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Electric vehicle advocates like to note that electric vehicles' instant torque provides out-of-the-gate acceleration that belies the cars' tree-hugging nature. Now, the Electrification Coalition is saying that plug-in sales are following suit with their own quick start. In a study released this week, the group says EV sales during their first 30 months on the US market were at least double hybrid vehicle sales during their same point of evolution, implying a bright future for automakers investing in plug-ins.

Americans bought more than 110,000 plug-ins since the beginning of 2011, the Coalition said, citing a study that it produced with PricewaterhouseCoopers titled "State of the Plug-in Electric Vehicle Market." Specifically, the Nissan Leaf accounts for more than 3 percent of the US subcompact market, while the Tesla Model S during the first half of the year accounted for more than 8 percent of luxury vehicles sold.

"EVs are well on their way to establishing a meaningful position in the overall automobile market," Electrification Coalition CEO Robbie Diamond said in a statement.

And things could get better, as the report says battery prices will decline about 50 percent by the end of the decade to as little as $300 per kilowatt hour. As it is, plug-in sales through June surged at least 84 percent (Tesla hasn't released first-half numbers, so they're not included here) from a year earlier to almost 31,000 units. Check out a synopsis of the Electrification Coalition's report below.
Show full PR text
Comprehensive Look at State of Electric Vehicle Market Finds Strong PEV Sales, Individual Models Gaining Significant Market Share

Electrification Coalition CEO touts energy security benefits of electric vehicles, representatives from Tesla and Nissan discuss market success

WASHINGTON – Sales of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) are strong, with combined purchases of models like the Nissan LEAF, GM Volt and Tesla Model S during their first 30 months on the market more than doubling the pace set by conventional hybrids when those vehicles made their U.S. debut in 2000. This was a key finding of a new Electrification Coalition (EC) report released today in consultation with PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The study, "State of the Plug-in Electric Vehicle Market," also finds that certain PEV models are already capturing a high percentage of market share in their respective classes, including the Tesla Model S, which has registered an 8.4% stake in the luxury market in the first six months of 2013. Additionally, the paper highlights consumer satisfaction surveys indicating that PEVs are outperforming their marketplace competitors on almost all counts, and expects that battery prices will fall about 50 percent to an industry average of $300-325 per kilowatt hour by 2020.

"The research shows that consumers love their electric vehicles and that EVs are well on their way to establishing a meaningful position in the overall automobile market," said Robbie Diamond, President and CEO of the Electrification Coalition. "Electric vehicles are the key to reducing America's dangerous dependence on oil, and their strong early sales and earned consumer satisfaction bode well for improving our nation's energy security in the years ahead. However, we continue to believe that public policy, including greater funding for research and development, should play a stronger role in supporting this vital technology."

Representatives from Nissan and Tesla Motors joined the Electrification Coalition today for a conference call to discuss the paper's findings.

"The Nissan LEAF is the best-selling electric vehicle and now compares favorably not just against other electric cars, but also similarly sized gas-powered cars," said Tracy Woodard, Director of Government Affairs for Nissan. "We are seeing rave reviews from consumers and critics alike, and we're very excited for what the future holds."

Key findings of the paper include:

Since market introduction in January 2011, more than 110,000 plug-in electric vehicles have been sold in the United States.
Compared to hybrids' first years on the U.S. market, twice as many plug-in electric vehicles have been sold since market introduction in 2011.
The uptake rate of plug-in electric vehicles is nearly three times what it was for hybrids over their first three years on the market.
Tesla's Model S has captured 8.4 percent of the luxury market in the first six months of 2013, and sold more units than several in-class competitors including the Audi A8, BMW 7-series, and Mercedes S class.
The Nissan LEAF has captured 3.3 percent of the sub-compact vehicle market.
In comparing satisfaction surveys between PEVs and their marketplace competitors, PEVs outperformed their internal combustion engine (ICE) and hybrid counterparts on almost all counts.
Battery costs are expected to drop by about half by 2020, when we project an industry average price of $300-325 per kilowatt hour.


The report is the first in the "EV Market Outlook" series produced by the EC in consultation with PricewaterhouseCoopers that will provide new analysis on battery costs, sales, infrastructure, and other topics.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 19 Comments
      2 wheeled menace
      • 2 Years Ago
      Hybrids came out in the early 2000's when gas was still pretty damn cheap. People didn't really understand the point of them. EVs... oh man, long overdue. Way long overdue.
      raktmn
      • 2 Years Ago
      Full pdf of study is here: http://electrificationcoalition.org/sites/default/files/EC_State_of_PEV_Market_Final.pdf Their statement about Tesla sales was not surprising, yet less than satisfying to try and independently confirm. Here is the direct claim from the full PDF: "in the first six months of this year, the Model S has captured 8.4 percent of the luxury market, selling more than 10,000 units." Here is their footnoted source: "EC analysis of hybridcars.com sales data." But when I go to that site to confirm the numbers, I can't find the source for the 10,000 claimed Tesla units being sold from Jan-June this year. Nor could I find what other cars they considered as "luxury" for Tesla to have 8.4% of those sales. I was hoping they would have some magical inside source to official Tesla sales numbers, but all their Tesla sales numbers look like swag's of round even number counts, guesstimated to the nearest 200 units, without any supporting documentation. Here is what they say about where their numbers come from: "We use a qualified third party source which collects the numbers reported by the OEMs (except Tesla)." So like I said, less than satisfying when I tried to confirm their numbers. I don't doubt that somehow they can in some way justify these numbers as being somewhat close to reality. But I hate it when I see decimal accuracy on a SWAG, as if there were hard accurate numbers behind it.
        Weapon
        • 2 Years Ago
        @raktmn
        Can't click on pdfs where I am but are you referring to this? http://insideevs.com/tesla-model-s-grabs-8-4-of-luxury-vehicle-sales-in-us-in-first-half-of-2013/
          raktmn
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Weapon
          Thanks for the link. Sadly, the info there is even more frustrating, because it is a circular reference right back to the same study. Even worse, it shows data from the first quarter that seems to indicate that Tesla had the exact same 8.4% share of sales in the second quarter as they had in the first quarter. That is statistically improbable. Does anyone know if there has been an official Tesla announcement on their 2nd quarter sales numbers that I might have missed? Because the latest I've read directly from Tesla was that they weren't going to release Q2 sales numbers until August 7th. It seems like there are a whole lot of places on the net who want to be the first to talk about Tesla sales numbers. And they aren't letting little things get in the way, like not knowing what those numbers really were.
      Actionable Mango
      • 2 Years Ago
      As low as $300 by the end of the decade? But back in June 2012 we were already down to $250 per kilowatt hour. http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1077100_are-electric-car-batteries-already-at-250-per-kwh-analyst-says-yes And Musk thinks below $200 soon. http://green.autoblog.com/2012/02/21/battery-cost-dropping-below-200-per-kwh-soon-says-teslas-elon/ Does nobody actually know what the cost of a kilowatt hour is? Is there not a price sheet somewhere?
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Actionable Mango
        There is a big difference between battery cell costs and battery pack costs.
        raktmn
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Actionable Mango
        Yes, there are price sheets for wholesale battery prices somewhere. But we scum are not allowed to see wholesale price sheets for car batteries any more than we can see wholesale price sheets for the batteries in our laptops. Or the rate sheets for the LCD screen in our smart phones. Even worse, I'll bet big dollars that the actual price negotiated by car makers is different for every contract, with discounts for different volumes, and special discounts for special partners. So everyone's prices from different battery makers are all different. The closest I've seen to getting the inside information on battery prices was a study done jointly by the UK gov't, with the inside cooperation of multiple car and battery makers. They got exclusive inside data that nobody else has. And they still gave fairly obscure information on battery prices, to protect the trade secrets of the battery makers and car makers. This is exactly why I hate battery price discussions. The numbers are so soft, it is like punching a wall of Jello.
          Weapon
          • 2 Years Ago
          @raktmn
          I think the problem is that while we can get BOM prices, it is difficult to get actual prices for an obvious reason. Since I own my own business I will tell you this, if I find out someone else is getting a better rate then me, I would be on the phone demanding a price renegotiation. This is why companies have contracts and NDAs that hide the prices, because they can lose out on potential profit.
      purrpullberra
      • 2 Years Ago
      Don't you mean "Smug electric vehicle advocates..."?
        brotherkenny4
        • 2 Years Ago
        @purrpullberra
        Thanks, I had to login just to downvote.
        Jim1961
        • 2 Years Ago
        @purrpullberra
        Why the name-calling?
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Jim1961
          Because he is a troll, who probably spends his wages on gas and drugs and doesn't have the brains to see that EVs are better.
      bluepongo1
      • 2 Years Ago
      :-D
      • 2 Years Ago
      Here in Europe EVs make much more sense as prices of insurance and road tax are nothing or very little in comparison to hybrids.
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        Yet EVs are being very slowly adopted in Europe. Can you provide some of your views as to why there is such slow uptake of EVs in Europe? I'm always interested in hearing European views on this.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spec
          I think there a number of factors. Knowledge is one; few people acutally know about them. Cost is another while the Nissan Leaf when it was introduced in the US cost something like $30,000 while in Europe it cost 30,000 EUR which is a lot more expensive. Range is also another issue, but while most Europeans drive less than 50km per day it is just a myth. In regard to advertising, I don't know about the US but I have until this year I had never seen one TV spot for a hybrid or EV in Italy. So things are changing. (I hope).
          dreadcthulhu01
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spec
          One factor impeding EV adoption in Europe is that a large percentage of the population there lives in apartments. Unless you live right by a Tesla supercharger, buying an EV when you can't charge at home doesn't make sense.
      purrpullberra
      • 2 Years Ago
      I expect the trend to continue to break precedent set by hybrids since gas is more expensive now and the benefits of going green are more widely known. Pure EV's are 'greener' than hybrids and plug-ins are in the middle. Add plug-in hybrids to plug-in BEV's and of course the group will grow faster than the hybrid market did. I guess it's good to have scientifically quantified proof that the segment is growing so maybe this isn't a stupid/obvious study
      Spec
      • 2 Years Ago
      Well . . . EVs are being given much more help with a $7500 tax-credit and the CARB ZEV program. But they provide great public benefits with no local pollution emissions, creation of jobs for 100% domestic electricity, no noise, increased energy security, reduced trade deficit, etc.
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