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Autonomous Vehicles

Published on December 14th, 2017 | by Nicolas Zart


Plug In America Lists 2017’s Top 10 Electric Car Milestones

December 14th, 2017 by  

2017 has kept us busy and Plug In America has named the 10 best moments regarding electric vehicles (EV). Here’s our take on those milestones.

Plug In America Names 2017 Top Ten Electric Car Milestone

10. Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority committed to turning its fleet of over 2,000 buses all-electric by 2030, making it by far the largest electric bus fleet in the world.

Although the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority committed to turning its fleet of over 2,000 buses fully electric by 2030, it’s neighboring city of Long Beach has been aggressive for a long time. If you equate Long Beach with gangs and violence, living here, we can say we don’t see that at all. Also, the city of Long Beach, for the most part, has always been more committed to greener mobility than its neighbors. Long Beach has been investing in alternative fuels since 1972, two years before the petroleum crash. Today, almost every bus in the city is a hybrid. We took BYD’s electric bus maiden drive a few months ago and they are now circulating downtown.

We’re also not sure about the claim that this will make this bus fleet “the largest electric bus fleet in the world.” We’re pretty sure China already has larger ones. For example, see:

100% Electric Bus Fleet For Shenzhen (Population 11.9 Million) By End Of 2017

China Electric Bus Sales Still Exploding

Plug In America Names 2017 Top Ten Electric Car Milestone

9. National Drive Electric Week celebrated EVents from coast to coast, in all 50 states for the first time, covering every major metropolitan area (276 events in all).

A great event we never miss is the National Drive Electric Week that is celebrated in greater numbers every year. Long are the days when the Electric Drive events took place in far remote parking lots. Today, there are huge events in hot markets and young & growing events in less developed markets. The event is even becoming international, and we hope it becomes much more international in 2018 … and maybe even gets renamed International Drive Electric Week?

8. The first moderately-priced electric car with a 200+ mile range, the Chevy Bolt, became available in all 50 states and was recognized by Motor Trend as the Car of the Year.

Although we love to write about Tesla and everything it has done to bring EVs to the awareness of the public at large, the Chevy Bolt has certainly heralded an era of decent range at a decent price.

GM Bolt EV preview by Tina Casey

The GM Bolt is the first moderately-priced electric car with over 200 miles of range on a single charge (well over 200 miles). It became available in all 50 states after a gradual rollout that started in late 2016. Also, sticking a stake in the heart of pollution and swatting pollution-loving anti-EV claims, the Bolt was recognized by Motor Trend as the Car of the Year, a huge milestone in and of itself.

7. The first plug-in hybrid minivan, the Chrysler Pacifica, went on sale.

Plug In America Names 2017 Top Ten Electric Car Milestone

The other good news from Detroit was the much awaited for Chrysler Pacifica PHEV, the first plug-in hybrid minivan that went on sale in the US. Although Peugeot’s new 3008 PHEV is slated out next year, we love the new Chrysler Pacifica PHEV and look forward to the test drive we will soon do for CleanTechnica.

6. China established a requirement that all automakers must sell 10% plug-in cars by 2019—e.g. next model year!

The West talks, while China leaps. We know how China has been leaping forward while politicians and special interests in the West keep the adoption of the electric drive back. Case in point: China is pushing all automakers to sell 10% plug-in cars by 2019. And if that didn’t raise any eyebrows, how about 3 of China’s state-owned carmakers — FAW Group Corp., Dongfeng Motor Corp., and Changan Automobile Co. — agreeing to work together to tackle 4 pillars of the modern automotive industry — EVs, automated vehicles or self-driving cars, manufacturing of cars, and parts. We covered that further following my TV interview on CGTN.

5. The United States passed 700,000 plug-in vehicles sold and the world surpassed 2 million.

Meanwhile, in the West, the US did surpass 700,000 plug-in vehicles sold, and that was a significant chunk of the 2 million that have been sold globally. The market also continues to diversify, and …

4. 35 different models of plug-in cars became available for sale in the United States.

A few years ago, we had almost no models. Now, we have 35 different models of plug-in cars available for sale in the US — well, some parts of the US have 35 models available. You can see the Plug In America list here, as well as our own (which goes beyond the US into Europe) here.

Plug In America Names 2017 Top Ten Electric Car Milestone

3. The Tesla Model 3 was launched to great fanfare, with a backlog of 450,000 orders and a declaration from Motor Trend that it is “the Car of the Century.”

When traditional print media outlets, such as Motor Trend, that have focused on internal combustion engines calls a Tesla the “the Car of the Century,” you know the tipping point has been reached. That distinction was actually given to the Model S, not the Model 3, but there have surely been countless claims that the Model 3 is the real Car of the Century. The long-expected vehicle to put us over the tipping point has been the Tesla Model 3. Finally released and with production getting ramped up, we seem to be teetering on the edge. And this also pushes Detroit to act sooner than later. There’s little doubt that the Chevy Bolt wouldn’t be here today if not for the Model 3. But GM’s electric plans are now much bigger than the Bolt + Volt.

2. General Motors declared that “the future is all-electric” and committed to rolling out 18 pure electric cars by 2023.

GM has picked up the challenge by declaring what those of us here on CleanTechnica know well — “the future is all-electric.” While we may know that, it’s a big statement from a major automaker to say the same. To go along with the words, GM indicated it is committed to rolling out 18 pure electric cars by 2023. We’re a long, long way from Who Killed The Electric Car? Next up: Who Loves The Electric Car?

It’s A Big World When It Comes To EVs

1. China, India, Germany, France, Britain, Norway, and Netherlands (nearly half of the world auto market) all committed to eliminate sales of new gas cars by 2040 or earlier.

There is nothing greater than countries and companies coming together to push electric cars out the door and on our streets. China, India, Germany, France, Britain, Norway, and Netherlands — which make up nearly half of the world auto market — all made strong commitments to clean electric cars in 2017. Wiping out the idea that the future might not be electric, they announced various levels of gas car bans or phaseouts by 2040 or earlier.

Oh, US, where are you? Stuck in political debates? That means we will yet again have to show who’s wearing the pants — or more to the point, who has the wallets.

Those were some of the highlights for 2017 and we’re sure we’ve missed a few our readers will certainly remind us of. In the meantime, we’ll start our list of things that rocked our world this year.

List source: Plug In America.

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About the Author

Nicolas was born and raised around classic cars of the 1920s, but it wasn't until he drove an AC Propulsion eBox and a Tesla Roadster that the light went on. Eager to spread the news of that full torque, he was invited to write for various CleanTech outlets in 2007. Since then, his passion led to cover renewable energy, test drives, podcasts, shoot pictures, and film for various international outlets both in print and online. Nicolas offers an in-depth look at the e-mobility world through interviews and the many contacts he has forged in those industries. He particularly enjoys communicating about the new e-mobility technology and what it means to us as a society. Today he focuses most of his writing effort on CleanTechnica, a global online outlet that covers the world of electric vehicles and renewable energy. His favorite tagline is: "There are more solutions than obstacles."

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