By: Cary Weiner on May 8th, 2017
Electric vehicles still make up a small fraction of total annual vehicle sales. But so did gasoline hybrids like the Toyota Prius when they first started selling in earnest. To compare apples to apples, let’s look at the first five years of sales of both gasoline hybrids (HEVs) and plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs).
Note that the timespan for HEVs was 2001-2005, whereas the time span used for PEVs was 2011-2015 (the latest data available from the U.S. Department of Energy). As you can see, total sales for the first five years has been neck and neck. However, sales of PEVs dipped in its fifth year amid falling gas prices. Sales of HEVs benefited from surging gas prices and didn’t take a step back until year seven. (Annual sales of HEVs now hover around 400k). Costs and incentives, conventional fuel prices, and quelling ‘range anxiety’ with longer range vehicles and charging infrastructure will be key to determining the future for PEVs.