A massive wave of electric vehicles is starting to build in the US. Over the past month record sales in many EV and PHEV models drove total sales of all plug-ins to 5598, a new all-time record.
Leading the top performers was the Chevy Volt which sold 2851 vehicles this September. The Volt roared in to post a back-to-back record sales following August’s surge. This sales boost seemed to mock an endless stream of negative and unreliable press criticizing everything from the high numbers of vehicles sold to the Volt’s falling price — which made it ever more available to customers.
Directly on the Volt’s heels was the Plug-in Prius. Prius leveraged its powerful brand, a less expensive EV model, and a, somewhat short, though still significant, all-electric range of 11 miles, to sell 1652 units. This rate of sales was far higher than expected and was just two vehicles short of its previous record in April.
The Nissan Leaf also showed strong sales for the month, pushing 984 vehicles out onto the road. Nissan is also starting to market a cheaper and a longer-range version of the Leaf for 2013.
Honda and Mitsubishi made minor showings to round out total known EV sales of 5598. However, Fisker and Tesla do not release monthly sales figures, but probably sold a total of an additional 250 vehicles (approximate). This likely means that total electric vehicle sales for September challenged the 6000 mark.
Already, new offerings for 2013 are starting to become available. Most notable is the Ford C-MAX Energi which is a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle like the Volt and the plug-in Prius. With 47 mpg fuel economy and a battery stack that offers a gasoline free driving range of 20 miles, the C-MAX Energi boasts an EPA 95 MPGe average fuel efficiency. The Energi is less expensive than either the Prius plug-in or the Volt and, therefore, may prove a competitor for added sales and driving down EV prices.
With all the new energy swirling around EVs, it appears that total US sales may well exceed 50,000 by the end of this year. The Volt has already sold over 30,000 vehicles worldwide and interest in EVs continues to grow as more people adopt this revolutionary and environmentally friendly new technology.
This surge in alternative fuel vehicles couldn’t come too soon. With the Arctic in rapid decline and with impacts from human caused global warming set to worsen, it is high time the world began a shift to less carbon intensive technologies, and to systems that offer the opportunity for radically diminishing greenhouse gas emissions. Furthermore, larger EV fleets will greatly enhance US energy independence by taking a bite out of oil consumption and reducing the need for US oil imports.