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Cumulative plug-in vehicle sales topped 500K units in US in September

Cumulative sales of plug-in vehicles in the US topped 500,000 units in September, according to figures gathered by the US Department of Energy (DOE).

The introduction of the first mass market plug-in vehicles occurred in December of 2010 with the introduction of the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf. By the end of 2012 there were 11 different plug-in models available, and by September of 2016 there were 27 different models.

Electric vehicle sales have been accelerating in 2016. For the past three years, sales of plug-in vehicles have averaged a little over 10,000 units per month. However, monthly sales records have been set five times since December 2015, and reached an all-time high of 16,069 units in September of 2016.

Top. Monthly and cumulative PEV sales in the US. Data: DOE. Bottom: Starting MSRP, electric range and full range of select PEVS currently on the market. Click to enlarge.



A total of 500,000 units is a rather slow transition from ICEVs to PHEVs/BEVs but will pick up when batteries prices are reduced and performances are improved.

The lower cost extended range Toyota Prius Prime, the mid-price Toyota Mirai FCEVs, the Chevy Volt, the Chevy Bolt, the improved range Leaf and TESLA Model 3 (and many others) could change the curve to well over 1,000,000/year by 2020/2022 or so?

Juan Valdez

Harvey, with about 255 million cars/trucks in the US, even with 1,000,000 electric or plug-ins sold per year, it will take 100 years to transition! We and our children may all be fried by then. We need a faster transition - most likely with via cheaper batteries and federal policy.

Carbon tax is supported by many folks, even conservative economists as the most efficient way to move a market.
Another way is to have all government agencies buy only electrics - that could help too.

Probably all of the above needed !!


I agree with Juan.

It would take much higher Federal progressive liquid fuel taxes (up to an extra $2/gal) together with progressive Federal carbon tax (up to $100/ton) to convince more ICEVs users to switch HEVs/PHEVs/BEV and FCEVs.

Some of the hugh revenues from the above taxes could be used to promote faster development of improved lower cost batteries, FCs, BEVs, FCEVs and ultra quick charging facilities and H2 stations, to reduce GHG and pollution to a more acceptable level.

Part of the extra revenues could be used to reduce the current ultra high national debt and fix the highways, road streets and bridges.

Account Deleted

It will all change very fast when the first self-driving taxi services come online by 2020. Tesla will probably be first with such a service and they are planning to make 1 million cars in 2020. Each self-driving Tesla can do 100k miles per year and thus replace 6 to 7 non-self-driving gassers.

Self-driving taxis solves the three key problems with BEV:
1) Cost because they can do 100k miles per year and thus take full advantage of their low marginal driving cost and use that to pay for higher upfront cost.
2) Range because you can always jump into another self driving taxi and carry on.
3) Charging time because again you can just jump into another self driving taxi and carry on.

Still despite the simplicity and logic of these three facts most people simply does not get it yet. This is why we do not see any serious effort by the old auto-industry to make BEVs. Only Tesla is serious about BEVs.

The Bolt is not a serious effort either although it is the best yet from an old automaker. It is a 37.500 USD that looks and feels like a 25,000 USD gasser. It will therefore not sell in volume unlike the Model 3 that is a 35,000 USD car that looks and drives like a 40,000 USD gasser.


for faster penetration of electric vehicles we got to have vehicles like I road of toyoto replacing cars and more lectric buses by govts and subsidised tractors on farms that can be charged at farms .govts have to go all out to help elctric vehcles. reduced pollution will reduce deaths and sickness. the cost to health is enormous.


Automated taxis can't do what some people think they can.  When everyone has to go to work in the morning, most of them are going to be travelling solo.  Then the EVs have to charge before they can do much else.

500k cumulative?  The Gigafactory is intended to make enough batteries to build 500k EVs every year.

If we're trying to cut petroleum consumption and air emissions we'd be better off with start-stop for everything not hybridized, with downsized supercharged engines.  The 35 GWh/yr of batteries from the Gigafactory would be better employed turning 3.5 million vehicles into PHEVs with 10 kWh apiece.  With another 3 Gigafactories you could turn roughly the entire US flow of new LDVs into PHEVs.  Assuming a 2/3 cut in liquid fuel consumption in the new vehicles, gasoline use would fall from ~9 million bbl/d to ~6 within 5 years, and head for ~4 million in 10 years.  When battery production came up far enough, EVs would start displacing PHEVs and the ramp toward zero would steepen again.


A step by step approach, from ICEVs to HEVs, to PHEVs and to BEVs/FCEVs is not a bad idea. Toyota may be on the right track with almost 10,000,000 HEVs, 1,000,000 PHEVs and 2,000 FCEVs?

NIKOLA Motors will offer a new 1000 hp heavy truck (in USA/Canada) with 320 kWh battery pack plus a suitable size FC for a 1900 Km initial extended range. Larger H2 tanks could extend range further. H2 refill and battery charging facilities will be offered by Nikola.

Eventually, a Mexico-Canada corridor may be equipped for automated drive trucks to further reduce operation cost.

David Bennett

The chart, "Base MSRP, Total Range and Electric Range for Select US Market PHEVs, EVs and Fuel Cell Vehicles" has color coding errors. Most, if not all, of the cars labeled "Battery-Electric" are Plug-in Hybrids. Likewise, all of the cars labeled "Plug-in Hybrids" are Battery-Electric.


What I find amazing is the economic arguments against electrics and plug-in's. I remember back in the the early to mid 1990's that there were a substantial number of $2000 "286" computers plopped on managers desks that were put to no greater purpose than playing solitaire for the 3 years or so it took them to become obsolete. In the long run advancing the computer industry had game changing consequences and I suspect these loss leaders played a role.

If the same amount of money was spent/wasted on early development of electric cars I don't think it would take long before EV's and PHEV became the norm?


Maybe 50,000 per year, became 100,000 per year then 150,000 per year, it is growing and accelerating, be patient.


Don't forget how many deposits Tesla has taken for the Model 3.


Evs cost more to produce than the selling price not counting the price of the recharger apperatus. These climate change scammers are also increasing the price of electricity everywhere by banning hydro-power and enforcing costly electricity to everyone. Look at this video, india is kicking out Greenpeace, LOL.


A recent Solar power turn key project was signed below 3 cents i.e. for $0.028/kWh in UAE. As solar panels keep dropping in price (another 30% or so for 2016), near future projects may hit less than 2 cents/kWh soon.

The cost of storage is also going down fast. Total 24/7 clean RE cost (with storage) may soon be below $0.010/kWh, (specially when/where excess RE is used to make H2). Energy from NPPs cost 2X as much.


Yeah, right.  Materials and energy cost ALONE for Li-ion are $80/kWh.  To supply 1 kW continuous for 3 days from Li-ion storage thus costs at least $5760 (then you have the cost of the system to charge it).

Nuclear costs less than Li-ion storage and is its own charger.


A very high percentage of REs (Hydro, Solar and Wind) may be used during production hours and may not have to be stored. Hydro energy can be stored in existing water reservoirs at no extra cost and use when Solar and Wind energy production is low.

The ratio of stored versus produced REs will vary from place to place, day to day, hour by hour etc. Finding the best uses/customers at the right time will have to be well managed or automated to reduce energy lost to a minimum.

REs production and storage cost will go down year after year while NPPs cost keep going up, at least for the next 10 to 20 years.

A very high percentage of REs (Hydro, Solar and Wind) may be used during production hours and may not have to be stored.

Of the 3, only hydro has any kind of inherent storage mechanism.  Even some hydro cannot be stored; many dams have reservoirs too small to contain spring runoff, so they must generate power immediately to avoid using spillways and killing fish by nitrogen supercharging.

Hydro energy can be stored in existing water reservoirs at no extra cost and use when Solar and Wind energy production is low.

In many places, including the hydro-heavy BPA, wind is at its strongest during the same storms which bring lots of water into the reservoirs.  This allows neither to be stored, as both must be used immediately once reservoirs are full.

REs production and storage cost will go down year after year while NPPs cost keep going up, at least for the next 10 to 20 years.

NPP cost is driven by supply-chain experience and intrusiveness of regulation.  Lightening NRC regulation back to AEC levels would slash NPP costs overnight, as the volume of paperwork would be greatly reduced and workers could spend more time working and less time planning to minimize already-trivial radiation exposures on the job.

If NPP operating costs went down and stayed down, there would be an increase in construction which would put more experience in the supply chains.  This would further drive costs down.  Today's handful of NPPs being built in the West are costly because the bodies of experience were destroyed following the crash of the 1980's.  If government can mandate wind and PV, it can mandate nuclear and keep production going and experience current.



Solutions exist to reduce water over flow during rainy seasons. Bigger reservoirs and over equipped or more Hydro power plants can do it. Collocated or near wind turbine farms can share energy supply to ensure 24/7 availability.

Large and small clean H2 making/storing/distributing plants and facilities will soon be used to absorb/use excess REs and further reduce current energy waste (water over flow) during rainy seasons.

The arrival of many more BEVs and FCEVs will also help to use excess REs by 2020/2025.

The Canadian Federal Government sold 'Atomic Canada' research and development facilities to SNC for a few ($15M) dollars in an effort to reduce cost and save jobs. SNC is currently involved in Ontario (for the next 15 to 20 years) with refurbishing the 18 CANDU. Ontario will buy 2+ TWh/year from Hydro Quebec during the CANDU refurbishing program. Simultaneously, SNC, in a joint venture with China, will build two to four advanced CANDU by 2025/2027 or so.

It is not sure if the refurbishing program and the advanced CANDUs will reduce initial and ongoing operation cost?


Bigger reservoirs means more land, homes, farms, archaeological sites permanently under water.  Further, unless you are going to heap up levees over miles and miles of river bank, you can only do this where the favorable geography already exists (and the rainfall to fill it).

You keep touting hydro as if it's the solution to the world's problems.  Frankly, that's insane.  If it was that easy, waterpower would always have run everything and nobody would have bothered to develop stationary steam engines.


In the not too distant future, Wind and Solar farms will replace CPPs, NGPPs and NPPs in many countries.

Hydro (with reservoirs), where it exists in large enough quantities, will fill-in for other REs during low production hours/days.

Alternatively, large FCs using H2 created with excess REs will also be used with Hydro to fill-in during peak demands and/or during REs low product hours/days.

NGPPs could also be used but the level of GHG and pollution may not be acceptable.

More new safer & cheaper NPPs for base load could be used in the energy mix but the price is too high and acceptability is too low.


Harvey, you're not even trying to address the point.  You're indistinguisable from a prose generator.

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