US plug-in vehicle sales have surpassed the quarter-million mark, just in time for National Drive Electric Week, September 15-21. Sales have increased by a healthy percentage every year since the Volt and LEAF went on the market at the end of 2010. 2014 sales total 76,799 so far, on track to handily beat 2013’s figure of 97,507.
“Plug-in vehicles have had a good year,” said John O’Dell, Senior Editor at Edmunds.com. “Despite a slowdown in the conventional hybrid segment, battery-electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles are up about 39 percent over last year. They remain a tiny part of the market – less than a one-percent share – but more and more people seem to be considering them as they shop for fuel-efficient transportation.”
Approximately 40% of US plug-in sales have been in California, which passed the 100,000-vehicle mark in August. “This milestone shows that industry and government can work together for the good of the environment and the good of the consumer,” said California Air Resources Board Chairman Mary D. Nichols. “Automakers are proving on a daily basis that they can rise to the challenge to meet California’s clean vehicle standards, advance the technology, and provide a wide range of affordable cars that are good to look at, fun to drive, and, of course, have zero emissions.”
The fourth annual National Drive Electric Week will bring test drives and related activities to more than 130 cities in 35 states and abroad. National organizers Plug In America, the Sierra Club and the Electric Auto Association are expecting at least 35,000 attendees, including elected officials.
“Some like the high-tech efficiency of EVs. Some thrill at the instant torque. Others feel that the real fun comes in knowing that you’re keeping your carbon footprint small, especially if you charge your EV with renewable solar energy, like so many of us do,” said Plug In America spokeswoman Zan Dubin-Scott. “I mean, cowabunga, man!”
According to Plug In America, the yearly celebration translates directly to increased plug-in vehicle sales, which have jumped by as much as 23 percent the month after Drive Electric Week in every year it has been held.
“Clean energy prosperity is on the way and there’s no turning back,” said Sierra Club director Michael Brune. “National Drive Electric Week and the dramatic increase in the number of plug-in electric vehicles on the road are just the latest examples of how American consumers are demanding 21st-century solutions to energy and the climate crisis, and given the choice would leave dirty fossil fuels in the ground.”