In November of 2010, the number of plug-in vehicles on America’s roads barely registered as a blip in the market as a whole. Since then though, nearly every automaker has debuted either an electric or plug-in hybrid car, and Americans have responded by buying them, lots and lots of them.
GM-Volt estimates that over 250,000 plug-in vehicles have been sold in America since the beginning of 2011, and while this represents just a small fraction of the total number of cars sold in America over that same time frame, it’s a major milestone for plug-in car enthusiasts. About 100,000, or approximately 40% of those sales occurred in California, where every manufacturer sells at least on electric or plug-in hybrid car. Outside of California and Oregon though, these cars are harder to come by, and in many cases you can’t buy them at all. While California boasts the largest state population in America, imagine how much better plug-in car sales might be if these vehicles were sold in every state, and not just those with the ripest markets.
As it stands only three plug-in vehicles are sold nationwide; the Nissan LEAF, the Tesla Model S, and the Chevy Volt. Not even the venerable Toyota Prius Plug-in is sold nationwide, despite the vanilla Prius being the best-selling hybrid not just in the nation, but around the world. That makes this 250,000 vehicle milestone just that much more impressive.
EV sales have been ramping up, with a 54% increase in electric car sales compared to last year so far, though hybrid car sales have brought the green car market as a whole down a bit. But with so many more options, more buyers are finding better options than traditional hybrids, and the plug-in car market continues to grow.
Keep in mind that it’s also National Drive Electric Week, and it should be the most successful EV and PHEV driving event yet, giving thousands of Americans a chance to experience a better way of driving.
I’ll tell you one thing; unless the cost of gasoline is cut in half, it won’t take nearly as long to reach the next 250,000 plug-in cars.