A UK study finds that about 20 percent of the benefits from fuel efficient vehicles are negated by a tendency for people to drive them more. The study, which covers the years 1970 to 2011, finds a significant "rebound effect," when consumers use more of a cheaper energy source. It suggests these drivers drive more not because of the fuel efficiency, but because of the lower operating costs. "Until now, we didn't know the size of this effect for British motoring," says Dr. Lee Stapleton, Research Fellow for the University of Sussex Centre on Innovation and Energy Demand. "We found evidence of a significant, long-term rebound and expect our results to be of interest for public policy." Read more at Green Car Congress.
Japanese EV sales have declined for the first time ever. Sales of electric vehicles slid 22 percent in 2015, leaving them at the same levels as 2012. Low gasoline prices are to blame, as well as the late arrival of the updated Nissan Leaf, which caused potential customers to hold off on their purchase. This allowed the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV to take the lead as Japan's best selling EV. The Toyota Prius Plug-In came in third place in EV sales, with the BMW i3 close on its heels. Read more from EV Sales.