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U.S. Sales of Electric Cars See Huge Bump in 2016

Electric cars are gaining traction. In September, plug-in vehicle sales reached a new high, topping 500,000 units sold. The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy reports that in the last 3 years, sales of plug-in vehicles have averaged just over 10,000 units per month.

The Journey Thus Far

It’s been quite the ride for electric cars. December 2010 saw the debut of the first mass-market plug-in vehicles, the storied Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf.

Fast forward 2 years to 2012, and electric-car enthusiasts had 11 different plug-in models to choose from. By September of this year, there were 27 different models.

Meanwhile, two highly anticipated plug-in cars, the 238-mile Chevrolet Bolt EV and the Toyota Prius Prime plug-in hybrid, are slated for release in 2017.

Slow and Steady

These new models’ arrival will likely improve electric-car sales next year and could make strides toward meeting revised goals for sales of plug-in vehicles.

Acknowledging slower-than-expected sales, U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz told Green Car Reports earlier this year that the country might not achieve 1 million electric-car sales until after 2020.

But with the slow but steady rise of sales, it appears the rate of plug-in car sales should increase substantially in 2017 and 2018.

Perhaps the overriding question is when we might reach President Obama’s goal of 1 million electric vehicles on U.S. roads. In his 2011 State of the Union, he called for 1 million electric plug-in cars to be on American roads by 2015.

We have a ways to go, but the future looks promising.


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