Less than two months prior to its conclusion, the Obama Administration is looking to make big data a little bigger when it comes to analyzing the cost-effectiveness of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids. On Tuesday, the White House will host its first-ever "Electric Vehicle Datathon." The US Department of Energy and four of its National Laboratories will also join the party. The objective is to find more ways to use data to both get a better sense of how much plug-in vehicles help the environment and economy and make it more attractive for Americans to buy EVs or plug-in hybrids.

Since the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt debuted in late 2010, automakers have offered almost 30 production plug-in vehicle models to the American public (okay, fine, mostly just in California), while more than 40,000 publicly-accessible charging stations have been deployed across the country. Meanwhile, there are 48 so-called "electric-vehicle corridors" of highway-adjacent charging stations spanning almost 25,000 miles in the works, and the Obama Administration has pledged to work with two-dozen local and state governments to expand electric-vehicle charging infrastructure.

Through October, Americans have purchased almost 100,000 plug-in vehicles, up about 20 percent from a year earlier. What may further please the Obama Administration is that some of the year's biggest plug-in sales gains have been experienced by domestic automakers such as Ford, General Motors, and, of course, Tesla Motors. And some analysts say that number is set to surge further next year, especially through US automakers, as General Motors unveils its Chevrolet Bolt EV later this year and Tesla prepares to sell the Model 3.

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