• Sign in
  • |
  • Sign up

Car News

Study: Electric Vehicles Catching on Faster than Hybrids Did

RELATED READING
RESEARCH BY MAKE
Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs
Acura cars, trucks and SUVs Alfa Romeo cars, trucks and SUVs AMC cars, trucks and SUVs Aston Martin cars, trucks and SUVs Audi cars, trucks and SUVs Bentley cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Buick cars, trucks and SUVs Cadillac cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Chrysler cars, trucks and SUVs Daewoo cars, trucks and SUVs Datsun cars, trucks and SUVs DeLorean cars, trucks and SUVs Dodge cars, trucks and SUVs Eagle cars, trucks and SUVs Ferrari cars, trucks and SUVs FIAT cars, trucks and SUVs Fisker cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Freightliner cars, trucks and SUVs Genesis cars, trucks and SUVs Geo cars, trucks and SUVs GMC cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs HUMMER cars, trucks and SUVs Hyundai cars, trucks and SUVs INFINITI cars, trucks and SUVs Isuzu cars, trucks and SUVs Jaguar cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Kia cars, trucks and SUVs Lamborghini cars, trucks and SUVs Land Rover cars, trucks and SUVs Lexus cars, trucks and SUVs Lincoln cars, trucks and SUVs Lotus cars, trucks and SUVs Maserati cars, trucks and SUVs Maybach cars, trucks and SUVs Mazda cars, trucks and SUVs McLaren cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs Mercury cars, trucks and SUVs MINI cars, trucks and SUVs Mitsubishi cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Oldsmobile cars, trucks and SUVs Plymouth cars, trucks and SUVs Pontiac cars, trucks and SUVs Porsche cars, trucks and SUVs RAM cars, trucks and SUVs Rolls-Royce cars, trucks and SUVs Saab cars, trucks and SUVs Saturn cars, trucks and SUVs Scion cars, trucks and SUVs smart cars, trucks and SUVs SRT cars, trucks and SUVs Subaru cars, trucks and SUVs Suzuki cars, trucks and SUVs Tesla cars, trucks and SUVs Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Volvo cars, trucks and SUVs Yugo cars, trucks and SUVs
RESEARCH BY STYLE
AWD/4WD
Commercial
Convertible
Coupe
Hatchback
Hybrid/Electric
Luxury
Sedan
SUV/Crossover
Truck
Van/Minivan
Wagon

author photo by Doug DeMuro May 2014
  • Study: EVs are catching on more quickly than hybrids did
  • Study examines first four years of sales for early hybrids, early EVs
  • Tax incentives and consumer awareness likely explain the popularity difference

Electric vehicles are catching on faster now than hybrids did when they were first launched. That's the latest from a new study by IHS Automotive, which compared sales of early Toyota Prius models to the Nissan Leaf EV and the plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt.

According to the IHS study, the Prius managed to sell around 52,200 units in its first four years of global availability. That's a big number for a car filled with unfamiliar technology, but it's nowhere near as strong as the Volt's 68,500 units over the same initial 4-year period. And it certainly can't beat the Nissan Leaf's impressive 4-year global sales total of 96,500 units worldwide.

What's the reason that hybrid cars took so long to take off compared to their electric counterparts? One explanation is simple: Before hybrids, most shoppers had little or no understanding at all of electric vehicles. Now that we've had several years to become familiar with hybrids, the jump to an EV or a plug-in doesn't seem so big, meaning more shoppers are willing to take the risk.

Another reason electric vehicles have enjoyed better success might be the fact that they use no gas at all. While some shoppers may have been unwilling to upgrade to a gas-powered hybrid car such as the Prius, others likely wanted to wait for a vehicle that uses no gasoline at all, such as the Leaf, or very little, such as the Volt.

Of course, lease deals and tax incentives have probably also spurred Leaf and Volt sales, at least in the U.S. Both Chevrolet and Nissan have offered several enticing lease offers to Americans, while the U.S. government doles out up to $7,500 in income tax credit to drivers who choose an electric car.

What it means to you: Electric vehicles are catching on quickly -- and that means more models are likely to come.

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Study: Electric Vehicles Catching on Faster than Hybrids Did - Autotrader