The group of electric vehicle supporters known as Plug In America (PIA) figures that a grand total of 220,494 plug-in vehicles have been purchased in the US since the modern wave of EVs went on sale in late 2010. Just over a year ago, PIA celebrated the 100,000th EV sold in the US, a Mitsubishi i-MiEV. Based on current sales patterns, the next milestone should be reached right around the time of PIA's next big party.

In an email to Plug In America supporters, PIA president Richard Kelly wrote:

Some of you may have noticed that our vehicle sales ticker rolled over 200K. We're having an internal happy dance, but holding back on a more public celebration until we roll over 250K, which should be near National Drive Electric Week.

National Drive Electric Week is the event that will take place in the middle of September and was formerly called National Plug In Day. To get even more events on the calendar this year – 98 were held last year – Who Killed The Electric Car? and Revenge Of The Electric Car director Chris Paine helped put together a "Call For Organizers" video to drum up more support and get more people to organize events in their home town. You can watch the video below, and smile at the image of Paine standing in front of a smoking engine bay.



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  • 30 Comments
      Grendal
      • 8 Months Ago
      We're pacing ourselves. Really, it's new technology that takes time to get people to try something new. For now it is the more expensive choice to make. That will change but it will take time.
        Jim1961
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Grendal
        You seem to have the same misconception many people have about plugin cars. Gasoline and diesel cars are the more expensive choice if you do the math. According to Edmunds dot com "true cost to own" calculator the Nissan Leaf has the lowest five year cost of ownership than any other car, new or used. The Chevy Volt has a five year cost of ownership less than a Smart Fortwo.
          Ricardo Gozinya
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Jim1961
          It's the sticker shock thing. The upfront cost is higher, and that's the thing that will be the most real for most people. Long term costs on the other hand have a sort of abstract quality for most people. They know it's real, but they don't feel it the way they do the upfront cost, when it comes time to buy something.
          Grendal
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Jim1961
          Ricardo is correct. The ROI is something that an intellectual might figure out. Most will see the initial sticker price and balk. It will take time and trickle down understanding to allow the general public to see the long term benefits.
        Joeviocoe
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Grendal
        The rate of growth is more important than the total number. A mountain is climbed by single steps
          Grendal
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          +1 on that. It's going to be an evolution, not a revolution. Tesla, Nissan, and even GM with the Volt has shown that it can be done. There is no going back from here. Batteries will improve, gigafactories will be built, and change will occur. I still hope for 1 million plug-ins by the end of 2015.
      Ziv
      • 8 Months Ago
      The problem is that gasoline is incredibly energy dense and inexpensive. And you can re-fuel so quickly with gasoline. BEV's are going to dominate the personal auto market, but it is going to take longer than most of us wish.
      Ben Crockett
      • 8 Months Ago
      This article reminds me of the couple of Plug In America stickers I just bought to stick on my PHEV Outlander - though I'm not American instead Australian. Always liked the car with plug logo. PIA do some great work there in the states around EV awareness - which is exactly what is needed to grow EV sales and support. Cars in driveways is what I believe to the best marketing that will spread awareness - I just the other day spoke at length with my neighbour (who had noticed me plugging in of an evening) about the efficiency when in EV mode and they were amazed at the economy.
      jebibudala
      • 8 Months Ago
      That's a pretty low ball number. I don't see why they don't forecast 250 MILLION!
      Ben Crockett
      • 8 Months Ago
      @Grendal I agree with most of your points re WKTEC - I credit it for me to opening my eyes to EVs which I knew little about prior. I do believe however it was the CARB mandate and ZEV credits that have spurred automakers to at least prove they can make EVs (be it in part to satisfy CARB) I know that some automakers have used the ZEV credits to offset other vehicles or to profit from (Tesla) but that doesn't matter (no different to R&D grants) with the main thing being they are at least producing the cars - so you can at least purchase one (except for those lease only vehicles) Particularly now with Tesla influence and with some majors Nissan, Mitsubishi, Toyota and BMW looking to push volumes the EV future is no longer bleak as it appeared at the time of the original movie.
        Grendal
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Ben Crockett
        Thanks. I personally can't even remember when I first saw the film. I think it was after I became interested in EVs. The CARB mandates have been a double edged sword when it comes to EVs. They helped create the EV1 and other cars but shut them all down when the incentives were modified. Reestablishing the incentives have brought it all back as well. As I mentioned below, I do believe the movie had an effect on bringing back the EV and reestablishing CARBs support. I am just happy to see change happening. There is not one single thing that has created the opportunity for change but a series of incidents. The reality is that there would probably not be a Tesla or a Volt if GM had not killed the EV1. So even that tragedy led to future success in my mind.
          Ben Crockett
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Grendal
          Fair points - agreed. The main thing now is that there is enough momentum going for more EVs to be developed and sold particularly HEV and PHEV over the next few years. Just about every major automaker has/or is developing at least a HEV - which will lead to the ultimate goal of affordable long range BEVs.
      Michael Walsh
      • 8 Months Ago
      That's me in the 500e!
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Michael Walsh
        Hey Michael, thanks for identifying yourself in the Fiat. Your thumbs up that you gave to me that day in Long Beach gave me a great visual to edit into the video with Chris' words!
        Grendal
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Michael Walsh
        Nice! Double thumbs up back at ya!
        Ben Crockett
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Michael Walsh
        Nice one!
      Ben Crockett
      • 8 Months Ago
      This article reminds me of the couple of Plug In America stickers I just bought to stick on my PHEV Outlander - though I'm not American instead Australian. Always liked the car with plug logo. PIA do some great work there in the states around EV awareness - which is exactly what is needed to grow EV sales and support. Cars in driveways is what I believe to the best marketing that will spread awareness - I just the other day spoke at length with my neighbour (who had noticed me plugging in of an evening) about the efficiency when in EV mode and they were amazed at the economy.
        paulwesterberg
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Ben Crockett
        Part of the problem is that a lot of EVs are hidden away in garages while they charge. They are only visible when they are being driven on the road.
          Ben Crockett
          • 8 Months Ago
          @paulwesterberg
          Fair point - mine is an exception run the cord out of the garage under the door. The do still get washed in driveways on the weekends which can bring about a chat.
      Yellowstone Jack
      • 8 Months Ago
      False advertising. Volt has a gasoline engine. The video makes it sound as if it were a full-on BEV. Volt can overheat just like the car in the video.
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Yellowstone Jack
        I don't think this is false advertising (there isn't really any "advertising" here) at all. The Volt has a small gas generator that makes electricity after the battery is depleted but the Volt can drive on nothing but electricity if a driver chose to and their driving needs allowed. Many Volt drivers ride almost exclusively on battery power only and after being in production for several years now I think most people know what type of electric car the Volt is. But I think you are missing what the video's main purpose is anyway. This is not a Volt promo. It is a promo for National Drive Electric Week where people can get together and show people that are new to EVs all about them and let them test drive them. Kelly Richard Olsen Director and editor of the video about NDEW
      Jim1961
      • 8 Months Ago
      I'm a huge supporter of plug in cars (I have a Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt) but I can't stand Chris Payne and his conspiracy theory movies.
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Jim1961
        Interesting take on Chris' two movies but i respectfully disagree about any conspiracy theories. There were many people in both of his films that were independent, such as journalists and other observers that concurred about how GM, Honda and Toyota acted and their motivations for doing so. As far as the comments about what made an impact on the dynamics of why EV started to be made again, I agree with both observations. California's Air Resources Board mandates requiring a certain amount of a car makers fleet to be zero emission or they would not be allowed to sell any cars in the state was the single major reason EVs started to be produced again. Since California is the largest car market, the auto makers could not afford to be locked out of the state. But, I also think that the 2nd film, Revenge of the Electric Car, showed that GM did get a big black eye from the revelations in the first film, Who Killed the Electric Car?, and that they did want to change their image. Anytime there is major change it is usually do to a number of factors. I think Chris' films and the people that he documented, like the leaders of Plug In America and the CARB rules were all factors. But calling Chris' films conspiracy theory films seem to not be on target, at least to me.
        Grendal
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Jim1961
        The movie might be biased but it certainly shamed the auto industry into embracing electric cars. You wouldn't have your Volt or your Leaf if it wasn't for that movie. They would still have shown up eventually but it would have been a couple more years. Tesla almost went bankrupt in 2008. One small missed effort by someone who hadn't seen the movie and they might not have made it. The movie might be a piece of propaganda but it has made its mark and it has changed the world. Hopefully for the better.
          Grendal
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Grendal
          It's my opinion but I think the movie had something to do with it. Why did CARB reinstate the EV mandate? The timing just makes too much sense.
          Rotation
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Grendal
          Electric cars went away when CARB dropped the EV mandate. And they came back when CARB reinstated it. They're not motivated by shame, they're shameless.
        brotherkenny4
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Jim1961
        We are trained to be compliant. Our training provides us with a tendency to dislike those that put forth noncompliant views. Regardless of whether you have personally overcome one false compliance issue ( such as the hate of EVs) you are still susceptible to others and still have the general dislike of the nonconformists. I suspect that you likely have some very specific training that makes it impossible for you to comply with the hate of EVs. Perhaps your an engineer or scientist. However, be aware that most of what you do comply with is a control and manipulation system. Ask yourself this, is it coincidence that much of the information we receive from the media, business/industry and our political leaders is false? Also that the false information we receive is so clearly coordinated in it's distribution?
      • 8 Months Ago
      Sometimes it is a challenge to direct another director, but Chris was just great. Really enjoyed directing and editing this video. Hope you sign up and get involved to make this the biggest year yet!
      Andrew Pappas
      • 8 Months Ago
      Drop in bucket. That's 50k/ year. The problem is current EVs don't scale well. The problem being those batteries. It's good that they keep plugging away. But I'm waiting for that tech dam to burst.
      Yellowstone Jack
      • 8 Months Ago
      False advertising. Volt has a gasoline engine. The video makes it sound as if it were a full-on BEV. Volt can overheat just like the car in the video.
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