The average U.S. driver may spend up to $4,000 on gasoline every year, so the most alluring benefit of owning electric cars is obvious; they don’t need gas. Based on a recent evaluation of U.S. electric car sales, it appears that a significant number of Americans are leaning towards greener transportation.
In the month of January alone, 12,000 electric cars were sold across the nation; this equated to a 59 percent year over year growth rate. While this only accounted for one percent of the country’s total automotive sales, the increase clearly pointed to the continuance of a strong consumer trend that is encouraging for manufacturers and environmentalists alike.
Why Electric Transportation Is Trending
The global demand for electric vehicles has been growing steadily for several years, with the U.S. playing a substantial role. Expanded product ranges, premium comfort features, environmental awareness and supportive policies all play a part in the popularity of both standard and luxury electric automobiles and hybrids.
Countries that lack supportive legislation such as tax incentives and enhanced charging infrastructure have seen weaker growth. Targeted attempts by individual states to reduce emissions and counter the effects of global warming have been working for America. States like California lead the way with emissions standards that are stricter than federal EPA requirements.
America’s Top Five Electric Car Models
A recent article published by EVObsession outlines specific details about electric vehicle sales growth in America. According to EVObsession’s data, the following top five models account for about 40 percent of total U.S. electric car sales.
1. Tesla Model S
Tesla’s award-winning luxury sedan gives the new electric car buyer access to the impressive performance, premium features and prestige that they’ve become accustomed to in gas-powered cars. The Model S ranked as the world’s best-selling plug-in electric car and 2015 and 2016 and continues to hold its place in the market.
2. Chevy Volt
The 2011 Volt hit the American market in December 2010. Attention to consumer demands and improvements in its design has kept its popularity intact for almost a decade. The 2017 Volt offers drivers up to 53 miles on electric power only, and as many as 420 miles with a full charge and a full tank of gas. Its efficiency means fewer stops and less driving range anxiety for owners.
3. Tesla Model X
Billed by its manufacturer as the fastest and safest electric sport utility vehicle in history, the Model X features a 100 kWh battery that provides a 295-mile range. It can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 2.9 seconds, but it also boasts safety features such as a lower center or gravity to prevent rolling and a battery structure that limits side impact damage. Today’s Model X also includes full self-driving hardware.
4. Toyota Prius Prime
Toyota’s Prius Prime isn’t simply a plug-in hybrid copy of its regular Prius. In addition to the new powertrain, it offers multiple driving modes, an 11.6-inch touchscreen and a recharge mode that utilizes the engine to recharge its battery. It’s an ideal choice for a potential buyer who is concerned about long recharge times and limited range.
5. Chevy Bolt
The Chevy Bolt’s monthly sales are still below expectations, but this is due to limited production and availability. It lures drivers with its reliable performance, spacious interior and stylish good looks. With its EPA-estimated 238-mile range, it allows owners who drive a 40-mile commute to go three or four days without charging. The Bolt EV was named 2017 Car of the Year by Motor Trend.
Honorable Mention: The Nissan LEAF
Coming in at a respectable number six, the Nissan LEAF is a worthy contender. Introduced in the U.S. in 2011, its relatively strong hold on the market can be partially attributed to its wider availability along with Nissan’s savvy marketing efforts and the car’s competitive, consumer-focused design.
Model Availability Makes Evaluation Difficult
The potential for sales may be even greater than what present data suggests. Many available electric models are still compliance cars, which are not manufactured with sales or profit in mind. Only a few thousand units of each compliance model are made, and many significant models are difficult to find outside of California and Oregon. The limited availability of electric cars that make up the rest of U.S. sales makes it difficult to accurately evaluate the market or make predictions.
U.S. Sales Evaluation: 2017 Quick Facts
The Future of Electric Vehicles in the U.S.
- Year over year, U.S. electric car sales were up 59 percent; this includes both fully electric can plug-in hybrid cars.
- Sales of fully electric cars were up 41 percent.
- Plug-in hybrid sales were up 86 percent.
- The Chevy Volt enjoyed a sales increase of 62 percent.
- The Tesla Model S and Model X accounted for 10 percent and 8 percent of all U.S. electric car sales.
- Models that saw a marked decrease in sales included the Mitsubishi i, the Porsche Panamera SE hybrid, the Cadillac ELR, the Smart ED and the Chevy Spark EV.
When considering the future of America’s electric vehicle market, there are many reasons for car manufacturers and drivers to be optimistic. The focus on energy independence, the health effects of emissions and the need for increased efficiency is expected to lure consumers away from traditional automobiles. Another reason to be hopeful is that virtually every major automobile manufacturer is in the game. There are unlimited possibilities for using electricity to power vehicles, and almost every company has some sort of electric vehicle development in its pipeline.