Plug-in Electric Cars had better early adoption rate than hybrids
The failure to reach the sales targets for the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf has led to considerable finger pointing about so-far disappointing attempts to mass market plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs). PEVs have increasingly become fodder for politics as every misstep reinforces what opponents call their inevitable failure.
But the real problem was in the original lofty expectations for PEV penetration by both the auto makers and the government, which were unreachable given the cost of the vehicles. As we've said all long, the government's projection of 1 million PEVs on US roads by 2015 was too aggressive given the short timeframe to get new vehicles to market and the nascent state of the technology .
The automakers failed to consult their history and economics textbooks when projecting how many PEVs they could sell during the first few years of production. Hybrid vehicles are the closest recent precursors of today's PEVs, and they didn't sell in close to the numbers that auto manufacturers hoped to achieve.
The chart shows the actual sales figures for hybrid sales in the US from 2000 to 2006, compared with the actual sales of PEVs in 2011 and then Pike Research’s projected sales through 2017. As we can see in the chart, during the first full year of US sales of the Toyota Prius and the Honda Insight 9,350 hybrids were sold, while PEV sales in 2011 were near double that.
Chart credit, Pike Research.
Article continues at ENN Affiliate, CleanTechies.