Over 100,000 Plug-In Vehicles Sold in US

This month, plug-in cars reached a significant milestone when the 100,000th vehicle was sold in the US.

In fact, according to the counter on Plug In America’s website, 100,351 cars have been sold.

It’s been about two years since the latest generation of highway-capable plug-ins hit the market – not bad for the American market, which is fairly resistant to change in automotive technologies. 

In Portland, Oregon, four major Nissan dealers sold more electric Leafs than any other model in March. Tesla’s Model S is outselling the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, the BMW 7 series and the Audi A8.

Plug-in Prius

Although the plug-in market is still tiny, it’s actually ahead of where hybrids were when they were first introduced.

Most auto makers are making plugins: Nissan, Tesla, GM, Ford, Honda, Mitsubishi, Toyota, BMW, Mercedes, and Fiat.

"Like most emerging technologies, but particularly ones that promise radical change to the existing system and the formidable interests invested in the old system, the road to deployment is not straight and flat.  Misinformation abounds – about the costs, range, battery resiliency, EV carbon emissions, the superiority of other alternative fuels, a "green" political pre-disposition.   Unfortunately, too often those with the biggest bullhorn shape the ‘facts’."  We still have a newscycle that continues to get it mostly wrong about how these vehicles really work," says Barry Woods, Director of Plug In America.

Even as recently as six months ago, dealerships didn’t show any interest in learning about electric car chargers, Woods says, but suddenly now they are interested.

Through April of this year, 24,551 plug-ins have been sold, about the same as all of 2011. 

From a grid perspective, there are now over 2 gigawatts of  battery storage in the US plug-in fleet. The biggest coal plant in Oregon, the Boardman Coal Plant, has 550 megawatt hours of capacity and serves as base power for over 800,000 people, Woods says.

"Many utilities have now begun to consider the imminent prospect of using plug-in related storage for direct load management to assist in smoothing their peaks and avoid triggering activation of older, dirtier generation sources."

Read, Time to Buy an Electric Car?

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