Since 2011, more than 300,000 plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles have been sold to Americans, nearly 120,000 of those in 2014 alone. That’s a huge increase in plug-in car sales, made all the more amazing by the fact that many plug-in cars are limited to sales in just a handful of states. Imagine what might happen if every plug-in car was available nationwide?
That’s just one of the 11 recommendations Plug-In America makes in a report where it outlines the challenges still pacing plug-in cars, as well as the solutions it believes will help more Americans to leave combustion engines behind for good.
“The US stands at the crossroads of the largest technology in personal transportation in its history,” says principal researcher Kirk Brown, Plug In America’s director of strategic partnerships. “The question ahead is how do we capture this early market growth and deliver the benefits of these vehicles to all consumers, everywhere.”
The 11 areas of improvement and greatest potential that Plug-In America identifies are:
- # 1: Lack of awareness about PEVs and the technology remains roadblock to widespread adoption
- # 2: PEV availability is significantly restricted
- # 3: A small number of automakers dominate the PEV market
- # 4: There is a clear lack of a coordinated national promotional effort in the media
- # 5: Test-drive events are highly successful at driving sales
- # 6: Transitioning to PEVs is critical to meeting US environmental goals
- # 7: PEV policy alignment is needed at all levels
- # 8: Existing PEV best practices and driver expertise need to be shared widely
- # 9: PEVs enjoy widespread bipartisan support among the nation’s legislators
- #10: Experienced PEV drivers are the best evangelists
- #11: Philanthropic foundations need to take a more active role
I would add to that a more active role from the government either via tax or convenience incentives like rebates, free parking, and access to HOV lanes. Such benefits have been proven to drive plug-in car sales, and while we may not have to go all-out like Norway has, many American states offer little or no incentives for people taking the plunge into plug-in cars.
You can read the whole report for here, and then let us know what you think should be done to improve EV ownership.