Plug-in electric vehicles in the United States

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For motor vehicles with a rechargeable battery that cannot be charged from the electric grid, see hybrid electric vehicles in the United States.
The Chevrolet Volt series plug-in hybrid is the top selling plug-in electric vehicle in the U.S. with cumulative sales of over 50,000 units through October 2013.[1]

The fleet of plug-in electric vehicles in the United States is the largest in the world. Since 2008 over 226,000 highway-capable plug-in electric cars have been sold in the country through June 2014,[2][3] with California accounting for about one third of nationwide total sales.[4] The American market share of plug-in electric passenger cars increased from 0.14% in 2011 through 0.37% in 2012 to 0.62% of new car sales during 2013.[5][6] As of June 2014, the U.S. is the world's leader in plug-in electric car sales with a 45% share of global sales.[7] When sales are broken down by type of powertrain, the United States was the leader in plug-in hybrid sales in 2012 with a 70% market share of global sales, and ranked second in pure electric car sales with a 26% share, after Japan (28%).[8]

As of July 2014, there are 17 highway-capable plug-in cars available in the American market from nine major car manufacturers,[9][10] plus several models of electric motorcycles, utility vans and neighborhood electric vehicles (NEVs). As of June 2014, cumulative sales are led by the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid with 63,167 units, followed by the Nissan Leaf all-electric car with 54,858 units.[3][11] Ranking next are the Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid with 34,138 units,[12][13][14] and the all-electric Tesla Model S with about 27,900 units.[14][15][16][17]

The Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008, and later the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (ACES) granted tax credits for new qualified plug-in electric vehicles.[18] The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) also authorized federal tax credits for converted plug-ins, though the credit is lower than for new PEVs.[19] The federal tax credit for new plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) is worth US$2,500 plus US$417 for each kilowatt-hour of battery capacity over 5 kWh, and the portion of the credit determined by battery capacity cannot exceed US$5,000. Therefore, the total amount of the credit allowed for a new PEV is US$7,500.[18] Several states have established incentives and tax exemptions for BEVs and PHEV, and other non-monetary incentives.

The U.S. government also has pledged US$2.4 billion in federal grants to support the development of next-generation electric cars and batteries, and US$115 million for the installation of electric vehicle charging infrastructure in 16 different metropolitan areas around the country. As of March 2013, the United States had 5,678 charging stations across the country, led by California with 1,207 stations (21.3%).[20] In terms of public charging points, there were 19,472 public outlets available across the country by the end of December 2013, again led by California with 5,176 (26.6%) public charging points.[21] In his 2011 State of the Union address, President Barack Obama set the goal for the U.S. to become the first country to have 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2015.[22] Considering the actual slow rate of PEV sales, since mid-2012 several industry observers have concluded that this goal is unattainable.[23][24][25]

Government support[edit]

President Barack Obama behind the wheel of a new Chevrolet Volt during his tour of the General Motors Auto Plant in Hamtramck, Michigan in 2010.

In his 2011 State of the Union address, President Barack Obama set the goal for the U.S. to become the first country to have 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2015.[22] This goal was established based on forecasts made by the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE), using production capacity of PEV models announced to enter the U.S. market through 2015. The DoE estimated a cumulative production of 1,222,200 PEVS by 2015, and was based on manufacturer announcements and media reports accounting production goals for the Fisker Karma, Fisker Nina, Ford Transit Connect, Ford Focus Electric, Chevrolet Volt, Nissan Leaf, Smith Newton, Tesla Roadster, Tesla Model S and Th!nk City.[26] Considering that actual PEV sales have been lower than initially expected, as of early 2013, several industry observers have concluded that this goal is unattainable.[23][24][27] According to a July 2012 study by Pike Research, cumulative sales will reach the 1 million goal set by the Obama Administration only in 2018.[28]

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act[edit]

President Barack Obama pledged US$2.4 billion in federal grants to support the development of next-generation electric vehicles and batteries.[29][30] $1.5 billion in grants to U.S. based manufacturers to produce highly efficient batteries and their components; up to $500 million in grants to U.S. based manufacturers to produce other components needed for electric vehicles, such as electric motors and other components; and up to $400 million to demonstrate and evaluate plug-in hybrids and other electric infrastructure concepts—like truck stop charging station, electric rail, and training for technicians to build and repair electric vehicles (greencollar jobs).[31]

President Bush with A123Systems CEO on the White House South Lawn examining a Toyota Prius converted to plug-in hybrid with Hymotion technology.

In March 2009, as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the U.S. Department of Energy announced the release of two competitive solicitations for up to $2 billion in federal funding for competitively awarded cost-shared agreements for manufacturing of advanced batteries and related drive components as well as up to $400 million for transportation electrification demonstration and deployment projects. This announcement will also help meet President Barack Obama's goal of putting one million plug-in electric vehicles on the road by 2015.[22][32]

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom at the opening of the public plug-in charging stations in front of San Francisco City Hall in 2009

In 2008, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed and Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums announced a nine-step policy plan for transforming the Bay Area into the "Electric Vehicle (EV) Capital of the U.S.".[33] Other local and state governments have also expressed interest in electric cars.[34]

A 2013 study published in the journal Energy Policy explored the relative benefits of a vehicle-charging network and plug-in hybrid vehicles with larger batteries. Across the battery-capacity and charging-infrastructure scenarios examined, the lowest-cost solution is for more drivers to switch to traditional hybrid electrics or low-capacity plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). Installing charging infrastructure would provide lower gasoline savings per dollar spent than paying for increased PHEV battery capacity. In addition, the study determined that current federal subsidies are "not aligned with the goal of decreased gasoline consumption in a consistent and efficient manner."[35][36]

Tax credits[edit]

New plug-in electric vehicles[edit]

Federal incentives

First the Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008, and later the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (ACES) granted tax credits for new qualified plug-in electric drive motor vehicles.[18] The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) also authorized federal tax credits for converted plug-ins, though the credit is lower than for new PEVs.[19]

A public electric car charging station in Kaka'ako, Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii.

As defined by the 2009 ACES Act, a PEV is a vehicle which draws propulsion energy from a traction battery with at least 4 kwh of capacity and uses an offboard source of energy to recharge such battery.[18] The tax credit for new plug-in electric vehicles is worth $2,500 plus $417 for each kilowatt-hour of battery capacity over 4 kwh, and the portion of the credit determined by battery capacity cannot exceed $5,000. Therefore, the maximum amount of the credit allowed for a new PEV is $7,500.[18]

The new qualified plug-in electric vehicle credit phases out for a PEV manufacturer over the one-year period beginning with the second calendar quarter after the calendar quarter in which at least 200,000 qualifying vehicles from that manufacturer have been sold for use in the United States. For this purpose cumulative sales are accounted after December 31, 2009. Qualifying PEVs are eligible for 50% of the credit if acquired in the first two quarters of the phase-out period, and 25% of the credit if bought in the third or fourth quarter of the phase-out period.[18] Both the Nissan Leaf electric vehicle and the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid, launched in December 2010, are eligible for the maximum $7,500 tax credit.[37] The Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid, released in January 2012, is eligible for a US$2,500 tax credit due to its smaller battery capacity of 5.2 kWh.[38]

State incentives

Over 25 states have also established incentives and tax or fee exemptions for BEVs and PHEVs, and other non-monetary incentives, such as the free access to high occupancy vehicle lane regardless of the number of occupants.[39] In California, for example, the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP) was established to promote the production and use of zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs). Eligible vehicles include only new Air Resources Board-certified or approved zero-emission or plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.[40] Among the eligible vehicles are neighborhood electric vehicles, battery electric, plug-in hybrid electric, and fuel cell vehicles including cars, trucks, medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles, and zero-emission motorcycles. Vehicles must be purchased or leased on or after March 15, 2010. Rebates initially of up to US$5,000 per light-duty vehicle, and later lowered to up to US$2,500, are available for individuals and business owners who purchase or lease new eligible vehicles. Certain zero-emission commercial vehicles are also eligible for rebates up to US$20,000.[41][42][43]

A 2014 proposal to increase the maximum tax credit for plug-in electric vehicles to US$10,000, would not apply to luxury vehicles with a sales price of over US$45,000, such as the Cadillac ELR (shown) and the Tesla Model S.
New proposals

Several separate initiatives have been pursued unsuccessfully at the federal level since 2011 to transform the tax credit into an instant cash rebate. The objective of these initiatives is to make new qualifying plug-in electric cars more accessible to buyers by making the incentive more effective. The rebate would be available at the point of sale allowing consumers to avoid a wait of up to a year to apply the tax credit against income tax returns.[44][45][46]

In March 2014 the Obama Administration included a provision in the FY 2015 Budget to increase the maximum tax credit for plug-in electric vehicles and other advanced vehicles to US$10,000, over the current US$7,500. However, the new maximum tax credit would not apply to luxury vehicles with a sales price of over US$45,000, such as the Tesla Model S and the Cadillac ELR, which would be capped at US$7,500. According to the Treasury Department, the proposal intends to transform the existing tax credit into a rebate available at the point of sale that will be claimable by dealers and passed along to the consumers. The proposal also seeks to remove the 200,000 vehicle cap per manufacturer after which the credit phases out over a year. Instead, the incentives would begin to phase out starting in 2019 for all manufacturers, and the credit would be completely phased out by 2022, and fall to 75% of the current credit starting in 2019.[47]

Charging Equipment[edit]

Until 2010 there was a federal tax credit equal to 50% of the cost to buy and install a home-based charging station with a maximum credit of US$2,000 for each station. Businesses qualified for tax credits up to US$50,000 for larger installations.[37][48] These credits expired on December 31, 2010, but were extended through 2013 with a reduced tax credit equal to 30% with a maximum credit of up to US$1,000 for each station for individuals and up to US$30,000 for commercial buyers.[49][50]

EV Everywhere Challenge[edit]

On March 7, 2012, President Barack Obama launched the EV Everywhere Challenge as part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Clean Energy Grand Challenges, which seeks to solve some of the U.S. biggest energy challenges and make clean energy technologies affordable and accessible to the vast majority of American households and businesses. The EV Everywhere Challenge has the goal of advancing electric vehicle technologies to have the country, by 2022, to produce a five-passenger electric vehicle that would provide both a payback time of less than five years and the ability to be recharged quickly enough to provide enough range for the typical American driver.[51][52]

DoE graph showing how meeting EV Everywhere targets will significantly lower PEV 5-year cost of ownership (purchase cost plus fuel).[53]

In January 2013 the Department of Energy (DoE) published the "EV Everywhere Grand Challenge Blueprint," which set the technical targets of the PEV program to fall into four areas: battery research and development; electric drive system research and development; vehicle lightweighting; and advanced climate control technologies. The DoE set several specific goals, established in consultation with stakeholders through a series of workshops held during the second half of 2012.[53] The key goals to be met over the next five years to make plug-in electric vehicles competitive with conventional fossil fuel vehicles are:

  • Cutting battery costs from their current US$500/kWh to US$125/kWh
  • Eliminating almost 30% of vehicle weight through lightweighting
  • Reducing the cost of electric drive systems from US$30/kW to US$8/kW

Achieving these goals in the next five years will result in an automotive propulsion battery with five-times the present range capacity, costing one-fifth present lithium-ion batteries. The DoE aim is to level the purchase plus operating (fuel) cost of an all-electric vehicle with a 280 mi (450 km) range with the costs of an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle of similar size. The DoE expects than even before the latter goals are met, the 5-year cost of ownership of most plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and of all-electric vehicles with shorter ranges, such as 100 mi (160 km), will be comparable to the same cost of ICE vehicles of similar size.[53][54]

Energy Secretary Steven Chu announcing the new Workplace Charging Challenge at the 2013 Washington Auto Show.

In order to achieve these goals, the DoE is providing up to US$120 million over the next five years to fund the new Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR), a research center led by the Argonne National Laboratory in Chicago. JCESR is a consortium of five DOE national labs, five universities, and four private-sector enterprises, and it is being likened to the Manhattan Project of battery technology.[54][55]

Workplace Charging Challenge

In January 2013, during the Washington Auto Show, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu announced an initiative to expand the EV Everywhere program with the “Workplace Charging Challenge.” This initiative is a plan to install more electric vehicle charging stations in workplace parking lots. There are 21 founding partners and ambassdors for the program, including Ford, Chrysler, General Motors, Nissan, Tesla Motors, 3M, Google, Verizon, Duke Energy, General Electric, San Diego Gas & Electric, Siemens, Plug In America, and the Rocky Mountain Institute. The initiative's target is to increase the number of U.S. employers offering workplace charging by tenfold in the next five years. Initially, the DoE will not provide funding for this initiative.[56][57]

International cooperation[edit]

Building on the first-ever U.S.-China Electric Vehicle Forum in September 2009, US and China unveiled a U.S.-China Electric Vehicles Initiative, which will include developing joint standards, building demonstration projects in more than a dozen cities, creating technical roadmaps, and carrying out public education projects. Both nations said they share an interest in accelerating the deployment of electric vehicles in order to reduce oil dependence, cut greenhouse gas emissions, and promote economic growth.[58]

Operating costs and fuel economy[edit]

The following table shows the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) official ratings for fuel economy (miles per gallon gasoline equivalent) and EPA's estimated out-of-pocket fuel costs for all plug-in electric passenger vehicles rated by EPA in the United States since 2010 up to June 2014.[59]

Fuel efficiency and out-of-pocket fuel costs for all passenger PEVs rated by EPA between 2010 and June 2014(1)
(Fuel economy and operating costs as displayed in the Monroney label and the fueleconomy.gov website for model years 2011 through 2014)
Vehicle Model
year
Operating
mode
(AER)
EPA fuel economy ratings Cost
to drive
25 miles
Annual
Fuel Cost(2)
(15,000 mi)
Notes
Combined City Highway
BMW i3[60] 2014 All-electric 124 mpg-e
(27 kW-hrs/100 mi)
137 mpg-e
(25 kW-hrs/100 mi)
111 mpg-e
(30 kW-hrs/100 mi)
$0.81 $500 The 2014 BMW i3 is the most fuel
efficient EPA-certified vehicle of all
fuel types considered in all years.[61]
Scion iQ EV[62] 2013 All-electric
(38 mi)
121 mpg-e
(28 kW-hrs/100 mi)
138 mpg-e
(24 kW-hrs/100 mi)
105 mpg-e
(32 kW-hrs/100 mi)
$0.84 $500
Chevrolet Spark EV[63] 2014 All-electric
(82 mi)
119 mpg-e
(28 kW-hrs/100 mi)
121 mpg-e
(28 kW-hrs/100 mi)
138 mpg-e
(24 kW-hrs/100 mi)
$0.84 $500
Honda Fit EV[64] 2013/14 All-electric
(82)
118 mpg-e
(29 kW-hrs/100 mi)
132 mpg-e
(26 kW-hrs/100 mi)
105 mpg-e
(32 kW-hrs/100 mi)
$0.87 $500
BMW i3 REx[65] 2014 Electricity only
(72 mi)
117 mpg-e
(29 kW-hrs/100 mi)
- - $0.87 $650 The EPA classifies the i3 REx as a
plug-in hybrid while CARB as a
range-extended battery-electric vehicle (BEVx).
Gasoline only 39 mpg - - $2.24
Fiat 500e[66] 2013/14 All-electric
(87 mi)
116 mpg-e
(29 kW-hrs/100 mi)
122 mpg-e(28 kW-hrs/100 mi) 108 mpg-e(31 kW-hrs/100 mi) $0.87 $500
Nissan Leaf[67] 2013 All-electric
(75 mi)
115 mpg-e
(29 kW-hrs/100 mi)
129 mpg-e 102 mpg-e $0.87 $500
Nissan Leaf[67] 2014/15 All-electric
(84 mi)
114 mpg-e
(30 kW-hrs/100 mi)
126 mpg-e
(27 kW-hrs/100 mi)
101 mpg-e
(33 kW-hrs/100 mi)
$0.90 $550
Honda Accord PHEV[68] 2014 Electricity
and gasoline
(13 mi)
115mpg-e
(29 kW-hrs/100 mi)
- - $1.36 $950 The 2014 Accord is the most fuel
efficient plug-in hybrid in
electric/hybrid mode with a
combined rating of 115 mpg-e.
Gasoline only 46 mpg 47 mpg 46 mpg
Mitsubishi i[69] 2012/13 All-electric
(62 mi)
112 mpg-e
(30 kW-hrs/100 mi)
126 mpg-e
(27 kW-hrs/100 mi)
99 mpg-e
(34 kW-hrs/100 mi)
$0.90 $550
Smart electric drive[70] 2013/14 All-electric
(68 mi)
107 mpg-e
(32 kW-hrs/100 mi)
122 mpg-e
(28 kW-hrs/100 mi)
93 mpg-e
(36 kW-hrs/100 mi)
$0.96 $600 Third generation model
Ratings are costs for both
convertible and coupe models.
Ford Focus Electric[71] 2012/13/14 All-electric
(76 mi)
105 mpg-e
(32 kW-hrs/100 mi)
110 mpg-e
(31 kW-hrs/100 mi)
99 mpg-e
(34 kW-hrs/100 mi)
$0.96 $600
BMW ActiveE[72] 2011 All-electric
(94 mi)
102 mpg-e
(33 kW-hrs/100 mi)
107 mpg-e 96 mpg-e $0.99 $600
Nissan Leaf[73] 2011/12 All-electric
(73 mi)
99 mpg-e
(34 kW-hrs/100 mi)
106 mpg-e
(32 kW-hrs/100 mi)
92 mpg-e
(37 kW-hrs/100 mi)
$1.02 $600
Chevrolet Volt[74] 2013/14 Electricity only
(38 mi)
98 mpg-e
(35 kW-hrs/100 mi)
- - $1.05 $900 The 2013/14 Volt is the most fuel efficient
plug-in hybrid car with a combined
gasoline/electricity rating of 62 mpg-e
(City 63 mpg-e, Hwy 61 mpg-e).
[61]
Gasoline only 37 mpg 35 mpg 40 mpg $2.57
Tesla Model S[75] 2013/14 All-electric
(208 mi)
95 mpg-e
(35 kW-hrs/100 mi)
94 mpg-e 97 mpg-e $1.05 $650 Model with 60 kWh battery pack
Toyota Prius PHV[76] 2014 Electricity
and gasoline
(11 mi)
95 mpg-e
(29 kW-hrs/100 mi
plus 0.2 gallons/100 mi)
- - $1.43 $900 After the first 11 mi the car
functions like a regular Prius hybrid
Gasoline only 50 mpg 51 mpg 49 mpg $1.74 -
Toyota Prius PHV[76] 2012/13 Electricity
and gasoline
(11 mi)
95 mpg-e
(29 kW-hrs/100 mi
plus 0.2 gallons/100 mi)
- - - - After the first 11 mi the car
functions like a regular Prius hybrid
Gasoline only 50 mpg 51 mpg 48 mpg $1.74 $1,050
Chevrolet Volt[77] 2011/12 Electricity only
(35 mi)
94 mpg-e
(36 kW-hrs/100 mi)
95 mpg-e
(36 kW-hrs/100 mi)
93 mpg-e
(37 kW-hrs/100 mi)
$1.08 $1,000 Both model year 2011 and 2012 have
the same operating costs, but the
2011 Volt has a rating of 93 mpg-e for
combined driving in all-electric mode.
Gasoline only 37 mpg 35 mpg 40 mpg $2.57
Tesla Model S[78] 2013 All-electric
(139 mi)
94 mpg-e
(36 kW-hrs/100 mi)
93 mpg-e 96 mpg-e $1.08 $650 Model with 40 kWh battery pack.
This model was officially rated by
the EPA but Tesla canceled its
production due to lack of demand.[79]
Tesla Model S[75] 2012/13/14 All-electric
(265 mi)
89 mpg-e
(38 kW-hrs/100 mi)
88 mpg-e
(38 kW-hrs/100 mi)
90 mpg-e
(37 kW-hrs/100 mi)
$1.14 $700 Model with 85kWh battery pack
Ford C-Max Energi[80][81]

Ford Fusion Energi[80][81]
2013/14 Electricity
and gasoline
(20 mi)
88 mpg-e
(37 kW-hrs/100 mi)
95 mpg-e 81 mpg-e $1.36 $1,050 The Energi did not use any gasoline
for the first 20 mi in EPA tests,
but depending on the driving style,
the car may use both gasoline
and electricity during EV mode.
Gasoline only 38 mpg 40 mpg 36 mpg $2.29
Smart electric drive[70] 2011 All-electric
(63 mi)
87 mpg-e
(39 kW-hrs/100 mi)
94 mpg-e 79 mpg-e $1.17 $700 Second generation model
Ratings are costs for both
cabriolet and coupe models.
Cadillac ELR[82] 2014 Electricity only
(37 mi)
82 mpg-e
(41 kW-hrs/100 mi)
- - $1.23 $1,100
Gasoline only 33 mpg 31 mpg 35 mpg $2.89
Toyota RAV4 EV[83] 2012 All-electric
(103 mi)
76 mpg-e
(44 kW-hrs/100 mi)
78 mpg-e 74 mpg-e $1.32 $800
Coda[84] 2012/13 All-electric
(88 mi)
73 mpg-e
(46 kW-hrs/100 mi)
77 mpg-e
(44 kW-hrs/100 mi)
68 mpg-e
(50 kW-hrs/100 mi)
$1.38 $850
Porsche 918 Spyder[85] 2015 Electricity only
(12 mi)
67 mpg-e
(50 kW-hrs/100 mi)
- - $1.50 $2,100
Gasoline only 22 mpg - - $4.33
BYD e6[86] 2012 All-electric
(122 mi)
62 mpg-e
(54 kW-hrs/100 mi)
60 mpg-e
(56 kW-hrs/100 mi)
64 mpg-e
(52 kW-hrs/100 mi)
$1.62 $950
Fisker Karma[87] 2012 Electricity only
(33 mi)
54 mpg-e
(62 kW-hrs/100 mi)
- - $1.86 $1,750
Gasoline only 20 mpg 20 mpg 21 mpg $4.76
Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid[88] 2014 Electricity
and gasoline
(16 mi)
50 mpg-e
(52 kWh/100 mi)
- - $3.49 $1,850 The all-electric range is between 0 to 15 mi
Gasoline only 25 mpg 23 mpg 29 mpg $3.81
Notes: (1) In November 2010, EPA introduced MPGe as comparison metric on its new sticker for fuel economy for the Nissan Leaf and the Chevrolet Volt.[89][90] Before, the EPA rating for on board energy efficiency for electric vehicles was expressed as kilowatt-hour per 100 miles.[91][92] The window sticker of the 2009 Mini E showed an energy consumption of 33 kW-hrs/100 mi in the city and 36 kW-hrs/100 mi on the highway (equivalent to 102 mpg city and 94 mpg on the highway).[91] The 2009 Tesla Roadster was rated 32 kW-hrs/100 mi in city and 33 kW-hrs/100 mi on the highway (equivalent to 105 mpg city and 102 mpg highway).[93]

(2) Based on 45% highway and 55% city driving. Values rounded to the nearest $50. Electricity cost of US$0.12/kw-hr, premium gasoline price of US$3.81 per gallon (used by the Volt, Karma and Spyder 918), and regular gasoline price of US$3.48 per gallon (as of 12 March 2014). Conversion 1 gallon of gasoline=33.7 kW-hr.

Air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions[edit]

Several Nissan Leafs, Chevrolet Volts and Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrids charging at a parking lot reserved for plug-in electric vehicles in California.

Electric cars, as well as plug-in hybrids operating in all-electric mode, emit no harmful tailpipe pollutants from the onboard source of power, such as particulates (soot), volatile organic compounds, hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, ozone, lead, and various oxides of nitrogen. The clean air benefit is usually local because, depending on the source of the electricity used to recharge the batteries, air pollutant emissions are shifted to the location of the generation plants.[94] In a similar manner, plug-in electric vehicles operating in all-electric mode do not emit greenhouse gases from the onboard source of power, but from the point of view of a well-to-wheel assessment, the extent of the benefit also depends on the fuel and technology used for electricity generation. From the perspective of a full life cycle analysis, the electricity used to recharge the batteries must be generated from renewable or clean sources such as wind, solar, hydroelectric, or nuclear power for PEVs to have almost none or zero well-to-wheel emissions.[94][95]

The following table compares well-to-wheels greenhouse gas emissions estimated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for all series production plug-in electric vehicles available in the U.S. market by April 2012. For comparison purposes, emissions for the average gasoline-powered new car and the most fuel efficient hybrid-electric car are also included. Total emissions include the emissions associated with the production of electricity used to charge the vehicle, and for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, it also includes emissions associated with the production of gasoline and tailpipe emissions.[96][97]

Comparison of EPA's full life cycle assessment of greenhouse gas emissions
for series production plug-in electric cars available in the U.S. market by April 2012
(Emissions as estimated by the U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's
fueleconomy.gov website for model years 2011 and 2012)
[97]
Vehicle Operating
mode
EPA rated
All-electric range[98]
EPA rated
combined
fuel economy[99][100][101]
Clean electric grid
California
(San Francisco)
U.S. national
average
electric mix
Dirty electric grid
Rocky Mountains
(Denver)
Mitsubishi i-MiEV All-electric 62 mi (100 km) 112 mpg-e
(30 kW-hrs/100 mi)
100 g/mi (62 g/km) 200 g/mi (124 g/km) 290 g/mi (180 g/km)
Ford Focus Electric All-electric 76 mi (122 km) 105 mpg-e
(32 kW-hrs/100 mi)
110 g/mi (68 g/km) 210 g/mi (131 g/km) 310 g/mi (193 g/km)
BMW ActiveE All-electric 94 mi (151 km) 102 mpg-e
(33 kW-hrs/100 mi)
110 g/mi (68 g/km) 220 g/mi (137 g/km) 320 g/mi (199 g/km)
Nissan Leaf All-electric 73 mi (117 km) 99 mpg-e
(34 kW-hrs/100 mi)
120 g/mi (75 g/km) 230 g/mi (143 g/km) 330 g/mi (205 g/km)
Chevrolet Volt Electricity only
(charge-depleting)
35 mi (56 km) 94 mpg-e
(36 kW-hrs/100 mi)
190 g/mi (118 g/km)(1) 260 g/mi (162 g/km)(1) 330 g/mi (205 g/km)(1)
Gasoline only[102]
(Charge-sustaining)
37 mpg Total emissions: 299 g/mi (186 g/km)
Upstream: 59 g/mi (37 g/km) and tailpipe: 240 g/mi (149 g/km)
Smart ED All-electric 63 mi (101 km) 87 mpg-e
(39 kW-hrs/100 mi)
130 g/mi (81 g/km) 260 g/mi (162 g/km) 380 g/mi (236 g/km)
Coda All-electric 88 mi (142 km) 73 mpg-e
(46 kW-hrs/100 mi)
160 g/mi (99 g/km) 300 g/mi (186 g/km) 440 g/mi (273 g/km)
Transit Connect van All-electric 56 mi (90 km) 62 mpg-e
(54 kW-hrs/100 mi)
190 g/mi (118 g/km) 360 g/mi (224 g/km) 520 g/mi (323 g/km)
Toyota Prius[103] Gasoline-electric
hybrid
50 mpg Total emissions: 222 g/mi (138 g/km)
Upstream: 44 g/mi (27 g/km) and tailpipe: 178 g/mi (111 g/km)
Average U.S. new car[104] Gasoline only 22 mpg Total emissions: 500 g/mi (311 g/km)
Upstream: 100 g/mi (62 g/km) and tailpipe: 400 g/mi (249 g/km)
Note (1) For the Chevrolet Volt EPA assumed that 64% of the plug-in hybrid electric vehicle's operation is powered by electricity and the rest is powered from gasoline, and as a result, out of the total emissions, 87 g/mi correspond to tailpipe emissions. Tailpipe emissions are zero for all other electric-drive vehicles, and the emissions shown account upstream GHG emissions.

Environmental footprint[edit]

In February 2014, the Automotive Science Group (ASG) published the result of a study conducted to assess the life-cycle of over 1,300 automobiles across nine categories sold in North America. The study found that among advanced automotive technologies, the Nissan Leaf holds the smallest life-cycle environmental footprint of any model year 2014 automobile available in the North American market with minimum four person occupancy. The study concluded that the increased environmental impacts of manufacturing the battery electric technology is more than offset with increased environmental performance during operational life. For the assessment, the study used the average electricity mix of the U.S. grid in 2014.[105] In the 2014 mid-size cars category, the Leaf also ranked as the best all-around performance, best environmental and best social performance. The Ford Focus Electric, within the 2014 compact cars category, ranked as the best all-around performance, best environmental and best social performance. The Tesla Model S ranked as the best environmental performance in the 2014 full-size cars category.[106]

Charging infrastructure[edit]

Nissan Leaf charging in Houston, Texas.

As of March 2013, the United States had 5,678 charging stations across the country, a third of which were located in the three westernmost continental states. Deployments are led by California with 1,207 stations (21.3%), Texas with 432 stations (7.6%), Florida with 352 (6.2%), Washington with 326 (5.7%), and Oregon with 310 stations (5.5%).[20] In terms of public charging points, there were 19,472 public outlets available across the country by the end of December 2013, led by California with 5,176 charging points (26.6%), followed by Texas with 1,599 (8.2%), and Washington state with 1,325 (6.8%).[21] There are 592 CHAdeMO quick charging stations across the country by April 2014.[107]


Top fifteen states ranked by number of public charging points
available in the United States (as of December 2013)[21]
State Number
of points
% Total State Number
of points
% Total
California 5,176 26.6% New York 693 3.6%
Texas 1,599 8.2% Maryland 553 2.8%
Washington 1,325 6.8% Massachusetts 546 2.8%
Florida 996 5.1% Illinois 527 2.7%
Oregon 915 4.7% North Carolina 524 2.7%
Tennessee 866 4.4% Georgia/Virginia 370 1.9%
Michigan 721 3.7% Hawaii 351 1.8%
Arizona 710 3.6% Total U.S. 19,472
Note: The U.S. DoE Alternative Fuels Data Center counts electric charging units or points, or EVSE,
as one for each outlet available, and does not include residential electric charging infrastructure.
Number of public charging points as of as of 25 December 2013.[21]

Sales[edit]

Highway-capable plug-in electric vehicles[edit]

As of June 2014, the United States has the largest fleet of highway-capable plug-in electric vehicles in the world, with over 226,000 plug-in electric cars sold since 2008,[2][3][108] of which, about one third were sold in California.[4][109] Sales increased from 17,800 units delivered during 2011,[110] to more than 53,000 during 2012,[5][13] and about 96,600 in 2013, up 84% from the previous year.[111] The market share of plug-in electric passenger cars increased from 0.14% in 2011 through 0.37% in 2012 to 0.62% of new car sales during 2013.[5][6] During the first half of 2014 plug-in electric car sales totaled 54,973 units, representing a 0.67% market share of new car sales.[3]

Historical trend of U.S. plug-in electric vehicle cumulative sales by month by type of powertrain from December 2010 up to June 2014.[112][113] Plug-in electric car sales passed 220,000 units in June 2014.[114]

As of June 2014, cumulative sales are led by the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid with 63,167 units, followed by the Nissan Leaf electric car with 54,858 units. Both PEVs were released in December 2010.[3][11] Launched in the U.S. market in February 2012, the Prius PHV ranks as the third top selling plug-in electric car with 34,138 units,[12][13][14] followed by the all-electric Tesla Model S, released in June 2012, with about 27,700 units,[14][15][16][17] the Ford C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid, launched in October 2012, with 13,456 units delivered,[3][10][13] and the Ford Fusion Energi, released in February 2013, with 12,324 units through June 2014.[3][10]

During 2013 sales were led by the Chevrolet Volt with 23,094 units, followed by the Nissan Leaf with 22,610 cars, and the Tesla Model S with almost 18,000 units.[17] In 2013 the Model S was the top selling car in the full-size luxury sedan category, ahead of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class (13,303), the top selling car in the category in 2012, and also surpassing the BMW 7 Series (10,932), Lexus LS (10,727), Audi A8 (6,300) and Porsche Panamera (5,421).[17] The best monthly PEV sales volume on record ever was achieved in May 2014, with over 12,000 units delivered, representing a market share of 0.78% of new car sales.[115][116] The highest-ever market share for plug-in vehicles was achieved in October 2013 with 0.85% of new car sales.[117] Sales during the first half of 2014 sales were led by the Nissan Leaf with 12,736 units, followed by the Prius PHEV with 9,300 units, the Volt with 8,615, the Model S with an estimated 7,400 units, and the Fusion Energi with 6,235 units.[14]

As of June 2014, the U.S. is the world's leader in plug-in electric car sales with a 45% share of global sales, followed by Japan, China and the Netherlands.[7][108] When sales are broken down by type of powertrain, the United States was the leader in plug-in hybrid sales in 2012 with a 70% share of global sales, while Japan was the leader in pure electric car sales with a 28% share, closely followed by the U.S. with 26%.[8] The American-built Chevrolet Volt was the world's top selling PEV in 2012, with more than 30,000 units sold including its sibling Ampera sold in Europe.[118]

During 2011, all-electric cars (10,064 units) oversold plug-in hybrids (7,671 units), but increased Volt sales, together with the introduction of the Prius PHV and the Ford C-Max, allowed plug-in hybrids to take the lead over pure electric cars during 2012, with 38,584 PHEVs sold versus 14,251 BEVs.[112][119] As of early March 2013, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) reported that owners of 9,559 all-electric vehicles and 8,842 plug-in hybrids had applied for the state's Clean Vehicle Rebate since January 2011. However, CARB noticed that approximately 2,300 Chevy Volt’s were sold in California before the Volt became eligible for the rebate in February 2012. These figures show that plug-in hybrid electric vehicles were also outselling pure electric vehicles in California.[120][121] Despite this trend, during the first half of 2013, all-electric vehicle sales outsold plug-in hybrids in California, out of 15,444 new plug-in electric vehicles old in the state, plug-in hybrids represented a market share of 0.7% of new vehicle sales, while battery electric vehicle market share was 1.1%.[122][123]

Cumulative sales of new PEVs are doing better than sales of HEVs in the United States over their respective 24 month introductory periods.[53]

Several industry forecasts agree that plug-in hybrids will continue to outsell pure electric cars in the United States at least until 2020, as the longer driving range of PHEVs is expected to be more attractive to consumers.[124][125] According to a June 2013 forecast by Navigant Research, the U.S. and Canada are the only markets anticipated to have significantly higher sales of plug-in hybrids than pure electric vehicles, at a 1.5:1 sales ratio.[126] Nevertheless, during 2013, sales of pure electric cars (about 47,600 units) were almost even with plug-in hybrids (about 49,000 units), due to large sales of the Tesla Model S and Nissan Leaf during 2013.[111] Accounting for cumulative sales since December 2010 through December 2013, plug-in hybrids represent 57.0% of the plug-in car market (95,589 units) and all-electric cars a 43.0% (72,028 units).[112] In another forecast made in a white paper by Navigant Research published in January 2014, the firm predicted that the stock of plug-in electric vehicles on the U.S. roads by the end of 2014 will be over 304,000 units. Of these, Navigant forecast that 170,000 will be plug-in hybrids (55.9%) and 134,000 all-electric cars (44.1%).[127]

Sales of series production PEVs during its first two years in the U.S. market have been lower than the initial expectations.[23][24][27][125][128] According to a July 2012 study by Pike Research, about 410,000 PEVs will be sold between 2011 and 2015 in the United States, with cumulative sales reaching the 1 million goal set by the Obama Administration only in 2018.[28] However, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, combined sales of plug-in hybrids and battery electric cars are climbing more rapidly and outselling by more than double sales of hybrid-electric vehicles over their respective 24 month introductory periods, as shown in the graph at the right.[53] A more detailed analysis by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy over the same two-year introductory periods found that except for the initial months in the market, monthly sales of the Volt and the Leaf have been higher than the Prius HEV, and the Prius PHEV has outsold the regular Prius during its 8 months in the market. Over the first 24 months from introduction, the Prius HEV achieved monthly sales of over 1,700 in month 18, the Leaf achieved about 1,700 units in month 7, the Prius PHEV achieved nearly 1,900 sales in month 8, and the Volt achieved more than 2,900 sales in month 23.[129]

An analysis by Scientific American found a similar trend at the international level when considering the global top selling PEVs over a 36 month introductory period. Monthly sales of the Volt, Prius PHV and Leaf are performing better than the conventional Prius during their respective introductory periods, with the exception of the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, which has been outsold most of the time by the Prius HEV over their 36 month introductory periods.[130] According to Peak Research, global sales of PEVs will surpass 1 million per year in 2017, after 7 years in the market and almost half the time it took hybrid electric vehicles to reach that sales threshold.[131]

Geographical distribution[edit]

A total of 52% of American plug-in electric car registrations from January to May 2013 were concentrated in five metropolitan areas: San Francisco (19.5%), Los Angeles (15.4%), Seattle (8.0%), New York (4.6%) and Atlanta (4.4%).[132][133] From January to July 2013, the three cities with the highest all-electric car registrations were all located in California, Atherton and Los Altos in the Silicon Valley, followed by Santa Monica, located in Los Angeles County.[134][135] The top selling markets for Leaf sales during the first eight months of 2013 were San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Seattle-Tacoma, Portland, Oregon, Honolulu, San Diego, Sacramento, Nashville, and Saint Louis, Missouri.[136]

California

California is the largest American car market and also the leading PEV market in the country with about 40% of all new plug-in electric vehicles sold nationwide during 2011 and 2012, while the state represents about 10% of all new car sales in the country.[137] As of May 2014, California still accounted for about one third of total plug-in electric car sales in the U.S.[4] California has been a leader in the promotion of plug-in electric vehicles as the state has in place several financial and non-financial incentives. In addition to the existing federal tax credit, PEVs are eligible for a purchase rebate of up to US$2,500 through the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP).[43] Also, battery electric vehicles and initially, the first 40,000 applicants that purchase or lease a plug-in hybrid meeting California’s Enhanced Advanced Technology Partial Zero Emission Vehicle (Enhanced AT PZEV), are entitled to a clean air sticker that allows the vehicle to be operated by a single occupant in California's carpool or high-occupancy vehicle lanes (HOV).[138] As of 9 May 2014, the 40,000 green stickers available had been issued.[139] The green sticker limit was increased to 55,000 units beginning July 1, 2014, through the budget trailer bill SB 853.[139][140]

Several plug-in converted hybrids charging at the public charging station in front of San Francisco City Hall.

Sales of plug-in hybrids in California increased from 1,682 in 2011 to 14,701 in 2012, and reached 20,235 in 2013. The market share of PHEVs in the state climbed from 0.1% of new car sales in 2011 to 1.0% in 2012 and 1.2% in 2013. Sales of all-electric vehicles climbed from 5,302 units in 2011 to 6,197 in 2012, to 21,963 in 2013. The market share of BEVs in 2013 reached 1.3%, up from a stable 0.4% during both 2011 and 2012.[141] During the first quarter of 2014, plug-in car sales represented 5% of new passenger vehicle sales in California.[4] According to Navigant Research, the Los Angeles metropolitan area is the world's largest PEV city market, with over 15,000 PEV sales expected in 2014, and Navigant forecasts its PEV stock will grow from over 36,000 in 2014 to over 250,000 by 2023.[142]

California is the leading Volt market and accounted for almost 23% of Volt sales during the second quarter of 2012, followed by Michigan with 6.3% of national sales. The leading regional markets in California were San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego, all metropolitan areas notorious for their high congestion levels and where free access to high-occupancy lanes for solo drivers has been a strong incentive to boost Volt sales in the state.[143] As of November 2011 over 60% of the Leafs sold in the U.S. were bought in California.[144] San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, Los Angeles, San Diego and Sacramento were among the top selling markets for Leaf sales during the first eight months of 2013. Nissan noted that in San Francisco the Leaf is among the ten top selling vehicles regardless of powertrain.[136]

In March 2013, Tesla Motors reported the delivery of the 3,000th Model S in California, representing around 50% of total Model S sales in the U.S. to that date.[145][146] According to Edmunds.com, between January and August 2013 the Model S achieved a high market share of new car sales among the U.S. most expensive ZIP codes, as rated by Forbes. Among the top 25 wealthiest ZIP codes, the highest Model S market shares are all found in California, with Atherton ranking first in the U.S. with a 15.4% share, followed by Los Altos Hills with 11.9%, and Portola Valley with 11.2%. Edmunds' analysis also found that during this period the Model S was the most registered passenger car in 8 of the 25 most expensive American ZIP codes.[147] The Model S, with 8,347 units sold, ended 2013 as the third best selling luxury car in California after the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and BMW 5 Series sedans.[148] The Model S captured a 9.8% market share of the Californian luxury and sports segment.[141]

As of 10 March 2014, a total of 52,264 clean vehicle rebates have been issued, for a total of US$110,222,866 disbursed, with only US$3.8 million remaining for fiscal year 2013-2014. The distribution of the rebates issued correspond to 27,210 zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs), including both battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and fuel cell vehicles (FCVs); 24,657 plug-in hybrids (PHEVs); 49 commercial zero-emission vehicles (CZEVs); 210 zero-emission motorcycles (ZEMs); and 138 neighborhood electric vehicles (NEVs).[149] The Clean Vehicle Rebate Project notes their figures do not capture all plug-in electric vehicles sold in California because not every PEV owner applies for the rebate. Also, about 2,300 Chevrolet Volts were sold in California before the Volt became eligible for the rebate in February 2012, and therefore, these sales are not accounted in the CVRP database. In terms of market share, plug-in hybrids represented 47.2% of all clean vehicle rebates, while ZEVs, predominantly all-electric cars, represented 52.11% of all rebates issued since January 2011 through early March 2014. Accounting for sales of the 2,300 Volts, the distribution becomes 49.9% for ZEVs and 49.4% for PHEVs.[149]

The following table presents the geographical distribution of the rebates by county and by type of vehicle (ZEV or PHEV) for the top 15 counties, which together represent 93% of all rebates issued by early March 2014.[149] Based on the CVRP database, Southern California is the leading region in plug-in electric vehicle adoption, with over 28,500 rebates issued for PEVs, while the San Francisco Bay Area has benefited with more than 18,300 rebates. Southern California has captured 54.7% of all rebated issued. The top five counties in the state by early March 2014 are Los Angeles (14,420), Santa Clara (7,735), Orange (6,182), San Diego (4,659), and Alameda (3,870). In Southern California plug-in hybrids (15,201) are outselling all-electric cars (13,200), while in the Bay Area electric cars (10,992) are outselling plug-in hybrids (7,249).[149]

California Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP)
beneficiaries by county with over 500 rebates issued as of 10 March 2014[149]
County Total
rebates(1)
ZEVs
(BEV/FCV)
PHEVs(2) Rebate
funding
% State
Top counties Southern California
Los Angeles 14,420 6,277 8,015 $29,117,973 27.6%
Orange 6,182 2,537 3,622 $12,109,099 11.8%
San Diego 4,659 3,060 1,563 $10,827,189 8.9%
Riverside 1,308 501 804 $2,512,933 2.5%
Ventura 1,083 488 593 $2,214,494 2.1%
San Bernardino 943 337 604 $1,780,950 1.8%
Top counties SoCal 28,595 13,200 15,201 $58,562,638 54.7%
Top counties San Francisco Bay Area
Santa Clara 7,735 4,630 3,080 $16,957,252 14.8%
Alameda 3,870 2,291 1,552 $8,354,469 7.4%
San Mateo 2,123 1,419 657 $4,865,466 4.1%
Contra Costa 1,951 985 959 $4,027,554 3.7%
San Francisco 1,082 681 371 $2,557,025 2.1%
Marin 845 536 305 $1,907,300 1.6%
Sonoma 781 450 325 $1,695,800 1.5%
Top counties Bay Area 18,387 10,992 7,249 $40,364,866 35.2%
Other top counties
Sacramento 1,062 634 427 $2,272,609 2.0%
Santa Cruz 542 330 204 $1,193,900 1.0%
Total Top 15 counties 48,586 25,156 23,081 $102,394,013 93.0%
Total California(3) 52,264 27,210 24,657 $110,222,866 100%
Notes:
(1) Total includes ZEVs (both BEVs and FCVs), PHEVs, CZEVs, ZEMs and NEVs. (2) About 2,300 Chevrolet Volts sold in
California before the car became eligible for the rebate in February 2012 are not included. (3) Not all plug-in electric vehicles
sold in California are captured in the CVRP database as not every PEV owner applies for the rebate.

Sales by model[edit]

The following table presents key features and cumulative sales of highway-capable plug-in electric cars launched in the American market since 2008 through June 2014.

Key features and sales of series-production plug-in electric cars
available for retail sales or leasing in the United States (as of June 2014)
Model Type
of PEV
All-electric
range
Market
launch
Production/Sales
2011 Chevrolet Volt NRMA cropped.jpg
Chevrolet Volt
Plug-in hybrid 35 mi (56 km) December 2010 63,167 units sold through June 2014.[11][14]
The Volt is the top selling plug-in electric car in the United States.[150]
Nissan Leaf on Cross Island Parkway cropped.jpg
Nissan Leaf
Electric car 73 mi (117 km) December 2010 54,858 Leafs sold through June 2014.[11][14]
The Leaf is the top selling all-electric car in the United States.
Messe i-Mobility 2012-by-RaBoe-111.jpg
Smart ED
Electric car 63 mi (101 km) January 2011 2,542 units registered through June 2014
(includes 2nd and 3rd gen models).[3][5][12][151]
Deliveries of the third generation model began in May 2013.[152]
Mitsubishi i-MiEV -- 07-11-2012.JPG
Mitsubishi i
Electric car 62 miles (100 km) December 2011 1,794 units sold through June 2014.[153]
2012 Ford Focus Electric 2011 LA Auto Show.jpg
Ford Focus Electric
Electric car 76 mi (122 km)[154] December 2011 3,327 units sold through June 2014.[3][5][12][155]
Deliveries to retail customers began in May 2012.
Availability is limited to New York, New Jersey and California.[156][157]
Prius Plug-in Hybrid-11-09-04-iaa-by-RalfR-108.jpg
Toyota Prius PHV
Plug-in hybrid 11 mi (18 km)[158] February 2012 34,138 units sold through June 2014.[12][13][14]
Available only in 15 states.[159]
Tesla Model S Indoors trimmed.jpg
Tesla Model S
Electric car 265 mi (426 km)
(85 kW·h battery)

208 mi (335 km)
(60 kW·h battery)
June 2012 Over 27,700 units sold through June 2014.[14][15][16][17]
Honda Fit EV blue, Cars and Croissants.jpg
Honda Fit EV
Electric car 82 mi (132 km) July 2012 883 units delivered through June 2014.[5][12][14]
Production is limited to 1,100 units over the first three years.
Initial availability limited to California and Oregon.[160]
Toyota RAV4 EV with badge WAS 2012 0791 copy.jpg
RAV4 EV
second generation
Electric SUV 103 mi (166 km) September 2012 1,834 units sold through June 2014.[5][12][14] Initial production is limited to 2,600 units.
Available only in California.[161]
Ford C-Max Energi with badge WAS 2012 0597 copy.jpg
Ford C-Max Energi
Plug-in hybrid 20 mi (32 km) October 2012 13,456 units sold through June 2014.[3][5][10]
2014 Honda Accord Plug-In Hybrid Sedan trimmed.jpg
Honda Accord PHEV
Plug-in hybrid 13 mi (21 km) January 2013 706 units sold through June 2014.[12][14]
Ford Fusion Energi SEL with badge WAS 2012 0583.jpg
Ford Fusion Energi
Plug-in hybrid 20 mi (32 km) February 2013 12,324 units sold through June 2014.[3][10]
2013-03-05 Geneva Motor Show 7861.JPG
Chevrolet Spark EV
Electric car 82 mi (132 km) June 2013 1,175 units sold through June 2014.[12][14]
Initial availability limited to California and Oregon.
2013-03-05 Geneva Motor Show 8283 Fiat 500e.jpg
Fiat 500e
Electric car 87 mi (140 km) July 2013 About 1,371 units sold through June 2014.[3][12]
IAA 2013 Porsche Panamera S e-hybrid (9834184944).jpg
Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid
Plug-in hybrid 16 mi (26 km) October 2013 567 units sold through June 2014.[12][14]
2014 Cadillac ELR coupe.jpg
Cadillac ELR
Plug-in hybrid 35 mi (56 km) December 2013 396 units sold though June 2014.[12][14]
BMW-i3-Front.JPG
BMW i3
Electric/REx 81 mi (130 km) May 2014 694 units sold through June 2014.[14]
Out-of-production plug-in electric cars
that were available for retail sales or leasing in the United States since 2008
Tesla Roadster--DC.jpg
Tesla Roadster
Electric car 245 mi (394 km) March 2008 About 1,800 units through December 2011.[162][163][164]
Production ended in January 2012.[165]
MINI E WAS 2010 9053.JPG
Mini E
Electric car 100 mi (160 km) June 2009 500 units leased for field testing that ended in December 2011.[166][167]
Think City EDTA DC 04 2011 1814.jpg
Th!nk City
Electric car 100 mi (160 km) Late 2010 About 100 units sold mostly in Indiana through March 2011[168]
After Think Global filed for bankruptcy in June 2011,[169]
the remaining 150 cars in stock in the U.S. were put on sale
at a discounted price.[170]
Wheego Whip all electric WAS 2010 9052.JPG
Wheego Whip LiFe
Electric car 100 mi (160 km) April 2011[171] 34 units sold by March 2012.[172]
Fisker at speed in the fog trimmed.jpg
Fisker Karma
Plug-in hybrid 32 mi (51 km) November 2011 1,635 units were sold through December 2013.[12][173][174]
Production was suspended in November 2012.[175]
Fisker Automotive filed for bankruptcy in November 2013.[176]
BMW ActiveE DriveNow Matthew (2013-07-15 20.41.18).jpg
BMW ActiveE
Electric car 94 mi (151 km)[177] January 2012 673 units were leased in the U.S. through December 2012.[117]
Limited production available only for leasing as part of
a demonstration program.[166][178]
CODA sedan WAS 2012 0835.JPG
Coda
Electric car 88 mi (142 km) March 2012 117 units were delivered in California through April 2013.[179]
By September 2013, a total of 50 cars left in stock and 100 gliders
were available for sale at a discounted price in the U.S. and abroad.[180]

Future trends[edit]

According to a 2011 study by Pike Research, annual sales of plug-in electric vehicles in the U.S. were predicted to reach 360,000 vehicles by 2017. The study projected that the highest sales between 2011 and 2017 would take place in California, New York and Florida.[181] In 2012, and as sales have fallen short of projections, Pike Research projected that annual sales of plug-in electric vehicles in the U.S. will reach 400,073 units in 2020, with California as the state with the highest PEV sales over the remainder of this decade, with nearly 25% of all PEVs sold in the United States between 2012 and 2020. In terms of market share, California will be followed by New York, Florida, Texas, and Washington, but Hawaii is expected by 2020 to have the highest penetration rate of PEVs as a percentage of all light duty vehicle sales. California is predicted to have four of the top ten metropolitan areas for PEV sales: Los Angeles–Long Beach, San Francisco Bay Area, Silicon Valley, and Greater Sacramento. Pike Research forecasts that cumulative sales of PEVs in the largest 102 American cities will reach more than 1.8 million from 2012 through 2020, with a share of more than 25% of all annual sales concentrated in the top five metropolitan areas for PEV sales: New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, and Portland.[182][183][184]

In a separate analysis published in September 2013, Navigant Research forecasts that PEVs will represent a 2.4% market share of total new vehicle sales in the United States in 2022. Navigant also predicted that Hawaii will have the highest concentration of plug-in electric vehicle sales in the U.S., with 10.1% of total Hawaiian new light-duty vehicle sales in 2022; followed by Northern California with 9.7%, California as a whole will be 6.0%, and Oregon with 5.8%.[185] Hawaii has a high potential for mass adoption of plug-in electric vehicles due to the limited driving range imposed by the island geographies, and its high fuel costs, with gasoline prices ranging between US$4.25 and US$5.00 a gallon (as of September 2013).[186][187] In an updated report published in April 2014 Navigant forecasts that the United States will remain the largest national market for light-duty plug-in electric vehicles during the next 10 years, with the PEV segment growing at a compound annual growth rate of 16.3% between 2014 and 2023, predicting that annual PEV sales in the U.S. will exceed 514,000 in 2023.[188]

According to forecasts made by Pike Research in January 2013, the United States will continue to be the largest market for PEVs in 2020, but the European market is anticipated to have a higher market penetration (4.0% market share) due to its higher gasoline prices and supportive government policies, while Japan is expected to become the largest market for hybrid electric vehicles.[125][189] A similar trend is predicted by Navigant Research in a geographical forecast published in April 2014. Navigant predicts that by 2023 the fleet of light duty plug-in electric vehicles in use in Oslo is expected to represent 10.7% of the city's total registered light-duty fleet, 7.7% in Amsterdam, and 2.5% in Paris. Navigant also predicts that by 2020 annual PEV sales in the Greater Tokyo Area will surpass Los Angeles, currently the city with the largest PEV market. The PEV fleet in Tokyo is expected to reach a market penetration of 2.3% of the city's light-duty stock in 2023, and become the world's largest PEV city market with a PEV stock of around 260,000 in 2023, while Los Angeles is expected to have a stock of over 250,000 PEVs.[142]

Neighborhood electric vehicles[edit]

The chart and table are based on Department of Energy tables.[190] (Table V1 and the Historical Data.) Figures for electric vehicles do not include privately owned vehicles, but do include Low-Speed Vehicles (LSVs), defined as "four-wheeled motor vehicles whose top speed is ...20 to 25 mph (32 to 40 km/h) ... to be used in residential areas, planned communities, industrial sites, and other areas with low density traffic, and low-speed zones."[191] LSVs, more commonly known as neighborhood electric vehicles (NEVs), were defined in 1998 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 500, which required safety features such as windshields and seat belts, but not doors or side walls.[192][193][194]

The GEM is one of the best selling low-speed neighborhood electric vehicle in the U.S.
Electric Cars
in the United States
Year Number
1992 1,607
1993 1,690
1994 2,224
1995 2,860
1996 3,280
1997 4,453
1998 5,243
1999 6,964
2000 11,830
2001 17,847
2002 33,047
2003 47,485
2004 49,536
2005 51,398
2006 53,526
2007 55,730
2008 56,901
2009 57,185
Average annual growth 26.0%

Modern production timeline[edit]

The General Motors EV1 was one of the first PEVs introduced in 1996 as a result of CARB's zero-emissions vehicle mandate.
Navistar eStar all-electric van
Smith Newton delivery truck

This is a list of all highway-capable plug-in electric vehicles available for retail customers in the U.S. for sale or leasing since the early 1990s.

1990-2003[edit]

2008[edit]

  • Tesla Roadster (production ended in 2011 and no longer available for sale in the U.S.)

2009[edit]

  • Mini E (demonstration program ended in 2011)

2010[edit]

2011[edit]

2012[edit]

2013[edit]

2014[edit]

Future cars[edit]

Market launch scheduled between 2014 and 2015

U.S. electric vehicle organizations[edit]

  • CalCars (The California Cars Initiative)

Drive Oregon

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  2. ^ a b Jeff Cobb (2014-01-16). "Top 6 Plug-In Vehicle Adopting Countries". HybridCars.com. Retrieved 2014-01-18.  Over 172,000 highway-capable passenger vehicles have been sold in the U.S. between 2008 and December 2013.
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External links[edit]