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100% Electric Cars Outselling Plug-in Hybrid Electric Cars In US (2013)

This article was first published on EV Obsession:

Green Car Reports recently stumbled across an interesting fact — 100% electric vehicles (led by the Nissan Leaf and Tesla Model S) have actually outsold plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) in the first half of 2013 in the US.

electric cars outselling plug in electric cars

PHEVs have generally been portrayed as a bridge technology between gasmobiles and 100% electric vehicles. But if 100% electric vehicles are already outselling PHEVs, one might wonder how long that bridge technology will be useful, and how intelligent it was for some companies to invest in and develop high-quality PHEVs like the Chevy Volt and Fisker Karma.

Green Car Reports writes:

From January through June of this year, the combination of 9,839 Nissan Leafs, 882 Mitsubishi i-MiEVs, and approximately 9,400 Tesla Model S cars (plus 1,700-odd compliance cars and others) exceeds the total of 18,335 plug-in hybrids and Chevrolet Volt range-extended electric cars.

Slightly different six-month sales totals from the Electric Drive Transportation Association tell the same story.

EDTA reports 22,712 battery-electric cars (we presume they use different estimates for the monthly sales that Tesla doesn’t report) against the same 18,335 plug-in hybrids and range-extended electrics that we tallied.

Tesla has been responsible for a good portion of those 100% EV sales. Surely, the great range of the Model S has been a part of that, as well as the car winning just about every car award imaginable and being regarded by Consumer Reports as the best car its team has ever tested.

However, I think the fact that over 12,000 fully electric vehicles (including almost 10,000 Nissan Leafs) were also sold shows that so-called “range anxiety” is not a concern for many people. I’ve written many times that range anxiety is overhyped. The average American doesn’t need anything beyond the range of a typical electric car over 97% of the time, literally. Combine that with the fact that EV owners don’t have to go to gas stations — can simply plug in when they get home — and it’s clear that owning an EV isn’t less convenient but actually more convenient than owning a gasmobile!



With the price of the Nissan Leaf now below $30,000 before tax credits and potentially below $20,000 after tax credits (thanks to production moving to the US earlier this year), it can save many drivers money almost from Day 1 (but that sort of depends on what you’d buy otherwise and how much you drive). With the added benefit that it is much greener — helping to protect our plant, ourselves, and our children from global warming and air and water pollution — and reduces our country’s addiction to oil from unfriendly foreign countries, it’s a wonder why most people looking for a car in this class aren’t buying Nissan Leafs. But it’s good to see that people are certainly beginning to catch on.

As for the higher class in which the Model S competes, the car is even outselling competing gasmobiles from Mercedes, BMW, and Audi… which isn’t really surprising at all, given that it is considered by many experts to be the best “mass-production” car in the world. It has so many benefits that we’d need to write another long article to expound on all those. 😀


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Written By

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

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