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Published on June 15th, 2014 | by Matthew Klippenstein

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Earth’s EV Fleet Has Sped Past Saturn (CleanTechnica Exclusive)

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June 15th, 2014 by
 
EV drivers sped past a big milestone recently, surpassing two billion electric kilometres in their plug-in vehicles. That’s 2,000,000,000 km – or about 1,250,000,000 miles. And that’s just the Nissan Leaf and Tesla owners, and the electric-only km’s / miles covered by Chevy Volt drivers.

When we factor in the electric distances travelled by plug-ins from BYD (210 million km / 130 million miles), Mitsubishi, Toyota, Ford, Renault, and others, we could well be approaching 2.5 billion km (1.5 billion miles).

Which is all fine and good, except that most of us have no earthly idea what those kinds of distances look like!

So we turned to the skies.

EV solar system

click to embiggen

If we were set out on a cross-countrycosmos road trip, two billion kilometres would get us well past Saturn – about halfway between Saturn and Uranus, in fact. And that’s pretty cool.

On an individual vehicle level, Leaf and Volt drivers are running pretty much neck and neck, having collectively covered almost 800 million km (500 million miles) apiece. That’s enough for both of them to have rounded Jupiter. Tesla drivers aren’t that far behind, having covered roughly 500 million km (350 million) in their Roadsters and Model S’s. That’s more than far enough to “occupy Mars,” and puts them on the outer edge of the Asteroid Belt, en route to Jupiter.

We’ll be trying to uncover more plug-in travel stats in the coming months, and we’ll post an update when the Earth’s EV fleet reaches Uranus, the seventh planet, at roughly the 2.8 billion km (1.75 billion mile) mark.

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About the Author

is a professional engineer and plug-in electric vehicle enthusiast. A member of the Vancouver Electric Vehicle Association, he lives with his family in the nearby suburb of Burnaby, tweets at @EclecticLip and blogs occasionally at www.eclecticlip.com. A thirteen-year veteran of the fuel cell industry with Ballard Power Systems, he was part of the micro-CHP product team which won the American Electrochemical Society New Technology Award in 2007, and co-authored the company's white paper on the future of electricity ("electron-democracy") for a McKinsey & Company essay series to which Steven Chu and Andy Grove also contributed. In roles spanning research, product design and production, he helped the company scale-up from discrete manual assembly to continuous, automated roll-to-roll processing, with the company manufacturing its 1,000,000th production-line MEA (membrane-electrode assembly) in 2010.



  • andereandre

    It is counterproductive to treat people who come here to get information about green technology as little children.

  • Steve Grinwis

    I’m proud to say I can now contribute to the fleet total EV miles!

  • JamesWimberley

    The headline ingeniously suggests that the fleet has gone past Saturn, which would make 2bn km each, not as a relay.
    The fossil SUV fleet is still well ahead, indeed up Uranus.

  • WilmaGColeman

    Tesla drivers aren’t that far behind, having covered roughly 500 million km (350 million) in their Roadsters and Model S’s. That’s more than far enough to “occupy Mars,” and puts them on the outer edge of the Asteroid Belt, en route to Jupiter. http://tw.gs/W6z5hV

  • WeaponZero

    Wan’t latest announce from Tesla that they have a total of over 450 million miles? This was mentioned in the shareholder meeting.

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