We heard it on the campaign trail and we heard it at President Obama's recent State of the Union address. The President's goal is to make the United States to " the first country to have a million electric vehicles on the road by 2015." The big question, of course, is: is that possible?

This is not an easy answer to figure out. In fact, there will be an entire seminar devoted to "the challenges and opportunities to make that vision a reality" in Austin, TX in early March. Still, we can use some of the

The leading vehicles in this fleet will be, unsurprisingly, the Chevy Volt and the Nissan Leaf, which will have at least a year head start on any other mainstream plug-in. General Motors is hinting it will push production to 120,000 Volts in 2012, but one outside analyst believes both the Leaf and the Volt will sell around 60,000 a year by 2015. While we can't know any of these numbers for certain, let's just ballpark an average of 75,000 a year for each vehicle for the five years between now and the end of 2015. Sound reasonable? Who knows, but if so, it would give us 750,000 plug-ins on the road with just these two models. Throw in all the other announced plug-in models – 20,000 Prius Plug-Ins a year, 20,000 Tesla Model S vehicles annually, etc. – and a million seems reasonable.

Not everyone thinks so. A powertrain forecasting at J.D. Power and Associates told Automotive News, "I think it's a stretch goal. We don't think we're going to reach that number by 2015."

Oliver Hazimeh, partner and head of the global e-Mobility Practice at PRTM, a global management consulting firm, told AutoblogGreen that however many of these vehicles automakers sell, it won't be just because they're "green":

As automakers continue to adapt their business models to address rising demand for electric vehicles (EVs), one trend is becoming increasingly clear – before paying more for an EV, consumers are seeking advantages beyond environmental friendliness to justify the price difference. This consumer hot button is ushering in a new focus on 'cool' technology – innovations that make EVs enticing and fun to drive.

Hazimeh added that he expects this kind of "cool" innovation to be things like vehicle performance, connectivity and environmental monitoring.

[Source: Automotive News – sub. req., PRTM | Image: apple.white2010]

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