97% more plug-in vehicles in 2013 compared to 2012

Chevy Volt
Chevy Volt
Nissan Leaf unveiling
The Nissan Leaf unveiling in Los Angeles

2013 saw the number of plug-in cars almost double.  Eerily enough, we hear less and less from naysayers…

We miss the days back in the prehistoric era of electric vehicles (EV), say around 2007 to 2009 when carmakers’ alternative energy vehicle enthusiasm was about as red hot as naysayer’s vitriolic resistance.  If numbers are anything to gauge, the number of plug-in cars sold in the US in 2013 almost doubled the sales of the previous year.  Not bad for cars that have only been on the market a year for PHEVs and more for EVs.  To be fair, 2011 was the introduction of plug-in hybrids, PHEV, which makes the early enthusiasm understandable.   This gave us a whopping 500% increase in sales in 2012, compared to 2011.  While this number is down by 400% last compared to the previous year, it still spells good news for carmakers.  Still, we miss you naysayers.  Come back, there are still plenty of things to complain about.  Heck, we’ll even help you out a bit if you are having problems coming up with excuses.

From 53,000 to 96,000 plug ins in 2013.

Not too many automotive segments can claim such sale numbers in a year.  That’s roughly a 97% increase.  To our knowledge, no other segment can boast such numbers.  The EDTA gives you total numbers, although we will need the December 2013 numbers to confirm this.

Our colleague John Voelker at Green Car Reports breaks down the numbers this way; the incredible performance were spearheaded by the Chevy Volt and nissan-leaf/” title=”(View all articles about Nissan Leaf here)”>Nissan Leaf.  The nissan-leaf/” title=”(View all articles about Nissan Leaf here)”>Nissan Leaf sold an impressive 2,392 sold in December 2013.

Ford Fusion Energi
The Ford Fusion Energi can help you say no to oil

At the top of the heap, Chevrolet leads the group with the Volt, followed by Nissan’s Leaf and tesla-motors/” title=”(View all articles about Tesla Motors here)”>Tesla Motors with its Model S.  Ford comes in with both of its Energi cars, the Fusion and C-MAX tying it in with Toyota, Honda following behind.

Compliance cars rig the numbers.

It’s too bad so many EVs and PHEVs cars are only sold in a few selected states.  While we can be sure sales will expand to other states this year, it would have been nice to see a true overall domestic number.  We currently have in the vicinity of 16 plug-in cars to the general public with a few only available in certain parts of the country.

The white elephant in the room is that while 97% increase is a healthy number, it doesn’t quite beat the 2012, five times as much.  Yes, alternative energy vehicle only make up a minute fraction of cars on the road, 400% or 97 increase is nothing to sneer at.  The public has spoken.  It is ready for alternative energy vehicles and green performance.  Carmakers will continue to find ways to make batteries more affordable.

Carmakers will continue to hype their alternative energy cars, while potential clients enjoy an increasing amount of choice.  This is a win-win situation for everyone.

Nicolas Zart
Born and raised around classic cars, it wasn't until Nicolas drove an AC Proulsion eBox and a Tesla Roadster that the light went on. Eager to spread the news about those amazing full torque electric vehicles, he started writing about this amazing technology and its social impacts in 2007. Today, Nicolas covers renewable energy, test drives cars, does podcasts and films. Nicolas offers an in-depth look at the e-mobility world through interviews and the many contacts he made in those industries. His articles are also published on Teslrati, CleanTechnica, the Beverly Hills Car Club and Medium. "There are more solutions than obstacles." Nicolas Zart