advantage of the low and stable price of electricity as a transportation fuel,” said Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz.

Data suggests con­sumers are ­taking more interest in PEVs than they did hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), which were first introduced in 1999 with the debut of the Honda Insight. Two-and-a-half years after the first hybrid was introduced, monthly sales figures were under 3,000. By ­comparison, PEVs—first introduced in December 2010— report nearly 9,000 cars sold in the last month, according to DOE.

PEV sales tripled from about 17,000 in 2011 to about 52,000 in 2012. Combined, PEV and HEV sales accounted for 3.4 percent of total U.S. light-duty vehicle sales in June, according to DOE. When trucks sales are removed from the total, electric car sales made up more than six percent of total car sales in June.

Toyota, which manufactures the Prius line of HEVs, accounted for nearly 67 percent of HEV sales in June. PEV sales were led by the Chevy Volt, the Nissan Leaf and the Tesla Model S.

More information is available at www.transportation.anl.gov