Cars

Published on June 15th, 2014 | by Matthew Klippenstein

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

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.


Check out our new 93-page EV report, based on over 2,000 surveys collected from EV drivers in 49 of 50 US states, 26 European countries, and 9 Canadian provinces.

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About the Author

Matthew Klippenstein is a renewable energy consultant in Vancouver, Canada. He has chronicled the Canadian electric car market for GreenCarReports.com since 2013, and has provided commentary (in English and French) for print, television, radio, web and podcast media. An early guest on "The Energy Transition Show", his work has also been discussed on "The Energy Gang". An occasional contributor to CleanTechnica, he co-hosts our own CleanTech Talk with Nicolas Zart.



  • 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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