Plug-in sales are way ahead of where hybrid sales were 31 months after introduction

Plug ins vs hybrids historical chart
Public Domain DOE

Much healthier trajectory too

Last month the U.S. Department of Energy launched its 'eGallon' online tool that allows you to see what the amount of electricity necessary to drive an average electric car as far as a gallon of gasoline would cost where you live ("the U.S. average is $1.14. It goes as low as $0.83 in North-Dakota and as high as $3.69 in Hawaii where electricity is most expensive"). A recent update contains a very interesting graph: It shows the first 31 months of plug-in vehicle sales in the U.S. (that includes 100% electric cars and plug-in hybrids) compared to the first 30 months of hybrid vehicle sales.

treehugger week in pictures

Not only are sales much stronger at the equivalent time after introduction (the Prius was released in 1999, and the first U.S. plug-in vehicles were released at the end of 2010 if you don't count the Tesla Roadster which came out earlier, but was very expensive and made in low volumes), but the trajectory of growth is also much steeper, a good sign. Americans are warming up to this new technology much faster, and automakers are more enthusiastic about pushing if forward (with more models and price cuts).

It will be interesting to see if the trend continues or if something breaks the momentum. There are good signs, such as Tesla selling all the EVs it can make and increasing production rapidly, and planning a mass-market model to be released in a few years, Ford investing more in plug-ins and hiring more engineers for that side of its business, Nissan ramping up production, etc.

Via Department of Energy, Green Car Reports

See also: Milestone: Nissan-Renault reaches 100,000th electric car sold

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