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Plug-in electric vehicles in the United States

U.S. all-time top-selling plug-in cars
(sales as of March 2019)[1]

The adoption of plug-in electric vehicles in the United States is supported by the American federal government, and several states and local governments. As of September 2018, cumulative sales in the U.S. totaled one million highway legal plug-in electric vehicles since the market launch of the Tesla Roadster in 2008.[2][3] The American stock represented about 25% of the global plug-in car stock in 2017,[4] and the U.S. had the world's third largest stock of plug-in passenger cars after China and Europe.[5]

The U.S. market share of plug-in electric passenger cars increased from 0.14% in 2011 to 0.62% in 2013; reached 0.75% in 2014 and fell to 0.66% in 2015.[6][7][8][9] Then climbed to 0.90% in 2016, to 1.13% in 2017, and achieved a record market share of 2.1% in 2018.[10][11][12] California is the largest plug-in car regional market in the country, with over 500,000 plug-in electric vehicles sold by the end of November 2018.[13][14]

As of March 2019, the Tesla Model 3 all-electric car is the all-time best selling plug-in electric car with about 164,000 units delivered, followed by the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid with 154,664 units (both generations), and the Tesla Model S with about 147,500 cars.[1] The Model S was the best selling plug-in car in the U.S. for three consecutive years, from 2015 to 2017,[15][16] and the Model 3 topped sales in 2018.[17]

The Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008 granted federal tax credits for new qualified plug-in electric vehicles, which is worth between US$2,500 and US$7,500 depending on battery capacity.[18] As of 2014, Washington, D.C. and 37 states and had established incentives and tax or fee exemptions for BEVs and PHEVs, or utility-rate breaks, and other non-monetary incentives such as free parking and high-occupancy vehicle lane access.[19]

Government supportEdit

 
President Barack Obama behind the wheel of a new Chevrolet Volt during his tour of the General Motors Auto Plant in Hamtramck, Michigan in 2010

In his 2011 State of the Union address, President Barack Obama set the goal for the U.S. to become the first country to have one million electric vehicles on the road by 2015.[20] This goal was established based on forecasts made by the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE), using production capacity of PEV models announced to enter the U.S. market through 2015. The DoE estimated a cumulative production of 1,222,200 PEVS by 2015, and was based on manufacturer announcements and media reports accounting production goals for the Fisker Karma, Fisker Nina, Ford Transit Connect, Ford Focus Electric, Chevrolet Volt, Nissan Leaf, Smith Newton, Tesla Roadster, Tesla Model S and Th!nk City.[21]

Considering that actual PEV sales were lower than initially expected, as of early 2013, several industry observers have concluded that this goal was unattainable.[22][23][24][25] Obama's goal was achieved only in September 2018.[2][3]

 
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom at the opening of the public plug-in charging stations in front of San Francisco City Hall in 2009

In 2008, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed and Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums announced a nine-step policy plan for transforming the Bay Area into the "Electric Vehicle (EV) Capital of the U.S.".[26] Other local and state governments have also expressed interest in electric cars.[27]

The Governor of California, Jerry Brown, issued an executive order in March 2012 that established the goal of getting 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) on California roads by 2025.[28][29][30]

American Recovery and Reinvestment ActEdit

President Barack Obama pledged US$2.4 billion in federal grants to support the development of next-generation electric vehicles and batteries.[31][32] $1.5 billion in grants to U.S. based manufacturers to produce highly efficient batteries and their components; up to $500 million in grants to U.S. based manufacturers to produce other components needed for electric vehicles, such as electric motors and other components; and up to $400 million to demonstrate and evaluate plug-in hybrids and other electric infrastructure concepts—like truck stop charging station, electric rail, and training for technicians to build and repair electric vehicles (greencollar jobs).[33]

In March 2009, as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the U.S. Department of Energy announced the release of two competitive solicitations for up to $2 billion in federal funding for competitively awarded cost-shared agreements for manufacturing of advanced batteries and related drive components as well as up to $400 million for transportation electrification demonstration and deployment projects. This initiative aimed to help meet President Barack Obama's goal of putting one million plug-in electric vehicles on the road by 2015.[20][34]

Tax creditsEdit

New plug-in electric vehiclesEdit

Federal incentivesEdit

First the Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008, and later the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (ACES) granted tax credits for new qualified plug-in electric drive motor vehicles.[18] The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) also authorized federal tax credits for converted plug-ins, though the credit is lower than for new plug-in electric vehicle (PEV).[35]

 
President Bush with A123Systems CEO on the White House South Lawn examining a Toyota Prius converted to plug-in hybrid with Hymotion technology

As defined by the 2009 ACES Act, a PEV is a vehicle which draws propulsion energy from a traction battery with at least 5 kwh of capacity and uses an offboard source of energy to recharge such battery.[18] The tax credit for new plug-in electric vehicles is worth US$2,500 plus US$417 for each kilowatt-hour of battery capacity over 5 kwh, and the portion of the credit determined by battery capacity cannot exceed US$5,000. Therefore, the total amount of the credit, between US$2,500 and US$7,500, will vary depending on the capacity of the battery (4 to 16 kWh) used to power the vehicles.[36]

The qualified plug-in electric vehicle credit phases out for a plug-in manufacturer over the one-year period beginning with the second calendar quarter after the calendar quarter in which at least 200,000 qualifying plug-in vehicles from that manufacturer have been sold for use in the U.S. Cumulative sales started counting sales after December 31, 2009. After reaching the cap, qualifying PEVs for one quarter still earn the full credit, the second quarter after that quarter plug-in vehicles are eligible for 50% of the credit for six months, then 25% of the credit for another six months and finally the credit is phased out.[18] Both the Nissan Leaf electric vehicle and the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid, launched in December 2010, are eligible for the maximum $7,500 tax credit.[37] The Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid, released in January 2012, is eligible for a US$2,500 tax credit due to its smaller battery capacity of 5.2 kWh.[38] All Tesla cars and the Chevrolet Bolts and BMW i3 BEV are eligible for the US$7,500 tax credit.

A 2016 study conducted by researchers from the University of California, Davis found that the federal tax credit was the reason behind more than 30% of the plug-in electric sales. The impact of the federal tax incentive is higher among owners of the Nissan Leaf, with up to 49% of sales attributable to the federal incentive. The study, based on an stated preference survey of more than 2,882 plug in vehicle owners in 11 states, also found that the federal tax credit shifts buyers from internal combustion engine vehicles to plug-in vehicles and advances the purchase timing of new vehicles by a year or more.[39]

In July 2018, Tesla Inc. was the first plug-in manufacturer to pass 200,000 sales and the full tax credit will be available until the end 2018, with the phase out beginning in January 2019.[40] General Motors combined sales of plug-in electric vehicles passed 200,000 units in November 2018. The full tax credit will be available until the end of March 2019 and thereafter reduces gradually until it is completely phase out beginning on April 1, 2020.[41][42] In order of cumulative sales, as of November 2018, Nissan has delivered 126,875 units, Ford 111,715, Toyota 93,011 and the BMW Group 79,679 plug-in electric cars.[43]

State incentivesEdit
 
Chevrolet Volt with California's HOV lane access green sticker

As of November 2014, a total of 37 states and Washington, D.C. have established incentives and tax or fee exemptions for BEVs and PHEVs, or utility-rate breaks, and other non-monetary incentives such as free parking and high-occupancy vehicle lane access regardless of the number of occupants.[19] In California, for example, the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP) was established to promote the production and use of zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs). Eligible vehicles include only new Air Resources Board-certified or approved zero-emission or plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.[44] Among the eligible vehicles are neighborhood electric vehicles, battery electric, plug-in hybrid electric, and fuel cell vehicles including cars, trucks, medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles, and zero-emission motorcycles. Vehicles must be purchased or leased on or after March 15, 2010. Rebates initially of up to US$5,000 per light-duty vehicle, and later lowered to up to US$2,500, are available for individuals and business owners who purchase or lease new eligible vehicles. Certain zero-emission commercial vehicles are also eligible for rebates up to US$20,000.[45][46][47] California's zero-emission (ZEV) regulations are anticipated to result in 1.5 million electric vehicles on the road by 2025 ( i.e., 15% sales of total states in 2025), moreover, the California's mixed incentives means to reach 40% of electric vehicle sales in the entire U.S.[36]

Electric vehicle purchases made in the U.S. are eligible for $2,500 to $7,500, depending on the make and model of the vehicle, in federal tax credit.[48]

The following table summarizes some of the state incentives:[49][50]

State incentives for plug-in electric vehicles[51]
State Amount of
incentive
Type of
PEV/vehicle
Type of
incentive
Carpool lane
access
Comments
Arizona BEVs Lower vehicle licensing tax Yes Eligibility for PHEVs depends on the extent to which the vehicle is powered by electricity. Maximum of $75 available to individuals for installation of EV charging outlets.
California up to $2,500 BEVs Purchase rebate Yes Free access to HOVs through January 1, 2019, which also benefits natural gas vehicles and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.[52] The amount of subsidies received is limited by annual income as of March 29, 2016.
up to $2,500 PHEVs Purchase rebate Yes PHEV free access to HOV lanes until January 1, 2019.[53] The cap was originally for the first 70,000 applicants. The cap was later raised to 85,000 and the limit was reached in December 2015. Per SB-838, and effective as of September 13, 2016, the Green Clean Air Vehicle Decal limit imposed by AB 95 has been removed.[54]
up to $1,500 Electric motorcycles
and NEVs
Purchase rebate Yes All motorcycles have free access to HOV lanes.
Colorado up to $6,000 BEVs
and PHEVs
Income tax credit No Tax credit totaling 75 to 85% of the cost premium for a vehicle that uses or is converted to use an alternative fuel, is a hybrid electric vehicle or has its power source replaced with one that uses an alternative fuel.
A 20% rebate also available for EV charger installation.[55]
Connecticut up to $3,000 BEVs, PHEV Rebate No CHEAPR provides up to $3,000 for fuel cell EV, EV or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. Rebates are offered on a first-come, first-served basis.
Delaware up to $2,200 EV Rebate No Customers with at a grid-integrated EV may qualify to receive kilowatt-hour credits for energy discharged to the grid from the EV's battery at the same rate that the customer pays to charge the battery.
District of Columbia BEVs
and PHEVs
Excise tax exemption and reduced registration fees No A tax credit up to 50% of the equipment costs for the purchase and installation of electric vehicle charging station, up to $1,000 per residential install.
Florida BEVs
and PHEVs
Yes Access to HOVs through January 1, 2018 if displaying the EV decal. Florida Statutes protects consumers from additional charges from insurance providers from insuring electric vehicles.
Georgia $0 ZEVs Income tax credit Yes Tax credit of 20% of the cost of a zero emission vehicle up to $5,000 purchased before July 1, 2015. Plug-in hybrids were not eligible for this incentive.[56] The incentive removal reduced sales of small EVs but had little effect on large EVs.[57]
up to $2,500 Alternative fuel
conversion
Income tax credit Yes Tax credit of 10% of the conversion cost for a vehicle converted to run solely on an alternative fuel and meets the standards for a low-emission vehicle up to $2,500.[56]
up to $20,000 Commercial AFVs Income tax credit Yes Tax credit for new commercial medium-duty or heavy-duty AFVs or Medium-duty hybrid EVs that operate using at least 90% alternative fuel, expires June 30, 2017.[58]
Hawaii BEVs
and PHEVs
Parking Yes Carpool lane access and reduced rates for electric vehicle charging. EVs with EV license plates are exempt from certain parking fees charged by any non-federal government authorities.
Idaho BEVs, PHEV Inspection Exemption No EVs are exempt from state motor vehicle inspection and maintenance programs.
Illinois BEVs, PHEVs
and conversions
Inspection Exemption No Vehicles powered exclusively by electricity are exempt from state motor vehicle emissions inspections; this was suspended in March 2015. Covered 80% of cost premium or electric conversion price, up to $4,000.
Indiana up to $1,650 BEVs, PHEV No Credit to install residential charging station and free plug-in electric vehicle charging during off-peak hours until Jan. 31, 2017.
Louisiana up to $3,000 BEVs, PHEVs
and conversions
Inspection Exemption No Tax credit of 50% of cost premium for BEV/PHEV purchase, 50% of conversion cost, or a tax credit worth 10% of the cost of a new BEV/PHEV vehicle up to $3,000. This same credit also applies to charge station costs.
Maryland up to $3,000 BEVs
and PHEVs
Yes[59] Plug-in EVs are eligible for an excise tax credit until July 1, 2020.[60] The state also offers a US$900 rebate for buying and installation of wall connectors for individuals; US$5,000 for business, or state or local governments; and US$7,000 for retail service station dealers.[61]
Massachusetts up to $1,000 BEVs
and PHEVs
Purchase rebate Up to $1,000 rebate for purchasing PEVs, funds are limited.[62]
Michigan BEVs, PHEV Inspection exemption No Alternative fuel vehicles are exempt from emissions inspection requirements. Indiana Michigan Power, Consumers Energy and DTE Energy offer other incentives.
Minnesota BEVs, PHEV No All public utilities must file a tariff that allows a customer to purchase electricity solely for the purpose of recharging an electric vehicle. The tariff must include either a time-of-day or off-peak rate.
Mississippi BEVs, PHEV Income tax credit No 0% interest loans for public school districts and municipalities to purchase alternative fuel school buses and other motor vehicles, convert school buses and other motor vehicles to use alternative fuels, purchase alternative fuel equipment, and install fueling stations.
Missouri up to $15,000 BEVs, PHEV No Tax credit for the cost of installing a qualified alternative fueling station, until Jan. 1, 2018, and are exempt from state emissions inspection requirements.
Montana up to $500 Alternative fuel conversion Income tax credit No Credit only available for conversion costs up to $500 or 50% of conversion cost. Includes electric car conversion.[63]
Nebraska BEVs, PHEV Loans No Provides low-cost loans for purchase of EVs, the conversion of conventional vehicles to operate on alternative fuels, and the construction or purchase of a fueling station or equipment.
Nevada BEVs, PHEV Yes Exempt from emissions testing requirements and local public metered parking areas must have areas for EVs to park without paying a fee. Carpool lane access and reduced rates for electric vehicle charging.
New Hampshire N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
New Jersey BEVs Sales and use tax exemption No Sales tax exemption for qualifying BEVs only, not PHEVs. The Turnpike offers a 10% discount from off-peak toll rates on the New Jersey Turnpike for vehicles that have a fuel economy of 45 miles per gallon or higher.
New York BEVs, PHEVs
and HEVs
Yes Plug-in electric vehicles and hybrid electric vehicles with a combined fuel economy rating of at least 45 mpg‑US (5.2 L/100 km; 54 mpg‑imp) and that also meet the California Air Resources Board SULEV emissions standard, are eligible for the Clean Pass Program. Eligible vehicles which display the Clean Pass vehicle sticker are allowed to use the Long Island Expressway HOV lanes, regardless of the number of occupants.[64] Drivers of qualified vehicles may also receive a 10% discount on established E-ZPass accounts with proof of registration.[65] A tax credit for 50 percent of the cost, up to $5,000, for the purchase and installation of a charging station until Dec. 31, 2017.
North Carolina PHEV Yes Qualified PEVs are exempt from state emissions inspection requirements.
Ohio EV Yes Vehicles powered exclusively by electricity, propane, or natural gas are exempt from state vehicle emissions inspections after receiving a one-time verification inspection.
Oklahoma 75% cost Income tax credit No A tax credit is available for up to 75 percent of the cost of installing charging stations.
Oregon BEVs Income tax credit No A tax credit for 25% of charging station costs, up to $750 (more for commercial use).
Pennsylvania up to $2,000 BEVs
and PHEVs
Purchase rebate No 250 rebates to assist with the purchase of new EVs. As of June 24, 2015, 193 rebates remain.[66]
Rhode Island PHEV Inspection exemption No Vehicles powered exclusively by electricity are exempt from state emissions control inspections.
South Carolina up to $1,500 BEVs
and PHEVs
Income tax credit No Tax credit equaling 20% of federal credit for PHEVs and BEVs.
Tennessee up to $2,500 BEVs
and PHEVs
Rebate Yes Rebate is limited. HOV lane access.
Texas up to US$2,500 BEVs
and PHEVs
Rebate No Only purchases or leases made on or after May 13, 2014 until June 26, 2015 are eligible. The maximum number of vehicles allowed for rebates 2,000 for each plug-in electric drive and natural gas/propane vehicles for the length of the program.[67][68] Texas restored the $2,500 state rebate in 2017 through dealerships. Auto manufacturers without stores in Texas, like Tesla, are not qualified.[69]
AirCheckTexas, Drive a Clean Machine program, provides vouchers of $3,500 to qualified individuals for the purchase of hybrid, electric or natural gas vehicles.
Utah up to $1,500 Conversions only Income tax credit Yes Credit to convert a vehicle to run on propane, natural gas, or electricity. Allowed carpool lane access.
up to $1,500 BEVs
and PHEVs
Income tax credit Yes Until Dec. 31, 2016
Virginia BEVs
and PHEVs
No Alternative fuel and hybrid electric vehicles are exempt from emissions testing.
Washington BEVs Sales tax No New passenger cars, light-duty trucks, and medium-duty passenger vehicles that operate exclusively on electricity, hydrogen, natural gas, or propane are exempt from state motor vehicle sales and use taxes. Qualified vehicles must also meet the California motor vehicle emissions standards, and comply with the rules of the Washington Department of Ecology. The sales tax exemption applies to vehicles with a fair market value below US$35,000 and expires July 1, 2019, or should end the month after 7,500 qualifying vehicles are sold in the state. The state Department of Licensing was directed to start a tally beginning with PEV registrations since July 15, 2015.[70][71] Alternative fuel and hybrid electric vehicles are exempt from emissions testing.

Beginning on July 1, 2016, the sales tax exemption applies to the first US$32,000 of the selling price of a qualifying new plug-in electric car, which translates into a tax savings between US$2,600 to US$3,100 for plug-in car buyers depending on where the dealer is located within the state, as the sales tax vary by county. The incentive applies towards the purchase or lease of a new car all-electric vehicle, or a plug-in hybrid with at least 30 mi (48 km) of all-electric range – such as the Chevrolet Volt and the BMW i3 REx. The new law also raises the previous purchase price cap to US$42,500, which will allow buyers of the Chevrolet Bolt EV, the next generation Nissan Leaf, and the Tesla Model 3 – all with 200 mi (320 km) of electric range – to be eligible for the incentive.[72]

Washington, D.C. BEVs Sales tax No Vehicles that operate exclusively on electricity, hydrogen, natural gas, or propane are exempt from excise taxes.
New proposalsEdit
 
President Obama driving a Volt at the White House

Several separate initiatives have been pursued unsuccessfully at the federal level since 2011 to transform the tax credit into an instant cash rebate. The objective of these initiatives is to make new qualifying plug-in electric cars more accessible to buyers by making the incentive more effective. The rebate would be available at the point of sale allowing consumers to avoid a wait of up to a year to apply the tax credit against income tax returns.[73][74][75]

In March 2014, the Obama Administration included a provision in the FY 2015 Budget to increase the maximum tax credit for plug-in electric vehicles and other advanced vehicles from US$7,500 to US$10,000. The new maximum tax credit would not apply to luxury vehicles with a sales price of over US$45,000, such as the Tesla Model S and the Cadillac ELR, which would be capped at US$7,500.[76] In November 2017, House Republicans proposed scrapping the US$7,500 tax credit as part of a sweeping tax overhaul.[77]

Charging equipmentEdit

Until 2010 there was a federal tax credit equal to 50% of the cost to buy and install a home-based charging station with a maximum credit of US$2,000 for each station. Businesses qualified for tax credits up to US$50,000 for larger installations.[37][78] These credits expired on December 31, 2010, but were extended through 2013 with a reduced tax credit equal to 30% with a maximum credit of up to US$1,000 for each station for individuals and up to US$30,000 for commercial buyers.[79][80] In 2016, the Obama administration and several stake holders announced $4.5 billion in loan guarantees for public charge stations, along with other iniatives.[81]

EV Everywhere ChallengeEdit

On March 7, 2012, President Barack Obama launched the EV Everywhere Challenge as part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Clean Energy Grand Challenges, which seeks to solve some of the U.S. biggest energy challenges and make clean energy technologies affordable and accessible to the vast majority of American households and businesses. The EV Everywhere Challenge has the goal of advancing electric vehicle technologies to have the country, by 2022, to produce a five-passenger electric vehicle that would provide both a payback time of less than five years and the ability to be recharged quickly enough to provide enough range for the typical American driver.[82][83]

 
DoE graph showing how meeting EV Everywhere targets will significantly lower PEV 5-year cost of ownership (purchase cost plus fuel).[84]

In January 2013 the Department of Energy (DoE) published the "EV Everywhere Grand Challenge Blueprint," which set the technical targets of the PEV program in four areas: battery research and development; electric drive system research and development; vehicle lightweighting; and advanced climate control technologies. The DoE set several specific goals, established in consultation with stakeholders.[84] The key goals to be met over the next five years to make plug-in electric vehicles competitive with conventional fossil fuel vehicles are:

  • Cutting battery costs from their current US$500/kWh to US$125/kWh
  • Eliminating almost 30% of vehicle weight through lightweighting
  • Reducing the cost of electric drive systems from US$30/kW to US$8/kW

The DoE aim is to level the purchase plus operating (fuel) cost of an all-electric vehicle with a 280 mi (450 km) range with the costs of an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle of similar size. The DoE expects than even before the latter goals are met, the 5-year cost of ownership of most plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and of all-electric vehicles with shorter ranges, such as 100 mi (160 km), will be comparable to the same cost of ICE vehicles of similar size.[84][85]

 
Energy Secretary Steven Chu announcing the new Workplace Charging Challenge at the 2013 Washington Auto Show

In order to achieve these goals, the DoE is providing up to US$120 million over the next five years to fund the new Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR), a research center led by the Argonne National Laboratory in Chicago.[85][86] An initial progress report for the initiative was released in January 2014. Four results of the first year of the initiative were reported:[87]

  • DOE research and development reduced the cost of electric drive vehicle batteries to US$325/ kWhr, 50% lower than 2010 costs.
  • In the first year of the Workplace Charging Challenge, more than 50 U.S. employers joined the Challenge and pledged to provide charging access at more than 150 sites.
  • DOE investments in EV Everywhere technology topped US$225 million in 2013, addressing key barriers to achieving the Grand Challenge.
  • Consumer acceptance of electric vehicles grew: 97,000 plug-in electric vehicles were sold in 2013, nearly doubling 2012 sales.
Workplace Charging Challenge

In January 2013, during the Washington Auto Show, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu announced an initiative to expand the EV Everywhere program with the "Workplace Charging Challenge." This initiative is a plan to install more electric vehicle charging stations in workplace parking lots. There are 21 founding partners and ambassadors for the program, including Ford, Chrysler, General Motors, Nissan, Tesla Motors, 3M, Google, Verizon, Duke Energy, General Electric, San Diego Gas & Electric, Siemens, Plug In America, and the Rocky Mountain Institute. The initiative's target is to increase the number of U.S. employers offering workplace charging by tenfold in the next five years. Initially, the DoE will not provide funding for this initiative.[88][89]

U.S. militaryEdit

 
The first six neighborhood electric vehicles delivered to the U.S. Army in January 2009 as part of its plan to lease more than 4,000 of the vehicles

The U.S. Army announced in 2009 that it will lease 4,000 Neighborhood Electric Vehicles (NEVs) within three years. The Army plans to use NEVs at its bases for transporting people around the base, as well as for security patrols and maintenance and delivery services. The Army accepted its first six NEVs at Virginia's Fort Myer in March 2009 and will lease a total of 600 NEVs through the rest of the year, followed by the leasing of 1,600 NEVs for each of the following two years.[90]

 
Chevrolet Volt delivered as part of the U.S. Department of Defense and General Services Administration Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles Pilot project

U.S. Air Force officials announced, in August 2011, a plan to establish Los Angeles Air Force Base, California, as the first federal facility to replace 100% of its general purpose fleet with plug-in electric vehicles. As part of the program, all Air Force-owned and -leased general purpose fleet vehicles on the base will be replaced with PEVs. There are approximately 40 eligible vehicles, ranging from passenger sedans to two-ton trucks and shuttle buses. The replacement PEVs include all-electric, plug-in hybrids, and extended-range electric vehicles. Electrification of Los Angeles AFB's general purpose fleet is the first step in a Department of Defense effort to establish strategies for large-scale integration of PEVs.[91]

By May 2013, it was announced that, as part of a test program created in January 2013, 500 plug-in electric vehicles with vehicle-to-ground (V2G) technology would be in use at six military bases, purchased using an investment of $20 million. If the program succeeds, there will be 3,000 V2G vehicles in 30 bases.[92]

Safety lawsEdit

Due to the low noise typical of electric vehicles at low speeds, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ruled that all hybrids and EVs must emit artificial noise when idling, accelerating to 19 mph (30 km/h) or going in reverse by September 2019.[93][94]

U.S. commitments to the 2015 Paris AgreementEdit

As a signatory party to the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, the United States government committed to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, among others, from the transportation sector.[95] Already in 2015, the Federal government had set targets to reduce its own carbon footprint 30% by 2025, and acquire 20% of all new passenger vehicles as zero emission (all-electric of fuel cell) or plug-in hybrid by 2020, and 50% by 2025.[95][96] These goals are part of the U.S. nationally determined contributions (NDCs) to achieve the worldwide emissions reduction goal set by the Paris Agreement.[95][97]

On June 1, 2017, President Donald Trump announced that the U.S. would cease all participation in the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change mitigation.[98]

Operating costs and fuel economyEdit

The following table shows the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) official ratings for fuel economy (miles per gallon gasoline equivalent) and EPA's estimated out-of-pocket fuel costs for all plug-in electric passenger vehicles rated by EPA in the United States since 2010 up to December 2016.[99][100][101]

Fuel efficiency and out-of-pocket fuel costs for all passenger PEVs rated by EPA between 2010 and December 2016(1)
(Fuel economy and operating costs as displayed in the Monroney label and the fueleconomy.gov website for model years 2011 through 2017)
Vehicle Model
year
Operating
mode
(AER)
EPA fuel economy ratings Cost
to drive
25 miles
Annual
fuel cost(2)
(15,000 mi)
Notes
Combined City Highway
Hyundai Ioniq Electric[99][102] 2017 All-electric
(124 mi)
136 mpg-e
(25 kW·h/100 mi)
150 mpg-e
(22 kW·h/100 mi)
122 mpg-e
(28 kW·h/100 mi)
$0.81 $500 The 2017 Hyundai Ioniq Electric is the most fuel efficient EPA-certified vehicle of all fuel types considered in all years,[103]
Toyota Prius Prime[104] 2017 Electricity
(25 mi)
133 mpg‑e (25.9 kW⋅h/100 mi) - - - - The 2017 Prius Prime is the most energy-efficient vehicle with
a gasoline engine in all-electric mode (EV mode).
The combined gasoline/electricity rating
is not available yet.
The Prime runs entirely on electricity in
EV mode in more situations.[105]
Gasoline only 54 mpg 55 mpg/
53 mpg
- -
BMW i3 (60 A·h)[101][106] 2014/15/16 All-electric
(81 mi)
124 mpg-e
(27 kW-hrs/100 mi)
137 mpg-e
(25 kW-hrs/100 mi)
111 mpg-e
(30 kW-hrs/100 mi)
$0.88 $500 The 2014/15/16 BMW i3 was the most fuel
efficient EPA-certified vehicle of all
fuel types considered in all years until November 2017.[107]
Scion iQ EV[108] 2013 All-electric
(38 mi)
121 mpg-e
(28 kW-hrs/100 mi)
138 mpg-e
(24 kW-hrs/100 mi)
105 mpg-e
(32 kW-hrs/100 mi)
$0.84 $500 The iQ EV is only available in limited
numbers for special fleet use, such as
carsharing programs.[109][110][111]
Chevrolet Bolt EV[112] 2017 All-electric
(238 mi)
119 mpg-e
(28 kW-hrs/100 mi)
128 mpg-e
(16.7 kW⋅h/100 km)
110 mpg-e
(19 kW⋅h/100 km)
$0.92 $550
Chevrolet Spark EV[113] 2014/15/16 All-electric
(82 mi)
119 mpg-e
(28 kW-hrs/100 mi)
121 mpg-e
(28 kW-hrs/100 mi)
138 mpg-e
(24 kW-hrs/100 mi)
$0.92 $550
BMW i3 (94 A·h)[114] 2017 All-electric
(114 mi)
118 mpg-e
(29 kW-hrs/100 mi)
129 mpg-e 106 mpg-e $0.94 $550
Honda Fit EV[115] 2013/14 All-electric
(82 mi)
118 mpg-e
(29 kW-hrs/100 mi)
132 mpg-e
(26 kW-hrs/100 mi)
105 mpg-e
(32 kW-hrs/100 mi)
$0.94 $550
BMW i3 REx (60 A·h)[101][116] 2014/15/16 Electricity only
(72 mi)
117 mpg-e
(29 kW-hrs/100 mi)
97 mpg‑e (35 kW⋅h/100 mi) 79 mpg‑e (44 kW⋅h/100 mi) $0.94 $650 The EPA classifies the i3 REx as a
series plug-in hybrid while CARB as a
range-extended battery-electric vehicle
(BEVx).[106][117][118]

The 2014/15 i3 REx is the most fuel
efficient EPA-certified vehicle with a
gasoline engine ever with a combined
gasoline/electricity rating of 88 mpg-e
(city 97 mpg-e/hwy 79 mpg-e).[119]
Gasoline only
(78 mi)
39 mpg 41 mpg 37 mpg $1.77
Volkswagen e-Golf[100][120] 2015/16 All-electric
(83 mi)
116 mpg-e
(29 kW-hrs/100 mi)
126 mpg-e
(27 kW-hrs/100 mi)
105 mpg-e
(32 kW-hrs/100 mi)
$0.88 $550
Fiat 500e[121] 2013/14/15 All-electric
(87 mi)
116 mpg-e
(29 kW-hrs/100 mi)
122 mpg-e
(28 kW-hrs/100 mi)
108 mpg-e
(31 kW-hrs/100 mi)
$0.88 $550
Nissan Leaf (24 kW-hr)[122] 2013/14/15/16 All-electric
(84 mi)
114 mpg-e
(30 kW-hrs/100 mi)
126 mpg-e
(27 kW-hrs/100 mi)
101 mpg-e
(33 kW-hrs/100 mi)
$0.89 $550 The 2016 model year Leaf correspond
to the variant with the 24 kW-hr
battery pack.
Honda Accord PHEV[123] 2014 Electricity
and gasoline
(13 mi)
115 mpg-e
(29 kW-hrs/100 mi)
- - $1.36 $950 The first 13 mi it has a combined rating
of 115 mpg-e. After the first 13 mi
the car functions like a regular hybrid.[101]
The Accord has a rating for combined
EV/hybrid operation of 57 mpg-e.[124]
Gasoline only 46 mpg 47 mpg 46 mpg
Nissan Leaf (30 kW-hr)[100][122] 2016 All-electric
(107 mi)
112 mpg-e
(30 kW-hrs/100 mi)
124 mpg-e (27 kW-hrs/100 mi) 101 mpg-e (33 kW-hrs/100 mi) $0.90 $550 Model with the 30 kW-hr battery pack.
Mitsubishi i[125] 2012/13/14/16 All-electric
(62 mi)
112 mpg-e
(30 kW-hrs/100 mi)
126 mpg-e
(27 kW-hrs/100 mi)
99 mpg-e
(34 kW-hrs/100 mi)
$0.90 $550
Fiat 500e[126] 2016 All-electric
(84 mi)
112 mpg-e
(30 kWh/100 mi)
121 mpg-e
(28 kWh/100 mi)
103 mpg-e
(33 kWh/100 mi)
$0.90 $550
BMW i3 REx (94 A·h)[114] 2017 Electricity only
(97 mi)
111 mpg-e
(30 kWh/100 mi)
- - - $650 The EPA classifies the i3 REx as a
series plug-in hybrid while CARB as a
range-extended battery-electric vehicle (BEVx).
Gasoline only
(83 mi)
35 mpg - - -
Smart electric drive[127] 2013/14/15/16 All-electric
(68 mi)
107 mpg-e
(32 kW-hrs/100 mi)
122 mpg-e
(28 kW-hrs/100 mi)
93 mpg-e
(36 kW-hrs/100 mi)
$0.96 $600 Third generation model.
Ratings and costs are for both
convertible and coupe models.
Chevrolet Volt (second generation)[128][129] 2016/17 Electricity only (53 mi)
106 mpg-e
(31 kW-hrs/100 mi)
113 mpg-e
(29 kW-hrs/100 mi)
99 mpg-e
(34 kW-hrs/100 mi)
$1.01 $650 The 2016 Volt has a combined
gasoline/electricity fuel economy
of 77 mpg-e (city 82 mpg-e/
hwy 72 mpg-e).[119]
It uses regular gasoline.
Gasoline only 42 mpg 43 mpg 42 mpg $1.37
Kia Soul EV[100][130] 2015/16 All-electric
(93 mi)
105 mpg-e
(32 kW-hrs/100 mi)
120 mpg-e
(28 kW-hrs/100 mi)
92 mpg-e
(37 kW-hrs/100 mi)
$0.96 $600 The Soul EV has the largest all-electric
range in city driving of its class, with
104 mi (167 km).
[131]
Ford Focus Electric[132] 2012/13/14/15/16 All-electric
(76 mi)
105 mpg-e
(32 kW-hrs/100 mi)
110 mpg-e
(31 kW-hrs/100 mi)
99 mpg-e
(34 kW-hrs/100 mi)
$0.96 $600
BMW ActiveE[133] 2011 All-electric
(94 mi)
102 mpg-e
(33 kW-hrs/100 mi)
107 mpg‑e (32 kW⋅h/100 mi) 96 mpg‑e (36 kW⋅h/100 mi) $0.99 $600
Nissan Leaf[134] 2011/12 All-electric
(73 mi)
99 mpg-e
(34 kW-hrs/100 mi)
106 mpg-e
(32 kW-hrs/100 mi)
92 mpg-e
(37 kW-hrs/100 mi)
$1.02 $600
Hyundai Sonata PHEV[135] 2016 Electricity
and gasoline
(27 mi)
99mpg-e
(34 kW-hrs/100 mi)
- - $1.10 $950 During the first 27 mi uses some gasoline.
The actual all-electric range is between 0 and 27 mi.[135]
Gasoline only 40 mpg - - $2.18
Chevrolet Volt[136] 2013/14 Electricity only
(38 mi)
98 mpg-e
(35 kW-hrs/100 mi)
- - $1.14 $800 The 2013/14 Volt has a combined
gasoline/electricity rating of 62 mpg-e
(city 63 mpg-e/hwy 61 mpg-e)
and uses premium gas.[119]
Gasoline only 37 mpg 35 mpg 40 mpg $1.86
Ford Fusion Energi[137] 2017 Electricity
and gasoline
(22 mi)
97 mpg-e
(35 kW-hrs/100 mi)
- - $1.16 $750 The actual all-electric range is between 0 and 21 mi.[137]
Gasoline only 42 mpg - - $1.37
Tesla Model S[101][138] 2013/14 All-electric
(208 mi)
95 mpg-e
(35 kW-hrs/100 mi)
94 mpg-e
(36 kW-hrs/100 mi)
97 mpg-e
(35 kW-hrs/100 mi)
$1.05 $650 Model with 60 kWh battery pack
Toyota Prius PHV[139] 2012/13/14 Electricity
and gasoline
(11 mi)
95 mpg-e
(29 kW-hrs/100 mi
plus 0.2 gallons/100 mi)
- - $1.43 $900 After the first 11 mi the car
functions like a regular Prius hybrid

The 2012/14 Prius has a rating for
combined EV/hybrid operation of 58 mpg-e
(city 59 mpg-e/hwy 56 mpg-e).[119]
Gasoline only 50 mpg 51 mpg 49 mpg $1.74
Chevrolet Volt[140] 2011/12 Electricity only
(35 mi)
94 mpg-e
(36 kW-hrs/100 mi)
95 mpg-e
(36 kW-hrs/100 mi)
93 mpg-e
(37 kW-hrs/100 mi)
$1.08 $1,000 Both model year 2011 and 2012 have
the same operating costs, but the
2011 Volt has a rating of 93 mpg-e for
combined driving in all-electric mode.
Gasoline only 37 mpg 35 mpg 40 mpg $2.57
Tesla Model S[141] 2013 All-electric
(139 mi)
94 mpg-e
(36 kW-hrs/100 mi)
93 mpg‑e (37 kW⋅h/100 mi) 96 mpg‑e (36 kW⋅h/100 mi) $1.08 $650 Model with 40 kWh battery pack.
This model was officially rated by
the EPA but Tesla canceled its
production due to lack of demand.[142]
Tesla Model X AWD – 90D[143] 2016 All-electric
(257 mi)
92 mpg-e
(34 kW-hrs/100 mi)
90 mpg-e
(37 kW-hrs/100 mi)
94 mpg-e
(32 kW-hrs/100 mi)
$1.11 $650 Model with 90kWh battery pack
Tesla Model X AWD – P90D[143] 2016 All-electric
(250 mi)
89 mpg-e
(38 kW-hrs/100 mi)
89 mpg-e
(38 kW-hrs/100 mi)
90 mpg-e
(38 kW-hrs/100 mi)
$1.14 $700 Model with 90kWh battery pack
Tesla Model S[138] 2012/13/14 All-electric
(265 mi)
89 mpg-e
(38 kW-hrs/100 mi)
88 mpg-e
(38 kW-hrs/100 mi)
90 mpg-e
(37 kW-hrs/100 mi)
$1.14 $700 Model with 85kWh battery pack
Ford C-Max Energi[144][145]

Ford Fusion Energi[144][145]
2013/16 Electricity
and gasoline
(20 mi)
88 mpg-e
(37 kW-hrs/100 mi)
95 mpg‑e (36 kW⋅h/100 mi) 81 mpg‑e (42 kW⋅h/100 mi) $1.36 $1,050 The Energi did not use any gasoline
for the first 20 mi in EPA tests,
but depending on the driving style,
the car may use both gasoline
and electricity during EV mode.
The Energi models have a combined
EV/hybrid operation rating of 51 mpg-e
(city 55 mpg-e/hwy 46 mpg-e).[119]
Gasoline only 38 mpg 40 mpg 36 mpg $2.29
Smart electric drive[127] 2011 All-electric
(63 mi)
87 mpg-e
(39 kW-hrs/100 mi)
94 mpg‑e (37 kW⋅h/100 mi) 79 mpg‑e (44 kW⋅h/100 mi) $1.17 $700 Second generation model.
Ratings are costs for both
cabriolet and coupe models.
Audi A3 e-tron ultra[146] 2016 Electricity only
(17 mi)
86 mpg-e
(38 kW-hrs/100 mi)
- - $1.44 $1,000 During the first 17 mi uses some gasoline.
The actual all-electric range is between 0 and 17 mi.[146]
Gasoline only 39 mpg - - $2.04
Cadillac ELR[147] 2016 Electricity only
(40 mi)
85 mpg-e
(39 kW-hrs/100 mi)
- - $1.17 $950
Gasoline only 32 mpg - - $2.48
Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive[101][148] 2014/15/16 All-electric
(87 mi)
84 mpg-e
(40 kW-hrs/100 mi)
85 mpg-e
(40 kW-hrs/100 mi)
83 mpg-e
(41 kW-hrs/100 mi)
$1.20 $700
Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid[149] 2017 Electricity only
(33 mi)
84 mpg-e
(40 kWh/100 mi)
- - $1.73 $900 During the first 33 mi uses some gasoline.
The actual all-electric range is between 0 and 33 mi.[149]
Gasoline only 32 mpg - - $1.83
Audi A3 e-tron[146] 2016 Electricity only
(16 mi)
83 mpg-e
(40 kW-hrs/100 mi)
- - $1.60 $1,100 During the first 16 mi uses some gasoline.
The actual all-electric range is between 0 and 16 mi.[146]
Gasoline only 35 mpg - - $2.27
Cadillac ELR[150] 2014/15 Electricity only
(37 mi)
82 mpg-e
(41 kW-hrs/100 mi)
- - $1.23 $1,100 The 2014 ELR has a combined
EV/gasoline rating of 54 mpg-e
(city 54 mpg-e/hwy 55 mpg-e).[119]
Gasoline only 33 mpg 31 mpg 35 mpg $2.89
Cadillac ELR Sport[147] 2016 Electricity only
(36 mi)
80 mpg-e
(43 kW-hrs/100 mi)
- - $1.29 $1,050
Gasoline only 30 mpg - - $2.65
Toyota RAV4 EV[101][151] 2012 All-electric
(103 mi)
76 mpg-e
(44 kW-hrs/100 mi)
78 mpg-e
(43 kW-hrs/100 mi)
74 mpg-e
(46 kW-hrs/100 mi)
$1.32 $800
BMW i8[101][152] 2014/15 Electricity
and
gasoline
(15 mi)
76 mpg-e
(43 kW-hrs/100 mi)
- - $2.19 $1,550 The i8 does not run on 100% electricity
as it consumes 0.1 gallons per 100 mi
in EV mode (all-electric range = 0 mi)
The i8 has a rating for combined EV/hybrid
operation of 37 mpg-e.[124]
Gasoline only 28 mpg 28 mpg 29 mpg $3.40
Coda[153] 2012/13 All-electric
(88 mi)
73 mpg-e
(46 kW-hrs/100 mi)
77 mpg-e
(44 kW-hrs/100 mi)
68 mpg-e
(50 kW-hrs/100 mi)
$1.38 $850
BMW 330e[154] 2016 Electricity
and gasoline
(14 mi)
72 mpg-e
(47 kWh/100 mi)
- - $1.74 $1,050 During the first 14 mi uses some gasoline.
The actual all-electric range is between 0 and 14 mi.[154]
Premium gasoline.
Gasoline only 31 mpg - - $2.02
Porsche 918 Spyder[155] 2015 Electricity only
(12 mi)
67 mpg-e
(50 kW-hrs/100 mi)
- - $1.50 $2,100
Gasoline only 22 mpg - - $4.33
BYD e6[156] 2012 All-electric
(122 mi)
62 mpg-e
(54 kW-hrs/100 mi)
60 mpg-e
(56 kW-hrs/100 mi)
64 mpg-e
(52 kW-hrs/100 mi)
$1.62 $950
BMW 740e iPerformance[157] 2017 Electricity only
(14 mi)
64 mpg-e
(52 kWh/100 mi)
- - $2.03 $1,350 During the first 14 mi uses some gasoline.
The actual all-electric range is between 0 and 14 mi.[157]
Gasoline only 27 mpg - - $2.48
BMW X5 xDrive40e[158] 2016 Electricity only
(14 mi)
56 mpg-e
(59 kW-hrs/100 mi)
- - $2.45 $1,700 During the first 14 mi uses some gasoline.
The actual all-electric range is between 0 and 14 mi.[158]
Gasoline only 24 mpg - - $3.31
Mercedes-Benz S 500 e[159] 2015 Electricity only
(14 mi)
58 mpg-e
(59 kW-hrs/100 mi)
- - $2.34 $1,750 During the first 14 mi uses some gasoline.
The all-electric range varies between 0 and 12 mi.[159]
Gasoline only 26 mpg - - $3.06
Fisker Karma[160] 2012 Electricity only
(33 mi)
54 mpg-e
(62 kW-hrs/100 mi)
- - $1.86 $1,750
Gasoline only 20 mpg 20 mpg 21 mpg $4.76
Volvo XC90 T8[161] 2016 Electricity
and gasoline
(14 mi)
53 mpg-e
(58 kWh/100 mi)
- - $2.19 $1,400 During the first 14 mi uses some gasoline.
The actual all-electric range is between 0 and 13 mi.[161]
Premium gasoline.
Gasoline only 25 mpg - - $2.51
Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid[162] 2014 Electricity
and gasoline
(16 mi)
50 mpg-e
(52 kW-hrs/100 mi)
- - $3.49 $1,850 The all-electric range is between
0 to 15 mi.[162]
The S E-Hybrid has a rating for combined
EV/hybrid operation of 31 mpg-e.[124]
Gasoline only 25 mpg 23 mpg 29 mpg $3.81
Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid[163] 2015 Electricity
and gasoline
(14 mi)
47 mpg-e
(69 kW-hrs/100 mi)
- - $2.07 $2,100
Gasoline only 22 mpg - - $4.33
McLaren P1[101][164] 2014 Electricity
and gasoline
(19 mi)
18 mpg-e
(25 kW-hrs/100 mi)
- - $5.38 $3,200 The P1 does not run on 100% electricity
as it consumes 4.8 gallons per 100 mi
in EV mode (all-electric range = 0 mi)[164]
The P1 has a rating for combined EV/hybrid
operation of 17 mpg-e.[124]
Gasoline only 17 mpg 16 mpg 20 mpg $5.60
Notes: (1) In November 2010, EPA introduced MPGe as comparison metric on its new sticker for fuel economy for the Nissan Leaf and the Chevrolet Volt.[165][166] Before, the EPA rating for on board energy efficiency for electric vehicles was expressed as kilowatt-hour per 100 miles.[167][168] The window sticker of the 2009 Mini E showed an energy consumption of 33 kW-hrs/100 mi in the city and 36 kW-hrs/100 mi on the highway (equivalent to 102 mpg city and 94 mpg on the highway).[167] The 2009 Tesla Roadster was rated 32 kW-hrs/100 mi in city and 33 kW-hrs/100 mi on the highway (equivalent to 105 mpg city and 102 mpg highway).[169]

(2) Based on 45% highway and 55% city driving. Values rounded to the nearest $50. Electricity cost of US$0.12/kw-hr, premium gasoline price of US$3.81 per gallon (used by the Volt, Karma, BMW i3 REx, Mercedes S500e, McLaren P1 and all Porsche models), and regular gasoline price of US$3.48 per gallon (as of 12 March 2014). Conversion 1 gallon of gasoline=33.7 kW-hr.

Air pollution and greenhouse gas emissionsEdit

Electric cars, as well as plug-in hybrids operating in all-electric mode, emit no harmful tailpipe pollutants from the onboard source of power, such as particulates (soot), volatile organic compounds, hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, ozone, lead, and various oxides of nitrogen. The clean air benefit is usually local because, depending on the source of the electricity used to recharge the batteries, air pollutant emissions are shifted to the location of the generation plants.[170] In a similar manner, plug-in electric vehicles operating in all-electric mode do not emit greenhouse gases from the onboard source of power, but from the point of view of a well-to-wheel assessment, the extent of the benefit also depends on the fuel and technology used for electricity generation. From the perspective of a full life cycle analysis, the electricity used to recharge the batteries must be generated from renewable or clean sources such as wind, solar, hydroelectric, or nuclear power for PEVs to have almost none or zero well-to-wheel emissions.[170][171]

EPA estimatesEdit

 
Several Nissan Leafs, Chevrolet Volts and Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrids charging at a parking lot reserved for plug-in electric vehicles in California

The following table compares tailpipe and upstream CO
2
emissions estimated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for all series production model year 2014 plug-in electric vehicles available in the U.S. market. Total emissions include the emissions associated with the production and distribution of electricity used to charge the vehicle, and for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, it also includes emissions associated with tailpipe emissions produced from the internal combustion engine. These figures were published by the EPA in October 2014 in its annual report "Light-Duty Automotive Technology, Carbon Dioxide Emissions, and Fuel Economy Trends." All emissions are estimated considering average real world city and highway operation based on the EPA 5-cycle label methodology, using a weighted 55% city and 45% highway driving.[124]

For purposes of an accurate estimation of emissions, the analysis took into consideration the differences in operation between plug-in hybrids. Some, like the Chevrolet Volt, can operate in all-electric mode without using gasoline, and others operate in a blended mode like the Toyota Prius PHV, which uses both energy stored in the battery and energy from the gasoline tank to propel the vehicle, but that can deliver substantial all-electric driving in blended mode. In addition, since the all-electric range of plug-in hybrids depends on the size of the battery pack, the analysis introduced a utility factor as a projection of the share of miles that will be driven using electricity by an average driver, for both, electric only and blended EV modes. Since all-electric cars do not produce tailpipe emissions, the utility factor applies only to plug-in hybrids. The following table shows the overall fuel economy expressed in terms of miles per gallon gasoline equivalent (mpg-e) and the utility factor for the ten MY2014 plug-in hybrids available in the U.S. market, and EPA's best estimate of the CO
2
tailpipe emissions produced by these PHEVs.[124]

In order to account for the upstream CO
2
emissions associated with the production and distribution of electricity, and since electricity production in the United States varies significantly from region to region, the EPA considered three scenarios/ranges with the low end scenario corresponding to the California powerplant emissions factor, the middle of the range represented by the national average powerplant emissions factor, and the upper end of the range corresponding to the powerplant emissions factor for the Rocky Mountains. The EPA estimates that the electricity GHG emission factors for various regions of the country vary from 346 g CO
2
/kWh in California to 986 g CO
2
/kWh in the Rockies, with a national average of 648 g CO
2
/kWh.[124]

Comparison of tailpipe and upstream CO
2
emissions(1) estimated by EPA
for the MY 2014 plug-in electric vehicles available in the U.S. market[124]
Vehicle Overall
fuel
economy
(mpg-e)
Utility
factor(2)
(share EV
miles)
Tailpipe CO
2

(g/mi)
Tailpipe + total upstream CO
2
Low
(g/mi)
Avg
(g/mi)
High
(g/mi)
BMW i3 124 1 0 93 175 266
Chevrolet Spark EV 119 1 0 97 181 276
Honda Fit EV 118 1 0 99 185 281
Fiat 500e 116 1 0 101 189 288
Nissan Leaf 114 1 0 104 194 296
Mitsubishi i 112 1 0 104 195 296
Smart electric drive 107 1 0 109 204 311
Ford Focus Electric 105 1 0 111 208 316
Tesla Model S (60 kWh) 95 1 0 122 229 348
Tesla Model S (85 kWh) 89 1 0 131 246 374
BMW i3 REx(3) 88 0.83 40 134 207 288
Mercedes-Benz B-Class ED 84 1 0 138 259 394
Toyota RAV4 EV 76 1 0 153 287 436
BYD e6 63 1 0 187 350 532
Chevrolet Volt 62 0.66 81 180 249 326
Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid 58 0.29 133 195 221 249
Honda Accord Plug-in Hybrid 57 0.33 130 196 225 257
Cadillac ELR 54 0.65 91 206 286 377
Ford C-Max Energi 51 0.45 129 219 269 326
Ford Fusion Energi 51 0.45 129 219 269 326
BMW i8 37 0.37 198 303 351 404
Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid 31 0.39 206 328 389 457
McLaren P1 17 0.43 463 617 650 687
Average gasoline car 24.2 0 367 400 400 400
Notes: (1) Based on 45% highway and 55% city driving. (2) The utility factor represents, on average, the percentage of miles that will be driven
using electricity (in electric only and blended modes) by an average driver. (3) The EPA classifies the i3 REx as a series plug-in hybrid[101][124]

Union of Concerned ScientistsEdit

2012 studyEdit

The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) published a study in 2012 that assessed average greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. resulting from charging plug-in car batteries from the perspective of the full life-cycle (well-to-wheel analysis) and according to fuel and technology used to generate electric power by region. The study used the Nissan Leaf all-electric car to establish the analysis baseline, and electric-utility emissions are based on EPA's 2009 estimates. The UCS study expressed the results in terms of miles per gallon instead of the conventional unit of grams of greenhouse gases or carbon dioxide equivalent emissions per year in order to make the results more friendly for consumers. The study found that in areas where electricity is generated from natural gas, nuclear, hydroelectric or renewable sources, the potential of plug-in electric cars to reduce greenhouse emissions is significant. On the other hand, in regions where a high proportion of power is generated from coal, hybrid electric cars produce less CO
2
-e equivalent emissions than plug-in electric cars, and the best fuel efficient gasoline-powered subcompact car produces slightly less emissions than a PEV. In the worst-case scenario, the study estimated that for a region where all energy is generated from coal, a plug-in electric car would emit greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to a gasoline car rated at a combined city/highway driving fuel economy of 30 mpg‑US (7.8 L/100 km; 36 mpg‑imp). In contrast, in a region that is completely reliant on natural gas, the PEV would be equivalent to a gasoline-powered car rated at 50 mpg‑US (4.7 L/100 km; 60 mpg‑imp).[172][173]

The study concluded that for 45% of the U.S. population, a plug-in electric car will generate lower CO
2
equivalent emissions than a gasoline-powered car capable of combined 50 mpg‑US (4.7 L/100 km; 60 mpg‑imp), such as the Toyota Prius and the Prius c. The study also found that for 37% of the population, the electric car emissions will fall in the range of a gasoline-powered car rated at a combined fuel economy of 41 to 50 mpg‑US (5.7 to 4.7 L/100 km; 49 to 60 mpg‑imp), such as the Honda Civic Hybrid and the Lexus CT200h. Only 18% of the population lives in areas where the power-supply is more dependent on burning carbon, and the greenhouse gas emissions will be equivalent to a car rated at a combined fuel economy of 31 to 40 mpg‑US (7.6 to 5.9 L/100 km; 37 to 48 mpg‑imp), such as the Chevrolet Cruze and Ford Focus.[173][174][175] The study found that there are no regions in the U.S. where plug-in electric cars will have higher greenhouse gas emissions than the average new compact gasoline engine automobile, and the area with the dirtiest power supply produces CO
2
emissions equivalent to a gasoline-powered car rated at 33 mpg‑US (7.1 L/100 km).[172]

The following table shows a representative sample of cities within each of the three categories of emissions intensity used in the UCS study, showing the corresponding miles per gallon equivalent for each city as compared to the greenhouse gas emissions of a gasoline-powered car:

Regional comparison of full life cycle assessment
of greenhouse gas emissions resulting from charging plug-in electric vehicles
expressed in terms of miles per gallon of a gasoline-powered car with equivalent emissions[172][174][175]
Rating scale
by emissions intensity
expressed as
miles per gallon
City PEV well-to-wheels
carbon dioxide equivalent
(CO
2
-e) emissions per year
expressed as mpg US
Percent reduction in
CO
2
-e emissions
compared with
27 mpg US average
new compact car
Combined EPA's rated
fuel economy and
GHG emissions
for reference
gasoline-powered car[176]
Best
LowestCO
2
-e emissions
equivalent to
over 50 mpg‑US (4.7 L/100 km)
Juneau, Alaska 112 mpg‑US (2.10 L/100 km) 315% 2012 Toyota Prius/Prius c
50 mpg‑US (4.7 L/100 km)
San Francisco 79 mpg‑US (3.0 L/100 km) 193%
New York City 74 mpg‑US (3.2 L/100 km) 174%
Portland, Oregon 73 mpg‑US (3.2 L/100 km) 170% Greenhouse gas emissions (grams/mile)
Boston 67 mpg‑US (3.5 L/100 km) 148% Tailpipe CO
2
Upstream GHG
Washington, D.C. 58 mpg‑US (4.1 L/100 km) 115% 178 g/mi (111 g/km) 44 g/mi (27 g/km)
Better
Moderate CO
2
-e emissions
equivalent to between
41 mpg‑US (5.7 L/100 km) to
50 mpg‑US (4.7 L/100 km)
Phoenix, Arizona 48 mpg‑US (4.9 L/100 km) 78% 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid
44 mpg‑US (5.3 L/100 km)
Miami 47 mpg‑US (5.0 L/100 km) 74%
Houston 46 mpg‑US (5.1 L/100 km) 70% Greenhouse gas emissions (grams/mile)
Columbus, Ohio 41 mpg‑US (5.7 L/100 km) 52% Tailpipe CO
2
Upstream GHG
Atlanta 41 mpg‑US (5.7 L/100 km) 52% 202 g/mi (125 g/km) 50 g/mi (31 g/km)
Good
Highest CO
2
-e emissions
equivalent to between
31 mpg‑US (7.6 L/100 km) to
40 mpg‑US (5.9 L/100 km)
Detroit 38 mpg‑US (6.2 L/100 km) 41% 2012 Chevrolet Cruze
30 mpg‑US (7.8 L/100 km)
Des Moines, Iowa 37 mpg‑US (6.4 L/100 km) 37%
St. Louis, Missouri 36 mpg‑US (6.5 L/100 km) 33% Greenhouse gas emissions (grams/mile)
Wichita, Kansas 35 mpg‑US (6.7 L/100 km) 30% Tailpipe CO
2
Upstream GHG
Denver 33 mpg‑US (7.1 L/100 km) 22% 296 g/mi (184 g/km) 73 g/mi (45 g/km)
Source: Union of Concerned Scientists, 2012.[172]
Notes: The Nissan Leaf is the baseline car for the assessment, with an energy consumption rated by EPA at 34 kWh/100 mi or 99 miles per gallon gasoline equivalent (2.4 L/100 km) combined.
The ratings are based on a region's mix of electricity sources and its average emissions intensity over the course of a year. In practice the electricity grid is very dynamic, with the mix of
power plants constantly changing in response to hourly, daily and seasonal electricity demand, and availability of electricity resources.

2014 updateEdit

In September 2014 the UCS published an updated analysis of its 2012 report. The 2014 analysis found that 60% of Americans, up from 45% in 2009, live in regions where an all-electric car produce fewer CO
2
equivalent emissions per mile than the most efficient hybrid. The UCS study found several reasons for the improvement. First, electric utilities have adopted cleaner sources of electricity to their mix between the two analysis. The 2014 study used electric-utility emissions based on EPA's 2010 estimates, but since coal use nationwide is down by about 5% from 2010 to 2014, actual efficiency in 2014 is expected to be better than estimated in the UCS study. Second, electric vehicles have become more efficient, as the average model year 2013 all-electric vehicle used 0.325 kWh/mile, representing a 5% improvement over 2011 models. The Nissan Leaf, used as the reference model for the baseline of the 2012 study, was upgraded in model year 2013 to achieve a rating of 0.30 kWh/mile, a 12% improvement over the 2011 model year model rating of 0.34 kWh/mile. Also, some new models are cleaner than the average, such as the BMW i3, which is rated at 0.27 kWh by the EPA. An i3 charged with power from the Midwest grid would be as clean as a gasoline-powered car with about 50 mpg‑US (4.7 L/100 km), up from 39 mpg‑US (6.0 L/100 km) for the average electric car in the 2012 study. In states with a cleaner mix generation, the gains were larger. The average all-electric car in California went up to 95 mpg‑US (2.5 L/100 km) equivalent from 78 mpg‑US (3.0 L/100 km) in the 2012 study. States with dirtier generation that rely heavily on coal still lag, such as Colorado, where the average BEV only achieves the same emissions as a 34 mpg‑US (6.9 L/100 km; 41 mpg‑imp) gasoline-powered car. The author of the 2014 analysis noted that the benefits are not distributed evenly across the U.S. because electric car adoptions is concentrated in the states with cleaner power.[177][178]

2015 studyEdit

 
Change from 2009 to 2012 of the percentage of Americans that live in regions where powering an electric vehicle on the regional electricity grid produces lower global warming emissions than a gasoline car expressed in terms of combined city/highway fuel economy rating. Source: Union of Concerned Scientists.[179]
External media
Images
  2015 vehicle emissions
Video
  Video on YouTube

In November 2015 the Union of Concerned Scientists published a new report comparing two battery electric vehicles (BEVs) with similar gasoline vehicles by examining their global warming emissions over their full life-cycle, cradle-to-grave analysis. The two BEVs modeled, midsize and full-size, are based on the two most popular BEV models sold in the United States in 2015, the Nissan Leaf and the Tesla Model S. The study found that all-electric cars representative of those sold today, on average produce less than half the global warming emissions of comparable gasoline-powered vehicles, despite taken into account the higher emissions associated with BEV manufacturing. Considering the regions where the two most popular electric cars are being sold, excess manufacturing emissions are offset within 6 to 16 months of average driving. The study also concluded that driving an average EV results in lower global warming emissions than driving a gasoline car that gets 50 mpg‑US (4.7 L/100 km) in regions covering two-thirds of the U.S. population, up from 45% in 2009. Based on where EVs are being sold in the United States in 2015, the average EV produces global warming emissions equal to a gasoline vehicle with a 68 mpg‑US (3.5 L/100 km) fuel economy rating. The authors identified two main reason for the fact that EV-related emissions have become even lower in many parts of the country since the first study was conducted in 2012. Electricity generation has been getting cleaner, as coal-fired generation has declined while lower-carbon alternatives have increased. In addition, electric cars are becoming more efficient. For example, the Nissan Leaf and the Chevrolet Volt, have undergone improvements to increase their efficiencies compared to the original models launched in 2010, and other even more efficient BEV models, such as the most lightweight and efficient BMW i3, have entered the market.[179]

National Bureau of Economic ResearchEdit

One criticism to the UCS analysis and several other that have analyze the benefits of PEVs is that these analysis were made using average emissions rates across regions instead of marginal generation at different times of the day. The former approach does not take into account the generation mix within interconnected electricity markets and shifting load profiles throughout the day.[180][181] An analysis by three economist affiliated with the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), published in November 2014, developed a methodology to estimate marginal emissions of electricity demand that vary by location and time of day across the United States. The study used emissions and consumption data for 2007 through 2009, and used the specifications for the Chevrolet Volt (all-electric range of 35 mi (56 km)). The analysis found that marginal emission rates are more than three times as large in the Upper Midwest compared to the Western U.S., and within regions, rates for some hours of the day are more than twice those for others.[181] Applying the results of the marginal analysis to plug-in electric vehicles, the NBER researchers found that the emissions of charging PEVs vary by region and hours of the day. In some regions, such as the Western U.S. and Texas, CO
2
emissions per mile from driving PEVs are less than those from driving a hybrid car. However, in other regions, such as the Upper Midwest, charging during the recommended hours of midnight to 4 a.m. implies that PEVs generate more emissions per mile than the average car currently on the road. The results show a fundamental tension between electricity load management and environmental goals as the hours when electricity is the least expensive to produce tend to be the hours with the greatest emissions. This occurs because coal-fired units, which have higher emission rates, are most commonly used to meet base-level and off-peak electricity demand; while natural gas units, which have relatively low emissions rates, are often brought online to meet peak demand. This pattern of fuel shifting explains why emission rates tend to be higher at night and lower during periods of peak demand in the morning and evening.[181]

Environmental footprintEdit

In February 2014, the Automotive Science Group (ASG) published the result of a study conducted to assess the life-cycle of over 1,300 automobiles across nine categories sold in North America. The study found that among advanced automotive technologies, the Nissan Leaf holds the smallest life-cycle environmental footprint of any model year 2014 automobile available in the North American market with minimum four-person occupancy. The study concluded that the increased environmental impacts of manufacturing the battery electric technology is more than offset with increased environmental performance during operational life. For the assessment, the study used the average electricity mix of the U.S. grid in 2014.[182] In the 2014 mid-size cars category, the Leaf also ranked as the best all-around performance, best environmental and best social performance. The Ford Focus Electric, within the 2014 compact cars category, ranked as the best all-around performance, best environmental and best social performance. The Tesla Model S ranked as the best environmental performance in the 2014 full-size cars category.[183]

Charging infrastructureEdit

As of 31 January 2016, the United States had 12,203 charging stations across the country, up from 5,678 in March 2013.[184][185] California led with 2,976 stations, followed by Texas with 686, and Florida with 626. In terms of public charging points, there were 30,669 public outlets available across the country by the end of January 2016, led by California with 9,086 charging points (29.6%), followed by Texas with 1,679 (13.8%), and Florida and Washington state with 1,435 each (11.8%).[184] There were 592 CHAdeMO quick charging stations across the country by April 2014.[186]

Top fifteen states ranked by number of public charging points
available in the United States (as of December 2013)[184]
State Number
of points
% Total State Number
of points
% Total
California 5,176 26.6% New York 693 3.6%
Texas 1,599 8.2% Maryland 553 2.8%
Washington 1,325 6.8% Massachusetts 546 2.8%
Florida 996 5.1% Illinois 527 2.7%
Oregon 915 4.7% North Carolina 524 2.7%
Tennessee 866 4.4% Georgia/Virginia 370 1.9%
Michigan 721 3.7% Hawaii 351 1.8%
Arizona 710 3.6% Total U.S. 19,472
Note: The U.S. DoE Alternative Fuels Data Center counts electric charging units or points, or EVSE,
as one for each outlet available, and does not include residential electric charging infrastructure.
Number of public charging points as of 25 December 2013.[184]
 
Smart Fortwo electric drive on service for the Car2Go carsharing service in San Diego, California

Car2Go made San Diego the only North American city with an all-electric carsharing fleet when it launched service in 2011. As of March 2016, the carsharing service has 40,000 members and 400 all-electric Smart EDs in operation. However, due to lack of enough charging infrastructure Car2Go decided to replace all of its all-electric car fleet with gasoline-powered cars starting on 1 May 2016. When the carsharing service started Car2Go expected 1,000 charging stations to be deployed around the city, but only 400 were in place by early 2016. As a result, an average of 20% of the carsharing fleet is unavailable at any given time because the cars are either being charged or because they don't have enough electricity in them to be driven. Also, many of the company's San Diego members say they often worry their Car2Go will run out of charge before they finish their trip.[187]

Plug-in Electric Vehicle Readiness IndexEdit

 
Portland, Oregon ranks at the top of the list of major American cities that are the most ready to accommodate PEVs. Shown a BMW i3 charging at Portland Electric Avenue.

Researchers from the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs developed an index that identifies and ranks the municipal plug-in electric vehicle readiness ("PEV readiness"). The evaluation ranked the U.S. 25 largest cities by population along with five other large cities that have been included in other major PEV studies. The rankings also included the largest cities in states that joined California zero-emissions vehicle goal. A total of 36 major U.S. cities were included in the study. The evaluation found that Portland, Oregon ranks at the top of the list of major American cities that are the most ready to accommodate plug-in electric vehicles.[188]

Readiness is the degree to which adoption of electric vehicles is supported, as reflected in the presence of various types of policy instruments, infrastructure development, municipal investments in PEV technology, and participation in relevant stakeholder coalitions. The study also compares cities within states that participate in the Zero Emission Vehicle program, with those that do not, with the objective to understand whether participation in that program has a meaningful impact on PEV readiness.[188][189]

In order to accelerate the adoption of plug-in electric vehicles (PEV), many municipalities, along with their parent states, offer a variety of benefits to owners and operators of PEVs to make PEV adoption easier and more affordable. All six cities in the top of the ranking offer purchase incentives for PEVs and charging equipment. Four of the six offer time-of-use electricity rates, which makes overnight charging more affordable. The top-ranking cities also score well in categories such as public charging station density, special parking privileges, access to high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes, and streamlined processes for installing charging equipment. Those services and incentives are largely absent from the bottom six cities.[188]

The following is the full ranking of the 36 U.S. cities in 25 states included in the evaluation of PEV readiness:

Ranking of 36 major U.S. cities by their
"Plug-in Electric Vehicle Readiness"
Rank City/state Rank City/state Rank City/state
1 Portland, Oregon 13 Indianapolis, Indiana 25 Newark, New Jersey
2 Washington, D.C. 14 Orlando, Florida 26 Raleigh, North Carolina
3 Baltimore, Maryland 15 San Diego, California 27 Burlington, Vermont
4 New York City, NY 16 Seattle, Washington 28 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
5 Denver, Colorado 17 San Jose, California 29 San Antonio, Texas
6 Los Angeles, California 18 Hartford, Connecticut 30 Charlotte, North Carolina
7 Atlanta, Georgia 19 Phoenix, Arizona 31 Memphis, Tennessee
8 Chicago, Illinois 20 Fort Worth, Texas 32 Detroit, Michigan
9 Austin, Texas 21 Honolulu, Hawaii 33 El Paso, Texas
10 San Francisco, California 22 Nashville, Tennessee 34 Portland, Maine
11 Boston, Massachusetts 23 Dallas, Texas 35 Providence, Rhode Island
12 Houston, Texas 24 Jacksonville, Florida 36 Columbus, Ohio
Source: Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs (2016).[188]

Markets and salesEdit

National marketEdit

 
U.S. annual sales of plug-in passenger cars between December 2010 and December 2018.[190][8]

Cumulative sales of highway legal plug-in electric cars in the U.S. since 2010 totaled 1.126 million at the end of 2018.[17] As of December 2017, the American stock represented about 25% of the global plug-in car stock, down from about 40% in 2014.[4][191] Sales in the American market are led by California with 537,208 plug-in electric vehicles sold up until 2018.[192]

As of December 2014, the United States had the world's largest stock of light-duty plug-in electric vehicles, and led annual plug-in car sales in calendar year 2014.[193][194] By May 2016, the European stock of light-duty had surpassed the U.S.[195] By the end of September 2016, the Chinese stock of plug-in passenger cars reached the level of the American plug-in stock,[196] and by November 2016, China's cumulative total plug-in passenger vehicles sales had surpassed those of Europe, allowing China to become the market with the world's largest stock of light-duty plug-in electric vehicles.[193][197] China also surpassed both the U.S. and Europe in terms of annual sales of light-duty plug-in electric vehicles since 2015.[4]

 
Comparison of annual plug-in passenger cars sales in China and the U.S. between 2011 and 2018.[17][198][199][200]

National sales increased from 17,800 units delivered in 2011 to 53,200 during 2012, and reached 97,100 in 2013, up 83% from the previous year.[201] During 2014 plug-in electric car sales totaled 123,347 units, up 27.0% from 2013, and fell to 114,248 units in 2015, down 7.4% from 2014.[8] A total of 157,181 plug-in cars were sold in 2016, up 37.6% from 2015,[10] rose to 199,818 in 2017, and achieved a record sales volume of 361,307 units in 2018.[17]

The market share of plug-in electric passenger cars increased from 0.14% in 2011 to 0.37% in 2012, 0.62% in 2013, and reached 0.75% of new car sales during 2014.[6][7][8] As plug-in car sales slowed down during the 2015, the segment's market share fell to 0.66% of new car sales,[8][9] then increased to 0.90% in 2016,[16] The market share passed the 1% mark for the first time in 2017, with 1.13% of the country's total annual new car sales,[11] and rose to 2.1% in 2018.[12]

 
Until January 2019, the Chevrolet Volt ranked as the all-time best selling plug-in electric car in the U.S.[202][203]

In July 2016, the Volt became the first plug-in vehicle in the American market to achieve the 100,000 unit sales milestone.[204] Leaf sales achieved the 100,000 unit milestone in October 2016, becoming the first all-electric vehicle in the country to pass that mark.[205] The Model S achieved the mark of 100,000 sales in the U.S. in June 2017, launched in June 2012, the Model S hit this milestone quicker than both the Volt and the Leaf.[206][207] Launched in July 2017, the Tesla Model 3 reached the 100,000 unit milestone in November 2018, hitting this milestone quicker than any previous model sold in the U.S.[208]

As of December 2018, the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid continued to rank as the all-time best selling plug-in electric car with 152,144 units of both generations, followed by the Tesla Model S all-electric car with about 143,892, and the Tesla Model 3 with 141,546.[17][209][210]

Sales by powertrainEdit

 
U.S. cumulative monthly sales of plug-in cars from December 2010 up to 2018, showing the evolution of the split between all-electric cars (BEVs) and plug-in hybrids (PHEVs).[190][211]

As of December 2014, cumulative sales of plug-in electric vehicles in the U.S. since December 2010 were led by plug-in hybrids, with 150,946 units sold representing 52.7% of all plug-in car sales, while 135,444 all-electric cars (47.3%) had been delivered to retail customers.[190] During 2015, the all-electric segment grew much faster, with a total of 72,303 all-electric cars sold, up 6.6% year-on-year, while plug-in hybrid were down 22.4% year-on-year, with 42,959 units sold.[8] These results reversed the trend, and as of December 2015, a total of 206,508 all-electric cars and 193,904 plug-in hybrids have been sold since 2010, with all-electrics now representing 51.6% of cumulative sales.[190][212] The lead of battery electric cars continued in 2016, with 84,246 all-electrics sold, up 18.4% from 2015, representing 53.6% of the plug-in segment 2016 sales, while sales of plug-in hybrids totaled 72,935 unis, up 69.1% from 2015.[10] As of August 2016, the distribution of cumulative sales since 2010 between these two technologies is 52.8% all-electrics and 47.2% plug-in hybrids.[213]

Sales growthEdit

Sales of series production plug-in cars during its first two years in the U.S. market were lower than the initial expectations.[22][23][25][214] Cumulative plug-in electric car sales since 2008 reached the 250,000 units in August 2014,[215] 500,000 in August 2016,[213] and the one million goal was achieved in September 2018.[2][3]

 
Cumulative sales of new PEVs are doing better than sales of HEVs in the United States over their respective 24 month introductory periods.[84]

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, combined sales of plug-in hybrids and battery electric cars are climbing more rapidly and outselling by more than double sales of hybrid-electric vehicles over their respective 24 month introductory periods, as shown in the graph at the right.[84] A more detailed analysis by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy over the same two-year introductory periods found that except for the initial months in the market, monthly sales of the Volt and the Leaf have been higher than the Prius HEV, and the Prius PHEV has outsold the regular Prius during its 8 months in the market. Over the first 24 months from introduction, the Prius HEV achieved monthly sales of over 1,700 in month 18, the Leaf achieved about 1,700 units in month 7, the Prius PHEV achieved nearly 1,900 sales in month 8, and the Volt achieved more than 2,900 sales in month 23.[216] A 2016 analysis by the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) found that 5 years after its introduction, sales of plug-in electric cars in the U.S. continued to outsell conventional hybrids. The analysis considered sales between January 2011 and December 2015.[217]

An analysis by Scientific American found a similar trend at the international level when considering the global top selling PEVs over a 36-month introductory period. Monthly sales of the Volt, Prius PHV and Leaf are performing better than the conventional Prius during their respective introductory periods, with the exception of the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, which has been outsold most of the time by the Prius HEV over their 36-month introductory periods.[218]

Key market featuresEdit

According to Edmunds.com, leasing of plug-in cars instead of purchasing is dominant in the American market, with leasing accounting for 51% of all new all-electric cars and 73% of plug-in hybrids, compared with just 32% of gasoline-powered cars.[219]

 
The Tesla Model S ranked as the top selling plug-in car in the U.S. for three years running, from 2015 to 2017.[11][8][10]

As of 2016, the market of used plug-in electric cars is concentrated in California, the state with the biggest pool of used plug-in vehicles, especially all-electrics, followed by Colorado, Florida, Georgia, New York, Oregon and Texas. With the exception of used Teslas, all models depreciate more rapidly than conventionally powered cars and trucks. For all-electric cars depreciation varies between 60% to 75% in three years. In contrast, most conventionally powered vehicles in the same period depreciate between 45% to 50% . The Tesla Model S is more like conventional cars, with three-year depreciation of about 40%. And plug-in hybrids depreciate less than all-electric cars but still depreciate faster than conventionally powered cars.[219]

Researchers from the University of California, Davis conducted a study to identify the factors influencing the decision to adopt high-end battery electric vehicles (BEV), such as the Tesla Model S, as these vehicles are remarkably different from mainstream BEVs. Based on a questionnaire responded by 539 high-end adopters and in-depth interviews with 33 adopters, the 2016 study found that "environmental, performance, and technological motivations are reasons for adoption; the new technology brings a new segment of buyers into the market; and financial purchase incentives are not important in the consumer’s decision to adopt a high-end BEV."[220]

Car dealers' reluctance to sellEdit

With the exception of Tesla Motors, almost all new cars in the United States are sold through dealerships, so they play a crucial role in the sales of electric vehicles, and negative attitudes can hinder early adoption of plug-in electric vehicles.[221][222] Dealers decide which cars they want to stock, and a salesperson can have a big impact on how someone feels about a prospective purchase. Sales people have ample knowledge of internal combustion cars while they do not have time to learn about a technology that represents a fraction of overall sales.[221] As with any new technology, and in the particular case of advanced technology vehicles, retailers are central to ensuring that buyers, especially those switching to a new technology, have the information and support they need to gain the full benefits of adopting this new technology.[222] A 2016 study indicated that 60% of Americans were not aware of electric cars.[223]

There are several reasons for the reluctance of some dealers to sell plug-in electric vehicles. PEVs do not offer car dealers the same profits as gasoline-powered car. Plug-in electric vehicles take more time to sell because of the explaining required, which hurts overall sales and sales people commissions. Electric vehicles also may require less maintenance, resulting in loss of service revenue, and thus undermining the biggest source of dealer profits, their service departments. According to the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADS), dealers on average make three times as much profit from service as they do from new car sales. However, a NADS spokesman said there was not sufficient data to prove that electric cars would require less maintenance.[221] According to the New York Times, BMW and Nissan are among the companies whose dealers tend to be more enthusiastic and informed, but only about 10% of dealers are knowledgeable on the new technology.[221]

 
Car dealerships can play a role in the sales of plug-in electric vehicles. Shown is a Chevrolet dealership exhibiting first-generation Volts.

A study conducted at the Institute of Transportation Studies (ITS), at the University of California, Davis (UC Davis) published in 2014 found that many car dealers are less than enthusiastic about plug-in vehicles. ITS conducted 43 interviews with six automakers and 20 new car dealers selling plug-in vehicles in California's major metro markets. The study also analyzed national and state-level J.D. Power 2013 Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) study data on customer satisfaction with new car dealerships and Tesla retail stores. The researchers found that buyers of plug-in electric vehicles were significantly less satisfied and rated the dealer purchase experience much lower than buyers of non-premium conventional cars, while Tesla Motors earned industry-high scores. According to the findings, plug-in buyers expect more from dealers than conventional buyers, including product knowledge and support that extends beyond traditional offerings.[222][224]

In 2014 Consumer Reports published results from a survey conducted with 19 secret shoppers that went to 85 dealerships in four states, making anonymous visits between December 2013 and March 2014. The secret shoppers asked a number of specific questions about cars to test the salespeople's knowledge about electric cars. The consumer magazine decided to conduct the survey after several consumers who wanted to buy a plug-in car reported to the organization that some dealerships were steering them toward gasoline-powered models. The survey found that not all sales people seemed enthusiastic about making PEV sales; a few outright discouraged it, and even one dealer was reluctant to even show a plug-in model despite having one in stock. And many sales people seemed not to have a good understanding of electric-car tax breaks and other incentives or of charging needs and costs. Consumer Reports also found that when it came to answering basic questions, sales people at Chevrolet, Ford, and Nissan dealerships tended to be better informed than those at Honda and Toyota. The survey found that most of the Toyota dealerships visited recommended against buying a Prius Plug-in and suggested buying a standard Prius hybrid instead. Overall, the secret shoppers reported that only 13 dealers "discouraged sale of EV," with seven of them being in New York. However, at 35 of the 85 dealerships visited, the secret shoppers said sales people recommended buying a gasoline-powered car instead.[225]

The ITS-Davis study also found that a small but influential minority of dealers have introduced new approaches to better meet the needs of plug-in customers. Examples include marketing carpool lane stickers, enrolling buyers in charging networks, and preparing incentive paperwork for customers. Some dealers assign seasoned sales people as plug-in experts, many of whom drive plug-ins themselves to learn and be familiar with the technology and relate the cars' benefits to potential buyers. The study concluded also that carmakers could do much more to support dealers selling PEVs.[222]

Regional marketsEdit

Concentration relative to populationEdit

As of July 2016, the U.S. average concentration was 1.51 plug-in cars registered per 1,000 people, while California's concentration was 5.83 registrations per 1,000 people. At the time, only Norway exceeded California's plug-in concentration per capita, by 3.69 times.[226][227] As of December 2017, the average national ownership per capita rose to 2.21 plug-ins per 1,000 people.[228]

In 2017 eight states had more than two plug-in vehicles registered per 1,000 people, of which, three are located in the West Coast. California had the highest concentration with 8.64 plug-ins per 1,000 people. Hawaii ranked second (5.12) followed by Washington (4.06), Oregon (3.84) Vermont (3.73), Colorado (2.33), Arizona (2.29), and Maryland (2.03).[228] Mississippi (0.20), Arkansas (0.28), West Virginia (0.30), Louisiana (0.31), Wyoming (0.37), and North Dakota (0.39) had the lowest concentration of plug-in cars in 2017.[228] In terms of growth from 2016 to 2017 for plug-in vehicle registrations per capita, five states had growth rates of 50% or higher: Vermont (56.4%) Maryland (54.2%), Massachusetts (52.5%), New Hampshire (50.2%), and Alaska (50.0%). The U.S. average growth rate from 2016 to 2017 was 30.2%.[229]

U.S. plug-in electric vehicle registrations per 1,000 people by state in 2017. California had the highest concentration of PEVs with 8.64 plug-in cars per 1,000 people.[228]
Comparison of ownership of plug-in electric cars per 1,000 people among top selling PEV countries and California[227]

Market share by city and stateEdit

The following table summarizes the ten states and metropolitan areas leading all-electric car adoption in terms of their market share of new light-vehicle registrations or sales during 2013 and 2014.

Top ten selling all-electric vehicle (BEV)
states and metropolitan areas by market share of new car sales
Rank
2014(1)
State[230] Market share(2)
2014 CYTD(1)
Rank
2013
State[230] Market share(2)
2013
Rank Metro area[231] Market share
2013-2014(3)
1 Georgia 1.60% 1 Washington 1.40% 1 San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose 3.33%
2 California 1.41% 2 California 1.28% 2 Atlanta 2.15%
3 Washington 1.13% 3 Hawaii 1.21% 3 Seattle-Tacoma 1.83%
4 Hawaii 1.04% 4 Georgia 0.94% 4 Honolulu 1.71%
5 Oregon 0.67% 5 Oregon 0.89% 5 Monterey-Salinas 1.51%
6 Utah 0.31% 6 Washington, D.C. 0.52% 6 San Diego 1.34 %
7 Colorado 0.27% 7 Colorado 0.33% 7 Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-San Luis Obispo 1.29%
8 Arizona 0.20% 8 Utah 0.31% 8 Portland 1.25%
9 Tennessee 0.19% 9 Tennessee 0.28% 9 Los Angeles 1.08%
10 Connecticut 0.19% 10 Illinois 0.25% 10 Eugene 0.86%
U.S. average 0.32%[230] 0.38%[232]
Notes: (1) CYTD: current year-to-date sales as of 30 June 2014 (2) New all-electric vehicle (BEV) registrations as % of total new registrations of light-vehicles only.
(3) Sales of new all-electric vehicles as % of total new light-vehicle sales between April 2013 and March 2014.

A total of 52% of American plug-in electric car registrations from January to May 2013 were concentrated in five metropolitan areas: San Francisco (19.5%), Los Angeles (15.4%), Seattle (8.0%), New York (4.6%) and Atlanta (4.4%).[233][234] From January to July 2013, the three cities with the highest all-electric car registrations were all located in California, Atherton and Los Altos in the Silicon Valley, followed by Santa Monica, located in Los Angeles County.[235][236]

CaliforniaEdit

 
Cumulative plug-in vehicle sales in California compared to the world's top-selling countries and regional markets as of December 2018.[5][11][198]
 
Comparison of annual sales of plug-in passenger cars in the U.S. versus California between 2010 and 2018.[17] [237][238][211]

Governor Jerry Brown issued an executive order in March 2012 that established the goal of getting 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) in California by 2025.[29][30] In January 2018, Governor Brown set a new goal of getting a total of 5 million zero-emission vehicles in California by 2030.[239] As of December 2018, cumulative sales totaled 537,208 plug-in electric vehicles, making California the leading plug-in market in the country.[192][13][14]

Until December 2014 California not only had more plug-in electric vehicles than any other American state but also more than any other country in the world.[240][241] In 2015 only two countries, Norway (22.4%) and the Netherlands (9.7%), achieved a higher plug-in market share than California.[242] By November 2016, with about 250,000 plug-in cars sold in the state since 2010, China was the only country market that exceeds California in terms of cumulative plug-in electric car sales.[243]

California's plug-in car market share was 3.5% of new car sales in 2016, while the U.S. take-rate was 0.90%.[10][244] In 2017, the state's market share reached nearly 5%, while the national share was 1.1%.[245][239][11]

Incentives

California has been a leader in the promotion of plug-in electric vehicles as the state has in place several financial and non-financial incentives. In addition to the existing federal tax credit, plug-ins are eligible for a purchase rebate through the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP).[47] Also, zero emission vehicles (ZEVs) and Enhanced Advanced Technology Partial Zero Emission Vehicle (Enhanced AT PZEV), have been entitled to a clean air sticker that allows the vehicle to be operated by a single occupant in California's carpool or high-occupancy vehicle lanes (HOV).[246] The limits for plug-in hybrids and expiration dates have been extended several times, and new rules went into force from January 1, 2019.[247][248]

In March 2016 California added income-based caps to its rebate system. Buyers with incomes less than 300% of the Federal poverty level get up to US$3,000 for a plug-in hybrid, US$4,000 for an all-electric car, and US$6,500 for a hydrogen fuel-cell car.[249] The income-base caps went into effect on 1 November 2016. Residents are not eligible for rebates if their gross annual income exceeds US$150,000 for single tax filers, US$204,000 for head of household filers and US$300,000 for joint filers.[250][251]

GeorgiaEdit

Georgia ranked second in the U.S. after California in terms of total plug-in electric vehicles on the road by mid-2014 .[252] During the first half of 2014 Georgia ranked as the top selling all-electric car market in the U.S. at the state level with a 1.6% share of new light-vehicle registrations, ahead of California (1.41%), and up from 0.94% during 2013.[230] As of August 2014, there were about 12,000 electric vehicles registered in the state, of which, about 80% are registered in metro Atlanta’s five core counties.[253] In the 12 months between April 2013 and March 2014, metro Atlanta was the second top selling all-electric car metropolitan market in the U.S., with a market share of 2.15% of total new light-vehicle sales in the state, 5.6 times the national average share of 0.38%.[232] Savannah ranks second in the state after Atlanta, with a market share of 0.13% of total new light-vehicle sales.[231]

Between August 2013 and May 2014, Atlanta was the top U.S. metropolitan market for the Nissan Leaf for eight out of the ten months,[232] and until July 2013, Atlanta was the third largest Leaf market behind San Francisco and Los Angeles.[254] Leaf sales are favored by Georgia's law, which caps sales of electric vehicles sold direct by a manufacturer to 150, setting a restrictive limit to Tesla Model S sales, and the law excluded plug-in hybrids for eligibility to the state's tax credit.[232]

Tax credits

The State of Georgia considers alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) those that run solely on alternative fuel and do not run on regular gasoline. AFVs includes vehicles that operate using battery electricity, propane, natural gas, and hydrogen fuel cell.[255] As incentives to accelerate all-electric vehicle adoption, in addition to the existing US$7,500 federal tax credit, Georgia offers an income tax credit of 20% of the vehicle cost up to US$5,000 for the purchase or leasing of a zero emission vehicle (ZEV). Plug-in hybrids are not eligible for this incentive because sometimes they are powered by electricity from their on-board combustion engine. There is also a 10% tax credit up to US$2,500 for the purchase and installation of qualified electric vehicle charger. This tax credit applies only to non-retail business enterprises and chargers installed at homes do not qualify.[56]

 
Tesla Roadster with Georgia's Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) license plate, which allows access to high occupancy vehicle lanes (HOV) regardless of number of passengers

An income tax credit for the purchase of a new commercial medium-duty or heavy-duty AFVs started on July 1, 2015. Medium-duty hybrid electric vehicles also qualify. Eligible medium-duty AFVs with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) between 8,500 to 26,001 lb (3,856 to 11,794 kg) qualify for a credit of up to US$12,000, while heavy-duty AFVs with a GVWR over 26,001 lb (11,794 kg) qualify for a credit of up to US$20,000. The credit is capped at US$250,000 per taxpayer. Qualified AFVs must be purchased before June 30, 2017, remain registered in Georgia for at least five years, and accumulate at least 75% of their annual mileage in Georgia. Up to US$2.5 million in total credits will be available each fiscal year.[256]

Access to HOV lanes

The definition of alternate fuel vehicle for the purposes of an AFV License Plate in Georgia is different from the one for tax credit purposes. The Official Code of Georgia Annotated defines an AFV as a vehicle that has been certified by the EPA in accordance with the Federal Clean Air Act, therefore, both all-electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids are eligible for Georgia's AFV license plate.[257] All vehicles displaying a GA alternative fuel license plate are allowed to use high occupancy vehicle lanes (HOV) regardless of number of passengers. Alternative fuel vehicles displaying the proper alternative fuel license plat may obtain a Peach Pass electronic tag that grants them toll-free access to all Peach Pass controlled high-occupancy toll lanes (HOT) lanes.[258]

Time-of-use electricity rates

Georgia Power, the primary utility in Atlanta, offers a time-of-use electric vehicle plan designed for plug-in charging. As of September 2014, the plan has about 1,500 customers statewide.[259] For a monthly fee of US$10, the utility lowers the overnight rate to 1.3 cents per Kilowatt hour (kWh) while raising the peak rate, from 2-7 p.m. from June through September, to 20.3 cents per kWh. There is also a shoulder rate of 6.2 cents per Kwh in between those times.[259] The average U.S. rate is 11.88 cents per kWh.[232]

Charging infrastructure

As of April 2014, Georgia had 238 charging stations with 548 public outlets available across the state.[184] Of these, about 120 public charging stations are located in metro Atlanta, with only about half of these located inside the city limits of Atlanta. Considering the rapid growth of electric cars in the city, there is a shortage of charging infrastructure relative to supply of electric vehicles.[253]

The city of Atlanta is considering legislation to attend the needs of electric car owners and others who want to provide electric vehicle charging at their business, multifamily dwelling or private home. The measure aims to remove a major barrier to owning an electric vehicle by encouraging office and residential landlords to install electric vehicle chargers and reserved parking. Under the proposal, each electric vehicle charging station would be counted as one parking space, and the minimum parking requirement for developers and builders would be reduced by one space for each charging station provided, allowing up to a 10% reduction in minimum parking requirements. The city also wants to simplify the process required to obtain a permit to install electric vehicle chargers and make the spaces more identifiable.[253]

HawaiiEdit

 
A public electric car charging station in Kaka'ako, Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii

Hawaii has a high potential for mass adoption of plug-in electric vehicles due to the limited driving range imposed by the island geographies, and its high fuel costs, with gasoline prices, as of September 2013, ranging between US$4.25 and US$5.00 a gallon.[260][261] The number of registered plug-in electric vehicles increased from 581 units in 2011, to 967 in 2012,[262] and reached 1,551 units in June 2013.[263] As of August 2014, a total of 2,821 plug-in highway legal plug-in electric cars have been registered in Hawaii.[264]

In terms of EV adoption, Hawaii ranked in 2013 as the state with the third highest all-electric car market share with 1.21% of new car sales, and during the first half of 2014 ranked fourth with a 1.04% market share.[230] Accounting for sales of pure electric cars between April 2013 and March 2014, the Honolulu metropolitan area ranks as the fourth top selling BEV metro market in the United States, with 1.71% of new car sales.[231]

In January 2011 the state implemented a purchase rebate of up to US$5,000 available for both the purchase of a plug-in electric car purchase and a charging station, but limited to US$4,500 for the vehicle.[265] The rebate ended in May 2012 as high consumer demand depleted the fund. More than 450 rebates were issued totaling about US$2 million. Several efforts to add more funds were unsuccessful.[266]

MarylandEdit

 
Nissan Leaf with Maryland's sticker to identify plug-in electric vehicles eligible to use HOV lanes with solo drivers

As of December 2015, there were 2,282 all-electric cars registered in Maryland. Sales of the Nissan Leaf and Tesla Model S account for about 70% of the electrics registered in the state.[267] As part of the incentives to promote electric vehicle adoption, drivers of approved plug-in electric vehicles can use Maryland's high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes at all times, even if they are traveling solo. This incentive is in effect until September 30, 2017.[59]

Plug-in electric vehicles purchased new and titled for the first time between July 1, 2014, and July 1, 2017, are eligible for a credit up to US$3,000, calculated as US$125 per kWh of battery capacity. Buyers of PEVs may apply for a tax credit against the imposed excise tax. The credit is returned to the taxpayer in the form of a check from the state. The tax credit is limited to one vehicle per individual and 10 vehicles per business. A qualified vehicle must meet the following criteria:[268]

  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating of 8,500 pounds or less;
  • Can achieve a maximum speed of at least 55 miles per hour;
  • Is a two-, three-, or four-wheeled vehicle;
  • Is propelled to a significant extent by an electric motor that draws electricity from a battery with a capacity of at least four kilowatt-hours (kWh) in the case of a four-wheeled motor vehicle, or at least two and a half kWh in the case of a two- or three-wheeled motor vehicle;
  • Has not been modified from original manufacturer specifications; and
  • Is purchased after October 1, 2010.

The state also offers a US$900 rebate for buying and installation of wall connectorsfor individuals, US$5,000 for business, or state or local governments, and US$7,000 for retail service station dealers. Between July 1, 2014, and June 30, 2016, rebate amounts are equal to the previous amounts, up to 50% of the costs of acquiring and installing qualified chargers.[269]

New YorkEdit

The stock of plug-in electric vehicles in New York climbed from 1,000 units in early 2012, to over 10,000 plug-in vehicles by mid-September 2,014. The state of New York set the goal to deploy up to 3,000 EV charging stations in public and workplace locations across the state by 2018. As of September 2014, there are about 1,000 charging stations.[270]

Plug-in electric vehicles and hybrid electric vehicles with a combined fuel economy rating of at least 45 mpg‑US (5.2 L/100 km; 54 mpg‑imp) and that also meet the California Air Resources Board SULEV emissions standard, are eligible for the Clean Pass Program. Eligible vehicles which display the Clean Pass vehicle sticker are allowed to use the Long Island Expressway HOV lanes, regardless of the number of occupants.[271] Drivers of qualified vehicles may also receive a 10% discount on established E-ZPass accounts with proof of registration.[65] In New York state there are no purchase incentives.

OregonEdit

As of November 2013, there were about 3,500 plug-in electric vehicles registered in Oregon.[272] In 2013 the state was the fifth top selling all-electric car market in the U.S. at the state level with a 0.89% market share of new light-vehicle registrations, more than twice the national average share of 0.32%. During the first half of 2014 Oregon BEV share fell to 0.67% but continued to rank in the fifth place among the top selling states.[230]

In the 12 months between April 2013 and March 2014, two metropolitan areas in Oregon ranked among the top ten selling all-electric car metropolitan markets in the U.S. Portland ranked eighth with a 1.25% market share of total new light-vehicle sales, ahead of Los Angeles metropolitan area, and Eugene ranked in number 10 with a market share of 0.86%. The national average share during this period was 0.38%.[231]

Incentives

A US$1,500 tax credit for the purchase of a new all-electric vehicle is no longer available.[272][273] There is a tax credit up to US$750 to cover 25% of the cost of purchasing and installing an electric vehicle charger station, and 35% for business owners. Beginning January 1, 2015, business owners that purchase two or more all-electric vehicles may be eligible for a tax credit of 35% of eligible costs for the incremental cost of purchasing the vehicles. This incentive ends on December 31, 2018.[258]

Electric Avenue
 
Electric Avenue charging stations at Portland State University

Electric Avenue is a joint research and development initiative of Portland State University (PSU), Portland General Electric (PGE), and the City of Portland. The Electric Avenue was launched in August 2011 to learn about the interaction and performance of charging stations and a variety of electric vehicles. The initiative also aimed to understand the charging preferences and travel patterns of electric vehicle visitors. The charging infrastructure includes quick chargers and both Level 1 and Level 2 charging stations powered by 100% renewable energy from PGE, and offers charging at standard city parking rates. The site comprises eight on street parking spaces with seven available charging stations located along an entire block. The Electric Avenue is located in the south end of downtown Portland, at the PSU's campus adjacent to Portland's Sixth Avenue Transit Mall where light rail trains, electric street cars, buses, cars, bikes, and pedestrians share a well-integrated personal and public transit corridor.[274]

TexasEdit

Texas is the second largest light-duty vehicle market in the U.S. after California, with over 20 million passenger and light truck vehicles registered at the end of 2013.[275] As of May 2014, there were about 5,000 plug-in electric vehicles registered in the state.[276] Accounting for sales of new all-electric vehicles between April 2013 and March 2014, the top three selling metropolitan markets in Texas in terms of market share of total new light-vehicle sales were the Austin metropolitan area with 0.47%, followed by Dallas-Ft. Worth with 0.21% and Houston area with 0.15%.[231] The national average share for the period was 0.38%, with Austin ranking in 15th place, and together with metro Atlanta, the only two cities in the top 15 that are not located on the West Coast.[232]

In November 2013 the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality approved a rebate program to provide financial incentives up to US$2,500 for the purchase or lease of new eligible vehicles powered by compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), or plug-in electric drive with battery capacity larger than 4 kWh.[276] The rebate amount for leasing depends on the lease term, only 4-year lease terms are eligible for the full US$2,500, just like new car purchases.[67] Total funding for the program is US$7.7 million, and the maximum number of vehicles allowed is 2,000 units for each plug-in electric drive and natural gas/propane vehicles for the length of the program.[276][67] Only purchases made on or after May 13, 2014 are eligible to apply for a rebate, and the program ends June 26, 2015 or until funding ends. As of 22 September 2014, there were US$6,7 million remaining in the rebate fund.[68]

 
Nissan Leaf charging in Houston, Texas

Among plug-in cars sold nationwide, the Tesla Model S is not eligible for the rebate because only new PEVs purchased or leased from a dealer or leasing company licensed to operate in Texas may qualify. Tesla Motors is not authorized to sell its vehicles in the state due to its direct-sales business model.[276][277][278] But customers can buy directly from the company's website like in any other state.

Texas River Cities Plug-In Electric Vehicle Initiative

Despite the low penetration of plug-in electric vehicles in the state, the Texas River Cities Plug-In Electric Vehicle Initiative (TRC) is one of the most comprehensive plans for electric vehicles and their infrastructure aimed to increase the long-term success of PEV adoption. The TRC initiative encompasses two major metropolitan areas in and around Austin and San Antonio.[279] Austin Energy, one of the project partners, had deployed 239 utility-operated publicly accessible charging stations in the TRC region by 2012. The utility company is the recipient of the U.S. Department of Energy funding for this initiative. The TRC region is projected to have 4,259 PEVs in 2015 and 17,336 in 2020.[280]

Pecan Street demonstration project

This demonstration project is run by the Pecan Street Inc., a University of Texas based research consortium of research and industry partners focused on developing and testing advanced technology, business model, and customer behavior surrounding energy management systems. The project is supported by a US$10.4 million smart grid demonstration grant from the U.S. Department of Energy and more than US$14 million in matching funds from the project partners. The demonstration project began in 2010 and is taken place with volunteer residents at the Mueller neighborhood, a planned green community in Austin. The Pecan Street hosts an electric vehicle research program and provides incentives to participants with rebates of US$3,000 and US$7,500 to lease or purchase a PEV that is in addition to the federal tax credits. Through the research program, Pecan Street is studying grid load and monitoring home energy use through management equipment. As a result of the incentive program, Mueller has more plug-in electric vehicles per capita than any other U.S. neighborhood.[281][282][283]

General Motors is a sponsor of the Pecan Street demonstration and is supporting the project to learn the charging patterns of plug-in electric car owners, and to study how a residential fleet of electric vehicles might strain the electric grid if all owners try to charge them at the same, which is what the preliminary monitoring found when the plug-in cars return home in the evening. As of June 2013, the community had nearly 60 Chevrolet Volt owners alone thanks to GM's commitment to match the federal government's US$7,500 rebate incentive, which halves the purchase price of the Volt.[284]

WashingtonEdit

The state set a goal to have 50,000 electric or other clean vehicles on the road by 2020.[19] As of 30 June 2016, there were 30,701 battery-powered and plug-in electric cars registered in Washington.[285] The Seattle metropolitan area concentrated 76% of the state PEV registrations, with 18,154 plug-ins in King County (59%), where the city of Seattle is located, 3,153 in Snohomish County (10.3%), and 2,040 in Pierce County (6.6%). Outside the metro area, Clark County has the largest number of PEV registrations with 1,467 units (4.8%).[285]

 
The City of Seattle operates the Nissan Leaf as part of its fleet

Washington was the top selling all-electric car market in the U.S. at the state level in 2013 with a 1.40% market share of new light-vehicle registrations, ahead of California (1.28%). Washington PEV share in 2013 was more than four times the national average share of 0.32%.[230] In the 12 months between April 2013 and March 2014, Seattle-Tacoma metro ranked as the third top selling all-electric car metropolitan market with a 1.83% market share of total new light-vehicle sales, only behind San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose (3.33%) and Atlanta (2.15%).[231]

Incentives

New passenger cars, light-duty trucks, and medium-duty passenger vehicles that operate exclusively on electricity, hydrogen, natural gas, or propane are exempt from state motor vehicle sales and use taxes. Qualified vehicles must also meet the California motor vehicle emissions standards, and comply with the rules of the Washington Department of Ecology.[70] The initial sales tax exemption expired on July 1, 2015.[70] The sales tax exemption was renewed on July 1, 2015, for four years, but the incentive was limited to new plug-in cars that cost less than US$35,000. The approved cap excludes what legislators considered as luxury cars such as Tesla Motors and BMW i electric models. The same legislations that extended the incentives through 2019, raised the annual registration renewal fee for plug-in car owners from US$100 to US$150. That annual fee is designed to make electric vehicle drivers contribute toward highway maintenance in lieu of the gas taxes PEVs do not pay.[286]

 
The Tesla Model S and other plug-in electric cars with purchase price above US$42,500 or plug-in hybrids with an all-electric range of less than 30 mi (48 km) are not eligible for the tax exemption in Washington state.

In April 2016 governor Jay Inslee signed legislation to provide up to about US$3,100 off the purchase or lease of a new car all-electric vehicle, or a plug-in hybrid with at least 30 mi (48 km) of all-electric range – such as the Chevrolet Volt and the BMW i3 REx. The new law also raises the previous purchase price cap to US$42,500, which will allow buyers of the Chevrolet Bolt EV, the next generation Nissan Leaf, and the Tesla Model 3 – all with 200 mi (320 km) of electric range – to be eligible for the incentive. The new law goes into effect on July 1, 2016. Under the updatede scheme, the sales tax exemption applies to the first US$32,000 of the selling price of a qualifying new plug-in electric car, which translates into a tax savings between US$2,600 to US$3,100 for plug-in car buyers depending on where the dealer is located within the state, as the sales tax vary by county. The tax exemption could expire before July 2019 if sales of electric vehicles accelerate because legislators established that the tax break should end the month after 7,500 qualifying vehicles are sold in the state. The state Department of Licensing was directed to start a tally beginning with PEV registrations since July 15, 2015.[72][71] As of April 2016, the state sales tax is 6.5%, and increases up to 9.8% depending on the county rate.[72]

Puget Sound Energy (PSE) provides a US$500 rebate to the first 5,000 qualified customers for the purchase and installation of Level 2 electric vehicle charging station (EVSE). Eligible applicants must be PSE residential electric schedule 7 customers, must be the registered owner of an electric vehicle, and must install the charging station within a specified timeframe. PSE expects the rebate program to remain available until November 1, 2016, depending on available funds.[287][288]

Sales by modelEdit

 
Top selling manufacturers of plug-in electric cars sold in the United States. Cumulative sales between 2008 and August 2016.[213]

As of December 2018, there were 43 highway legal plug-in cars available in the American market for retail sales, 15 all-electric cars and 28 plug-in hybrids,[289] plus several models of electric motorcycles, utility vans and neighborhood electric vehicles (NEVs). As of November 2018, sales were concentrated to a few models, with the top 10 best selling plug-in cars accounting for about 84% of total sales during the first eleven months of 2018.[290] Car manufacturers are offering plug-in electric cars in the U.S. for retail customers under 21 brands or marques: Audi, BMW, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Fiat, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar, Kia, Mercedes-Benz, MINI, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Porsche, Smart, Tesla, Toyota, Volkswagen, and Volvo.[291]

As of September 2016, only the Chevrolet Volt, Nissan Leaf, Tesla's Model S and Model X, BMW i3, Mitsubishi i, Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid, Cadillac ELR, and Ford's C-Max and Fusion Energi plug-in hybrids were available nationwide. Several models, such as the Toyota RAV4, Fiat 500e, Honda Fit EV, and Chevrolet Spark EV, are compliance cars sold in limited markets, mainly California, available in order to raise an automaker's fleet average fuel economy to satisfy regulator requirements.[292][293][294][295]

As of November 2018, the top selling plug-in car manufacturers in the American market are Tesla with about 269,000 units delivered, GM with 203,941, Nissan with 126,875 units, Ford with 111,715, Toyota with 93,011 and the BMW Group with 79,679 plug-in electric cars.[43]

Top selling modelsEdit

 
The Tesla Model 3 was the best selling plug-in car in the U.S. in 2018,[17] and is the all-time top selling plug-in model in the country.[1][296]

The Nissan Leaf was the U.S. top selling plug-in car in 2011 (9,674), and the Chevrolet Volt topped sales in 2012 (23,461).[6] Again in 2013, sales were led by the Chevrolet Volt with 23,094 units, followed by the Nissan Leaf with 22,610 cars, and the Tesla Model S with about 18,000 units.[297] In 2013 the Model S was the top selling car in the American full-size luxury sedan category, ahead of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class (13,303), the top selling car in the category in 2012.[297] In 2014 the Leaf took the sales lead, with 30,200 units sold, with the Volt ranking second with 18,805, followed by the Model S with 16,689 units.[8]

The Tesla Model S, with 25,202 units delivered, was the top selling plug-in car in 2015, followed by the Nissan Leaf with 17,269 units, and the Volt with 15,393.[8] Again in 2016, the Model S was the best selling plug-in car with about 29,156 units delivered, followed by the Volt with 24,739, and the Model X with about 18,028.[16] For the third consecutive year, the Tesla Model S was the top selling plug-in car with about 26,500 units sold in 2017, followed by the Chevrolet Bolt (23,297), Tesla Model X (~21,700).[11][298]

Sales in 2018 were led by the Tesla Model 3 with an estimated 139,782 units delivered, the first time a plug-in car sold more than 100 thousand units in a single year. Ranking next were the Toyota Prius Prime (27,595), Tesla Model X (~26,100), Tesla Model S (~25,745), and the Honda Clarity PHEV (18,602).[17]

The following table presents cumulative sales of the all-time top 10 best-selling highway-capable plug-in electric cars launched in the American market since 2008, with sales through March 2019.[17]

Top 10 U.S. selling highway-capable plug-in electric passenger cars
(produced between 2008 and March 2019 - cumulative sales since inception)
Model Market
launch
Sales/Production
Tesla Model 3 Jul 2017 ~163,971 units sold through March 2019.[1]
The Model 3 was the top selling plug-in car in the U.S. in 2018.[17]
The electric sedan has been the U.S. top selling plug-in car every month since
January 2018[210][289][208] and reached the 100,000 unit milestone quicker than
any previous model sold in the U.S.[208]
In February 2019, the Model 3 became the U.S. all-time best selling plug-in car.[203]
Chevrolet Volt
first generation

Chevrolet Volt
second generation
Dec 2010 154,664 Volts sold through March 2019 (both generations).[1]
The Chevy Volt topped annual plug-in car sales in the U.S. in 2012 and 2013.[6][297]
The Volt ranked as the U.S. all-time top selling plug-in electric car until January 2019.[202]

Production of the first generation 2015 model year Volt ended in mid-May 2015.[299]
Deliveries of the second generation Volt began in October 2015.[300]
Production ended in February 2019.[301]
Tesla Model S
(MY 2012)
Tesla Model S
(facelifted MY 2016)
Jun 2012 ~147,517 units sold through March 2019.[1]
The Model S topped annual plug-in car sales in the U.S. between 2015 and 2017.[289]
Until December 2018, the Model S was the U.S. all-time best selling all-electric car.[202]
Nissan Leaf
first generation

Nissan Leaf
second generation
Dec 2010 132,227 Leafs sold through March 2019 (both generations).[302]
The Leaf was the U.S. top selling plug-in car in 2011 and 2014.[6][8]
Toyota Prius PHV
first generation

Toyota Prius Prime
second generation
Feb 2012 97,446 units sold through March 2019 (both generations).[296][209]
A total of 44,767 first generation units sold through December 2016.[10][213][303][304]

Production of the first generation Prius Plug-in ended in June 2015.[305]
Dealerships run out of stock of the first generation model in September 2016.[306]
Deliveries of the second generation Prius Prime began in November 2016.[307]
Tesla Model X Sep 2015 ~69,702 units sold through March 2019.[296][210]
Ford Fusion Energi Feb 2013 62,848 units sold through March 2019.[296][17][11][213][303][304]

Production is schedule to end by 2020, as part of Ford decision to discontinue
in the North American market their entire passenger car line up.[308]
Chevrolet Bolt EV Dec 2016 46,211 units sold through March 2019.[296][17][11]
Ford C-Max Energi Oct 2012 42,231 units sold through December 2018.[11][309][310]

Production ended in November 2017.[310]
Dealerships run out of stock of in October 2018.[309]
BMW i3 May 2014 38,098 units through March 2019 (both all-electric and REx models).[11][213][309][311]
Until February 2017, the REx/BEV sales ratio was 3:1.[312]

Neighborhood electric vehiclesEdit

 
The GEM is the best selling low-speed neighborhood electric vehicle in the U.S.

Low-Speed Vehicles (LSVs) are defined as "four-wheeled motor vehicles whose top speed is 20 to 25 mph (32 to 40 km/h) to be used in residential areas, planned communities, industrial sites, and other areas with low density traffic, and low-speed zones."[313] LSVs, more commonly known as neighborhood electric vehicles (NEVs), were defined in 1998 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 500, which required safety features such as windshields and seat belts, but not doors or side walls.[314][315][316]

Since 1998 Global Electric Motorcars (GEM), the market leader in North America, has sold more than 50,000 GEM battery-electric vehicles worldwide as of October 2015.[317]

Modern production timelineEdit

 
The General Motors EV1 was one of the first PEVs introduced in 1996 as a result of CARB's zero-emissions vehicle mandate.
 
Tesla Roadster (first generation)
 
Navistar eStar all-electric van
 
Smith Newton delivery truck
 
Volvo XC90 II PHEV
 
Porsche Mission E concept to be produced as Porsche Taycan

This is a list of all highway-capable plug-in electric vehicles available for retail customers in the U.S. for sale or leasing since the early 1990s.

1990-2003Edit
2008-2019Edit
2008
2009
  • Mini E (demonstration program ended in 2011)
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019

Future cars (2019–2022)Edit

The following is a list of electric cars and plug-in hybrids with market launch scheduled up to 2022.[318][319][320][321]

U.S. electric vehicle organizationsEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f Bridie Schmidt (2019-04-15). "Tesla Model 3 becomes all-time best-selling electric car in US". EV Adoption. The Driven. Retrieved 2019-04-15.
  2. ^ a b c Kane, Mark (2018-10-06). "Plug-In Electric Cars Sales In U.S. Surpass 1 Million". InsideEVs.com. Retrieved 2018-10-21.
  3. ^ a b c Argonne National Laboratory (2018-11-26). "FOTW #1057, November 26, 2018: One Million Plug-in Vehicles Have Been Sold in the United States". Vehicle Technologies Office, US DoE. Retrieved 2018-12-01.
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  5. ^ a b Cobb, Jeff (2017-01-16). "The World Just Bought Its Two-Millionth Plug-in Car". HybridCars.com. Retrieved 2017-01-17. An estimated 2,032,000 highway-legal plug-in passenger cars and vans have been sold worldwide at the end of 2016. The top selling markets are China (645,708 new energy cars, including imports), Europe (638,000 plug-in cars and vans), and the United States (570,187 plug-in cars). The top European country markets are Norway (135,276), the Netherlands (113,636), France (108,065), and the UK (91,000). Total Chinese sales of domestically produced new energy vehicles, including buses and truck, totaled 951,447 vehicles. China was the top selling plug-in car market in 2016, and also has the world's largest stock of plug-in electric cars.
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