CREDIT: Nissan / Engadget
The amount of electric cars sold in America is up over 447.95 percent over where it was at this time last year. Those are the latest numbers as reported by EVObsession, which also show that combined sales of all-electric cars and hybrids is up 30.11 percent.
Among other things, this is probably evidence that the problem of “range anxiety” amongst car buyers is overhyped. 97 percent of the time, the typical American consumer doesn’t need anything beyond the range electric cars can already provide.
One of the big drivers here, unsurprisingly, was Tesla, whose sales rocketed up 8,056.25 percent this year, from 160 to 13,050. But sales of the Nissan Leaf have also shot up 208.44 percent, from 5,212 to 16,076. That’s particularly encouraging. Unlike Tesla’s admittedly fantastic high-end Model S, the Leaf is a realistic buy for the average American consumer. Its price is now down below $30,000, and can get below $20,000 with the help of tax credits. In raw numbers, total electric vehicle sales for 2013 are at 67,232, while they were just at 15,708 at this point last year.
Ford’s combined sales of electric vehicles and hybrids are up 328.1 percent (from 15,708 to 67,232) and Toyota’s combined sales increased 9.55 percent (from 247,878 to 271,538).
According to numbers compiled by the International Energy Agency (IEA), the U.S. had the biggest stock of electric vehicles of any country involved the Electric Vehicles Initiative — an international forum dedicated to promoting electric transportation.
The IEA report estimates that to keep global warming under two degrees Celsius, the worldwide transportation sector will need to provide 21 percent of the greenhouse gas emission reductions by 2050. In other words, three-fourths of the globe’s automobile sales would need to be some form of plug-in electric by 2050. Obviously, the U.S. will need to be a big part of that push.
Domestically, there is negative news as well. Honda’s electric and hybrid sales are down a slight 5.5 percent, but GM’s combined sales are down a larger 9.3 percent. GM’s raw numbers are also bigger: a drop from 42,446 sales to 38,498 sales. But the company may be able top turn that around in the future. It’s planning the release of a new electric car with an overhauled battery, a 200 mile range, and for a price of less than $30,000.
The IEA report actually anticipates battery prices will keep dropping through 2020, to about half what they are now. It also identified the need for more charging infrastructure as a critical piece in expanded electric vehicle use.