Since the electric car era began in 2010 with the introduction of the Chevy Volt and Nissan LEAF, US electric car drivers have logged 11 billion miles according to Plugless, a website that promotes wireless charging. It also claims US EV drivers have accumulated more than 1 million hours of wireless charging. The Volt and LEAF are responsible for the majority of those miles but the Tesla Model S is catching up fast. Together, the three cars account for 76% of those miles.
Plugless estimates the Chevy Volt is responsible for about 3 billion miles, the Nissan LEAF just under 3 billion miles, and the Tesla Model S about 2.2 billion miles.
“While the Volt and LEAF total cumulative miles are essentially a dead heat, why is the Tesla Model S, with its longer range (which seems to account for a larger monthly e-miles driven) lagging? It’s just a matter of time. Volt and LEAF sales began a few years ahead of the Model S and this chart shows the Model S tracking at roughly the same curve just two years later,” says Plugless.
With the Model S and Model X now each selling strongly, Tesla is poised take the lead soon. It gained 3% in share of total US e-miles between January of 2016 and 2017, while Nissan and GM’s share each shrank by 3%. Its surge toward the front of the pack is due to two primary factors. First, each Tesla owner drives more e-miles because Teslas have a long enough range to be “everything cars.” Second, the addition of Model X e-miles is rapidly adding e-miles to the Tesla fleet and will help accelerate that growth.
At at time when auto executives like Ford’s Mark Fields are whining constantly that no one wants to buy an electric car, the figures indicate that actually quite a few Americans do want to and are racking up electric miles at an exponentially expanding rate.
Source: Electric Cars Report Graphs by Plugless