To its credit, Navigant recognizes that US consumers won't be able to do this alone. One key to increasing demand is a more robust plug-in vehicle charging infrastructure. Currently, this remains a feature found largely in big cities and along major highways, but it is starting to fill in a bit. Additionally, state- and federal-government incentives will continue to be a factor as the price of plug-in vehicles remains above similarly equipped cars with gas-powered ICEs.
Of course, to even approach sales numbers of around 750,000 vehicles a year, automakers will have to reverse what's been a declining plug-in vehicles sales result this year (perhaps some prospective diesel-vehicle buyers will have something to do with that in the near future). Through August, US plug-in vehicle sales were likely down about 13 percent to about 69,000 units. We say likely because Tesla Motors continues to be coy about releasing either monthly or country-specific sales figures. But either way, 69,000 marks a change from last year, when plug-in vehicle sales jumped about 20 percent to approximately 117,000 units as Tesla Model S and Nissan Leaf battery-electric sales advanced.