Lux Research has introduced what it calls its "EV Inflection Tracker," and while it's restricting access to the tool to clients (kind of like Tesla Motors and its high-powered Supercharger network), the firm has released some tidbits. Namely that the so-called "EV Inflection Point", i.e. the moment when plug-in vehicles will account for more than half of new car sales, will occur sometime between 2035 and 2040.
2035 means that the auto industry is at least three full model cycles away from plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles accounting for the majority of US new-vehicle sales. At which point we can all tap our canes with joy.
The main issue, per usual, is price and range. Lux Research says the magic numbers are $35,000, as in price, and 200 miles, as in single-charge range. Once that becomes the norm (it's been promised to happen in the near future), Americans will rapidly approach that tipping point.
For now, the industry is a long way off. Americans bought about 110,000 plug-in vehicles last year, which actually marked about a 7-percent drop from 2014. With US light-duty vehicle sales reaching a record 17.4 million, that means that plug-ins accounted for just 0.6 percent of new-vehicle sales, or about one in 160. Lux Research hammers this point home by giving the auto industry a "failing grade" of 27/100 when it comes to making plug-in vehicles that provide the same price/value attributes as a conventional vehicle. Luxury vehicle makers (read: Tesla) score relatively well, but everyone else needs to play catch-up.