Electric vehicle sales in America have doubled so far this year, with new figures also revealing how sales have tripled since 2011.
In the first six months of 2013, 40,000 plug-in electric vehicles (EVs) were sold in America, which is twice as many as the same period in 2012, according to figures from the US Energy Department’s Argonne National Laboratory.
The department also revealed how EV sales have tripled from 17,000 in 2011 to 52,000 in 2012.
The growth can partially be attributed to more affordable EV batteries. Thanks to expanding domestic manufacturing capacity and technology improvements, the cost of batteries has come down by almost 50% in the last four years, and is estimated to fall again to US$10,000 by 2015.
Ernest Moniz, US Energy Secretary, said: “More and more Americans are taking advantage of the low and stable price of electricity as a transportation fuel, and that’s very good news for our economy as well as the environment. As the market continues to grow, electric vehicles will play a key role in our effort to reduce air pollution and slow the effects of climate change.”
The rocketing sales illustrate how much faster EV growth is than the hybrid vehicle market; only 3,000 were sold in the hybrid’s first 30 months.
Evan Juska, Head of US Policy, The Climate Group, said: "Early on, EV sales had been lower than expected. But the introduction of new models and positive reviews for existing models, combined with rising gas prices, appear to be giving the market the boost that it needed.
"EVs still have a ways to go before reaching mainstream adoption. But the industry's healthy development is a good sign for the future of US transport."
Category: Sustainable energy