According to the Untied States Department of Energy (DOE) roughly 75% of all plug-in electric vehicles sold in the U.S. in 2018 were produced right at home. In fact, from 2012-2018, the United States has been the leader in both EV manufacturing and overall sales. Since 2011 when the DOE began collecting data on EV sales, sales of EVs have skyrocketed worldwide from approximately 18 thousand units in 2011 to approximately 361 thousand units in 2018.

Although not strictly an EV (the vehicle can run on gas if the battery does not have enough charge), the Chevy Volt Hybrid plug-in was the number one selling plug-in car in the U.S. in 2018 with over 152 thousand units being sold. In second place was the Tesla Model S all-electric sedan with over 143 thousand units sold and right behind it was the more affordable Tesla Model 3 with approximately 144 thousand units sold. Other top sellers include the all-electric Nissan Leaf and the BMW i3, which offers the option of adding a small range-extending gas engine.

It comes as no surprise that California is the largest regional market for EVs in the U.S., accounting for nearly half of all sales. The Golden State offers numerous perks for choosing an EV including a rebate from the state for up to $2500 on the purchase of a new EV and a decal program that allows EV drivers to travel in certain highway lanes that would otherwise be reserved for high-occupancy vehicles. In 1988, California legislators passed the California Clean Air Act to combat the rising threat of air pollution. As part of this program, support for research and development of new technologies relating to low and zero emissions vehicles were prioritized. Several more recent initiatives have been passed since then including SB 1275 which aims put at least 1 million EVs on the road by 2023.

According to a recent study conducted by the American Automobile Association, about 20% of Americans say that they are likely to purchase an EV in the future. This is up from 2017 when only 15% of the survey’s participant said that they were likely to do so. Much of the reason for this increase in interest may be due to the simple fact that there are simply more choices for perspective buyers to choose from. All the major automakers have at least one EV to offer consumers, and as both battery life and charging infrastructure improve, that number is likely to continue growing as well.

While sales of EVs continue to rise, they still only account for approximately .05% of all sales in the U.S. according to Consumer Reports. This would suggest that buyers’ intentions don’t always match with their final decisions, especially when battery life and distance issues arise. Most of the participants who stated that they would likely buy an EV in the future said that the environmental benefits were their primary motivator. Others cited the long-term cost savings as their motivation, including the allure of never paying for gas again.

For our readers who may be considering an EV but haven’t quite pulled the trigger yet: why are you leaning towards an EV? What reservations do you have about ditching your gas guzzler and going green? We would love to hear from you in the comments section below!

Source | Image: WSJ