By on September 8, 2017

2018 Chevrolet Bolt - Image: ChevroletYou can forget the GM EV1 and the Toyota RAV4 EV. The car that truly attempted to bring electric cars into the mainstream was the 2011 Nissan Leaf.

It didn’t. U.S. Leaf sales, never reaching any great heights, plunged after its fourth full model year, falling by more than half between 2014 and 2016.

There’s a thoroughly updated second-gen Nissan Leaf on its way, destined to hit U.S. dealers early in 2018. But during the first-gen Leaf’s tenure, the Nissan was joined by a broad array of electric cars, from a handful of Teslas to the Chevrolet Bolt, Volkswagen e-Golf, Kia Soul EV, BMW i3, and Hyundai Ioniq, and all of these cars together have combined to quintuple U.S. electric vehicle market share over the last half-decade.

Only 0.1 percent of the new vehicles sold in America in 2012 were pure EVs. That figure has risen, very slowly, to 0.5 percent through the first eight months of 2017 while the number of available nameplates has more than doubled.

Perspective? Ford grew its F-Series’ share of the overall U.S. new vehicle market from 4.5 percent to 5.1 percent during the same period.

2018 Nissan LEAF makes North American debut - Image: NissanIt’s not that EV sales aren’t rising. Clearly, to increase their share of the market — propelled along by government tax credits that will likely expire for many automakers in 2018 — from 0.1 percent in 2012 to 0.5 percent in 2017 requires a meaningful increase in actual sales. After all, the market at large has grown, as well.

According to HybridCars.com, a vital source for this post’s EV sales data, fewer than 14,000 pure battery-powered cars were sold in 2012: Nissan Leafs, Tesla Model Ss, Smart Fortwo EDs, Ford Focus Electrics, Honda Fit EVs, Mitsubishi i-MiEVs, and Toyota RAv4 EVs.Tesla Model S Grey - Image: TeslaBut after growing by leaps and bounds in 2013, growth powered largely by the Leaf and Model S, the rate of growth has markedly slowed. EV sales more than tripled in 2013, as did EV market share. But the year-over-year increase in 2014 was down to 33 percent despite four additional nameplates. In 2015, EV sales were only 5 percent stronger than in 2014. Then 2016’s EV sales rose 18 percent, even though the fleet didn’t add to its number of nameplates. The rate of growth in 2017, with 16 different nameplates collecting U.S. sales in the first two-thirds of the year, stands at a similar 21 percent.

Granted, that is growth in a market that’s experiencing decline. But the total numbers are so small, they can be compared with individual nameplates such as the Honda Odyssey, Lexus RX, Honda HR-V, Subaru Crosstrek, Chevrolet Tahoe, and Dodge Charger. Indeed, vehicles that wouldn’t be widely considered marketplace hits — the Dodge Journey and Kia Forte — generate significantly more volume than America’s entire EV sector.USA EV market share chart 2012-2017 - Image: © The Truth About CarsThe incoming EV tide is altering the shape of the shoreline, but the movement of the sand is so limited and so gradual that it’s difficult to spot with the naked eye.

Amidst news that Volvo will “electrify” its entire lineup by 2020, that BMW will offer a bevy of EVs by 2025, that Nissan will sell twice as many new Leafs as old Leafs, that the Chevrolet Bolt just outsold the Chevrolet Volt, reside these cold, hard facts. Even with EV sales doubling between 2013 and 2017, only 1 out of every 200 U.S. new vehicle acquisitions involves an electric vehicle. Plug-in hybrids are comparably popular, hybrids generate four times more volume, and diesel-powered vehicles — excluding full-size pickups — achieve EV-like volume despite their Volkswagen extermination, as well.

Buying habits will change. But they will change very slowly.

[Images: General Motors, Nissan, Tesla; Chart: © The Truth About Cars]

Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and Autofocus.ca and the founder and former editor of GoodCarBadCar.net. Follow on Twitter @timcaincars and Instagram.

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87 Comments on “Seemingly Every Automotive Headline Includes Electric This or That, but What’s the State of Electric Vehicle Market Share in America?...”


  • avatar
    ash78

    I just read last night that the outgoing Leaf can be had for as little as $11,500 (new) in states where the rebates are stackable with Federal money and ongoing Nissan deals.

    The whole “market share of EV” won’t be as relevant to me until the subsidies wind down and the manufacturers have to sell them profitably on their own. I’m hopeful this will occur because we need more diversification of propulsion based on individual needs, no doubt. But the media is just doing their usual thing of blowing up the minority into the mainstream consciousness (which is exactly what those minorities want). Just replace “Electric Cars” with “White Supremacists” or whatever.

    • 0 avatar
      Zane Wylder

      Heard they tried to sell Tesla’s in Australia without government subsidies and couldn’t sell one

      Says it all right there

      • 0 avatar
        HotPotato

        You heard, eh? And how credible did it sound to you that a few grand in incentives would be a make-or-break factor for someone shelling out for a six-figure semi-custom luxury car?

        Think, Norstadt. Reason.

        The cutoff of incentives in 2016 did, however, push sales of lower-priced EVs like the Nissan Leaf off a cliff, with sales dropping 90%, since their shorter range involves bigger tradeoffs and their middle-class buyers really do need the incentives. Another factor, however, was much wider availability of hybrids in the Australian market–their market share went up 70% at the same time.

        The ironic thing is, Australia would be dumb as a box of rocks to leave itself dependent on imported oil. It’s rich in potential electricity from domestic solar and coal.

  • avatar
    dwford

    Until truly fast charging becomes available (5-10 minutes), electric cars will be a niche. Not everyone has the ability to install a charger at their residence, and not everyone has the inclination to seek out a nearby charger and leave their car there for an extended period of time to get it charged.

    • 0 avatar
      brettc

      100% agree. Until people can easily take their EV to a nearby fuel station and charge it as conveniently as a gas or diesel vehicle can be “recharged”, EVs won’t be in the mainstream.

      • 0 avatar
        ash78

        Or batteries swapped like a propane exchange. I honestly don’t really know why this isn’t already widespread, since it doesn’t rely on fancy quickcharge technology (although it would require a lot of infrastructure and cars that can readily accept a modular battery somewhere…not hundreds of little laptop batteries)

        • 0 avatar
          ClutchCarGo

          Battery swapping was tried by Shai Agassi with his Better Place concept but it didn’t succeed.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Better_Place

          Musk even floated the possibility for Teslas but it never went anywhere.

          http://www.teslarati.com/tesla-shuts-down-battery-swap-program-for-superchargers/

          I think that the idea is too capitol intensive to make economic sense.

          • 0 avatar
            HotPotato

            The Better Place story is so aggravating because the concept was right, and if the company had been run well, I believe it would have succeeded.

            Agassi spent way too much on the wrong things at the wrong time. The swap stations ended up costing twice as much has he projected, but their cost was still remarkably reasonable. But instead of focusing on organic growth in one market, and spending wisely, he blew fat wads of cash on stuff that didn’t produce any return, like building a giant educational center for children, reinventing the infotainment system, expanding into new markets, etc.

            It also didn’t help that EVs themselves were so in their infancy that there weren’t even standard charging connectors yet–they had to invent EVERYTHING. In addition to the swap stations they built up a network of charging stations…using a triangular plug never used before or since.

            Tesla could have run with the ball, but the very thing that defines and differentiates them as a carmaker is making EVs with such big batteries and such fast recharge stations that you can almost treat them like a gasoline powered car. It was in their interest to invest in the thing only they could do–long-range EVs–not the thing that would remove the practicality problems from the sort of short-range EVs their competitors were capable of making.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        bollocks. we’re too conditioned to follow the script of “drive your car until the fuel is almost depleted, then go look for a ‘station’ to fill it back up again.”

        with EVs you don’t need to follow that script anymore. You plug in at home (if you can,) at work (if you can,) and at other places like malls and megamarts which offer for-pay charging stations (where available.) That’s one of the HUGE differences between an EV and an ICE vehicle. An EV can “refuel” while it’s sitting somewhere doing nothing useful.

        “Not everyone has the ability to install a charger at their residence,”

        I daresay anyone who owns a house or rents a condo w/a garage can do it. That’s pretty much all of suburbia right there.

        But I forgot how this crowd thinks. if something doesn’t work for everybody, then it can’t work for anybody.

        • 0 avatar
          Ar-Pharazon

          You must love this article . . . it proves (to you, at least) that you’re smarter than 99.5% of the car-buying population that’s too stupid to realize they should be buying electric. Bravo!

    • 0 avatar
      LeMansteve

      The only reason people want gas-like refueling times is because they can’t refuel at home today. Imagine how much time you’d spend at a gas station if you had a gas pump at home or in your parking lot.

      For the road trip warriors, no, EVs don’t yet make sense. Supercharging stations are a start, though. Depending on the frequency of your long trips, renting a gas-powered car for those trips could make sense.

      For the commuters with 2 cars in their household and rarely make long trips, a 200 mile EV could very well make sense.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        “Imagine how much time you’d spend at a gas station if you had a gas pump at home or in your parking lot.”

        Been there. Done that. My dad had a small trucking company and worked in remote areas. I’d much rather go to a gas station than source fuel from a 500 gallon fuel tank in the back yard.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      @dwford:

      You’re absolutely right. Things are changing though, so charging speed may not be an issue in a few years.

      The first 400kW charging stations are being deployed now. For a comparison, current CHAdeMO quick chargers are 50kW and home charging is 5 to 7kW. Automakers have 300kW+ capable cars in the pipeline, so we should see near gas station charging speeds in a couple of years. It won’t happen overnight, but at least it’s gone beyond the laboratory.

      http://insideevs.com/chargepoint-express-plus-debuts-offers-industry-high-400-kw-dc-fast-charging/

      Also, charging stations may get a bit more common:

      http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1111906_bp-follows-other-gas-station-brands-adds-electric-car-charging

      https://electrek.co/2017/07/17/shell-ev-fast-charging-station-allego-gas-stations/

  • avatar
    Rnaboz

    Somewhat related. Can the evacuation of Florida be done if 10% of cars on the road were electric? There is currently gas shortages, would there be long lines to plug in?

    • 0 avatar
      RangerM

      I’m curious to know if an EV can better withstand a flood than a regular car.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      Without a power station on every street corner, you’d need a truly impressive grid of power cables, to somewhat simultaneously charge that many cars. That’s a lot of energy to push, over very long distances from wherever the Nimbys have relegated a nuke plant or whatever. The starry eyeds’ “studies,” that assume everyone will charge in an orderly fashion during off peak, doesn’t really apply during state wide evacuations.

      This kind of lack of resiliency, is one reason H2, for all it’s difficulties, are still a bit of a holy grail. As it can be stored in a distributed fashion, creating a grid with buffers against local and/or temporal demand shocks.

      Of course, in Florida’s case, perhaps widely distributed, wind powered emergency charging stations, would be just the ticket for these kind of scenarios……

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        “This kind of lack of resiliency, is one reason H2, for all it’s difficulties, are still a bit of a holy grail. As it can be stored in a distributed fashion, creating a grid with buffers against local and/or temporal demand shocks.”

        hydrogen storage and transport has all sorts of ball-aches, though. it embrittles many metals, and can diffuse and leak *through iron and steel.*

    • 0 avatar
      srh

      If you have an EV, you probably have a place to charge it at home. And you’ll probably leave with it fully charged rather than plan on spending an hour or so at a charger along the way.

      There were, anecdotally, stories of long lines at the I-5 chargers in Oregon during The Great Eclipse of ’17. Apparently all the Tesla owners from California decided that an 800 mile drive in an EV was a good idea. Which it might be, but probably not when they all are going at the same time.

    • 0 avatar
      brandloyalty

      “Can the evacuation of Florida be done if 10% of cars on the road were electric?”

      Just an observation that if humanity had adpoted technologies such as ev’s when warnings started of events resulting from global warming, such as these storms, Florida wouldn’t need to be evacuated to begin with.

      Instead, Americans in particular reacted by attacking the messengers and refusing, like obstinate children, to change their ways in even minor ways.

      • 0 avatar
        S2k Chris

        YGBSM. No hurricanes ever hit FL before yuppies drove SUVs?

        Are you one of the guys who yells about “weather isn’t climate!” when we get cold days in the summer, too?

        • 0 avatar
          brandloyalty

          @S2k Chris:
          “YGBSM. No hurricanes ever hit FL before yuppies drove SUVs?

          Are you one of the guys who yells about “weather isn’t climate!” when we get cold days in the summer, too?”

          Do you need to have frequency and intensity explained to you?

          I also point out the standard tactic of deniers like yourself: immediately making the matter personal.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            Like a crazed religious zealot – climatists do not possess the capacity for logic and reasoning. So trying to point out the arrogance of climate alarmists always leads back to canned responses about x number of scientists or y “fact I heard”. A person with little capacity to rationally process and interpret information is easily ruffled by any attack on their emotional “truths”.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            … so any commentary about how the reports of the 3% who went against the consensus having to reach for their arguments and there experiments could not be repeated with the same results would be met with derision?

            Why do I ask? Because someone did exactly that; they tried to repeat the experiments that claimed “climate change” was false and they could not repeat any one of them and get the same results without actively skewing the data itself.

          • 0 avatar
            S2k Chris

            “Do you need to have frequency and intensity explained to you?”

            Considering that we just had one of the longest droughts ever for significant hurricane activity in the US…uhh, yes, I do.

        • 0 avatar
          philipwitak

          Those 3% of scientific papers that deny climate change? A review found them all flawed…

          https://qz.com/1069298/the-3-of-scientific-papers-that-deny-climate-change-are-all-flawed/

      • 0 avatar
        rpn453

        All our environmental problems would be over if only we had mandated that enough green energy and resources be created to manufacture and power 7.5 billion $40,000 electric vehicles, along with the infrastructure to use them.

        I personally blame everyone who uses more gasoline than me for that not happening.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @Rnaboz – Yes. As long as batteries are charged which is no different than cars/trucks stuck in traffic with low gas tanks. There would be a minimal power drain sitting in traffic.

      @RangerM – I saw a clip of a Prius going through some very deep water.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      “Somewhat related. Can the evacuation of Florida be done if 10% of cars on the road were electric? There is currently gas shortages, would there be long lines to plug in?”

      If they were plugged in when they left the house, they would be capable of at least 200 miles before needing a recharge, meaning out of Florida itself at a minimum, using a Bolt or a Tesla. At lower speeds, the Bolt is known to exceed 300 miles on a charge (meaning kept below 65mph.) They would have all started with a “full tank”, compared to all those ICEVs who are now stranded, out of gas.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        if you leave anything running in idle of course you will run out of gas. The question in traffic is, how much of the battery is used vs fuel in idle from an I4?

        • 0 avatar
          brandloyalty

          Stop and go traffic with long intervals between the pulses allows shutting off engines. But most stop and go traffic is small frequent pulses. Ev’s and hybrids are vastly superior for this. They use no energy or fuel when not moving, they recapture energy when braking, and bybrids can creep forward without running the engine. This makes a huge difference in how long a tank lasts in traffic jams. To be melodramatic, could be the difference between life and death.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            “They use no energy or fuel when not moving, they recapture energy when braking”

            I knew the Prius had regenerative braking but I was not aware the hybrid or EV use no energy when not moving. Although I might question how the car’s computer, dashboard/LCD, and DRLs/headlights are working without energy use so perhaps its more accurate to say these vehicles use next to no energy.

      • 0 avatar
        Dan

        “they would be capable of at least 200 miles before needing a recharge, meaning out of Florida itself at a minimum”

        I-95 runs 383 miles from Miami to the state line, so no they wouldn’t come close to getting you out of Florida.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          “I-95 runs 383 miles from Miami to the state line, so no they wouldn’t come close to getting you out of Florida.”

          No? I’ve already read from many owners that they’re pushing 350 miles or better from their Bolts. Now imagine a Model S or X that already gets 300 miles from their battery at ‘normal’ speeds. They’ll be pushing 400 miles and more easily enough, as long as they keep it under 65mph.

          • 0 avatar
            derekson

            Except in real world testing the Bolt gets better range than any Tesla model, regardless of range on paper.

            https://www.consumerreports.org/2017-chevrolet-bolt/chevrolet-bolt-sets-electric-vehicle-range-record/

            Maybe the new 100 KWh model would beat the Bolt’s range, but not by much.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            There’s a difference between testing and real-world driving. The people claiming the high ranges for the Bolt are actual Bolt owners. There’s a Bolt owner’s Facebook group where you get to see all the pros and cons (and there are many right now) of owning a Bolt. Many owners are exceeding 300+ miles on their cars while others are complaining about unusual breakdowns. It’s both good and bad but such issues are typical of a first-year model. Such discussion about the Tesla was made back in 2012 to 2013.

    • 0 avatar
      HotPotato

      There probably wouldn’t be long lines to plug in, because you don’t fuel an EV like a gasoline car. Instead of waiting for the tank to get low and then refueling, you just plug it in when you get home at night, and you wake up every morning with a full tank.

      That assumes people evacuating in long-range EVs, of course. If everyone’s trying to get out of the city in a short-range city car, then yeah, there would be long lines at charging stations 70 miles down the road.

  • avatar
    newenthusiast

    I think hybrids will continue to outsell EVs because they simply offer a greater range, which as many have pointed out here, is an irrational thing for most drivers to worry about on a daily basis, but is a real concern. Most people want their vehicle to go anywhere they desire to go (short of those needing a dedicated off-roading vehicle or heavy duty towing capability on a part time basis). They don’t want or can’t afford insurance, and whatever maintenance costs for two cars to fill their needs.

    As range and battery tech improves, so will sales, I think. Its going to be a slower process than I think the auto makers and auto press keep assuming.

    • 0 avatar
      ash78

      Ironically, I could almost envision a future where Tesla sells a $5,000 “Portable Battery Charging and Maintenance Unit” that looks suspiciously like a $500 generator, but painted white. It could extend the range of their EVs almost indefinitely, depending on the size of receptacle that you order for it (10 gallons or 20 gallons).

      There’s already an infrastructure for fueling these units, so why not?

      #FUTURIST

      • 0 avatar
        brandloyalty

        Use a generator to charge a Tesla? That’s one of the best jokes I’ve heard on ttac for a while.

      • 0 avatar
        newenthusiast

        “Ironically, I could almost envision a future where Tesla sells a $5,000 “Portable Battery Charging and Maintenance Unit” that looks suspiciously like a $500 generator, but painted white. It could extend the range of their EVs almost indefinitely, depending on the size of receptacle that you order for it (10 gallons or 20 gallons).”

        The sarcasm is strong in this one.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Go look in France, where there’s exactly such a thing for their short-range Zoe BEV.

      • 0 avatar
        HotPotato

        You jest, but you might be on to something with this removable generator thing, at least for short-range EVs. (Not for Teslas: they go far enough and recharge fast enough that it would be pointless for them). You could make it run reasonably clean–supposedly it’s easier to control pollution running an engine at a steady state, after all. Most of the time you wouldn’t be hauling around the dead weight of a gas engine and gas tank, nor the dead weight and expense of a giant long-range battery. So for the 90% of the time you’re not going far, you’d be doing things in the most cost and resource efficient manner, and you wouldn’t have to worry about the other 10% of the time. Back in the days of the GM EV1, when something like a Tesla battery was literally science fiction, folks envisioned EVs using generator trailers for long trips.

  • avatar
    ajla

    10% of sales volume is the V6 engine:
    ‘Kill it off, can’t support niche products’

    1% of sales volume is plug in or EV:
    ‘ELECTRIFY THE ENTIRE BRAND!’

    • 0 avatar
      JonBoy470

      At the high end, what Volvo/JLR/Lincoln etc. are doing makes sense. Nearly all the affluent customers who buy these things new own their home and are in a position to install a charger. At the low-end of the market, with a not-insignificant fraction of sub-prime buyers and/or buyers who rent their homes, that’s a significant challenge.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      “10% of sales volume is the V6 engine:
      ‘Kill it off, can’t support niche products’”

      you’re forgetting CAFE.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        JimZ is right.

        Toyota much more wants to sell you a 4 cyl Camry vs a V6 model due to the CAFE implications of each sale. Ergo the price gap between 4 cyl and V6 is rising.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Just another tax on the end consumer, you now pay for the privilege for what was standard a short time ago (kinda like a lot of things in this great century). This only becomes a problem when it is no longer economically feasible to offer the variant because of decreased sales because of the tax, changes in buyer preference, or both. I suspect this is why Toyota continued to offer the motor since they will be one of the few games in town and thus market share for V6s under a price point.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    It’s not some marketing revelation on the part of these manufacturers, nor particular increased demand. With CAFE 2025 looming, it’s a practical necessity in order to sell vehicles in the U.S. and not incur massive fines. Electrics give extra credit, but mass market will see hybridization everyone with everything. That is, unless the rules change.

    • 0 avatar
      dash riprock

      CAFE is an important factor but an even greater factor in the willingness of manufacturers to dive into this very small and significantly unprofitable segment, is BEV quotas in other countries. European Governments are one after the other announcing future limits on petrol/diesel vehicles. But most importantly China in the next 2-3 years will have hard quotas on BEV’ starting at 8% and going up from there.

      I often hear that Tesla is disrupting the auto world, but it is really Governments.

      • 0 avatar
        derekson

        “I often hear that Tesla is disrupting the auto world, but it is really Governments.”

        Given that Tesla only remains a going concern due to government incentives and crony tax deals, this is somewhat redundant.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          “Given that Tesla only remains a going concern due to government incentives and crony tax deals, this is somewhat redundant.”

          That’s an assumption that cannot be proven… yet.

  • avatar
    Zane Wylder

    If the government is pushing it, I don’t want it.

    Can’t really road trip without being paranoid of Range Anxiety and I don’t think flyover county is full of chargers.

    Rather stick with real cars, especially older ones with not as much nannies and crap

    • 0 avatar
      bikegoesbaa

      “If the government is pushing it, I don’t want it.”

      So you object to using seat belts and inspecting meatpacking plants for grossly unsanitary conditions?

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Thank you for this excellent reality check.

    “Buying habits will change. But they will change very slowly.”

    Short of significant increase in battery range and charging technology, no they will not. Last I was furnished with an excellent link, best case for charging time was down to twenty minutes but of course the tech was exotic. The hybrid makes more economic sense, would be interested to see it’s market share vs what is presented here.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    FWIW, here’s my plan… As big-range EV come out, used, short-range EV are becoming REALLY cheap. Leafs under $10k, down to smart ED for under $5k. At these sorts of price points, EV become disposable cars. Drive for 4-5 years until the battery becomes effectively useless, then dispose like an empty Bic lighter.

    In a year or two, I’m going to buy an off-lease Leaf for $7500 or less. If I need to take a road trip, well, I live in Las Vegas, the rental-car capitol of the world. Aside from major events, I can rent cars all day long for under $30.

    Boom. Done.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Used ones already are really cheap and they already were disposable for most. The difference is the aftermarket buying pool is nearly empty and thus the valuation sinks like a stone. One could buy used and replace the battery, but as you pointed out in a few years you’ll be doing the same again.

  • avatar
    stingray65

    If you take away the HOV lane use privileges, tax credits, ‘free’ electricity, and other EV subsidies, and start making EV drivers pay for roads and things they current get out of paying (i.e. treat them like every other car), the current levels of EV sales would crater to virtually nothing. The only reason manufacturers even offer them is because of government mandates and other threats, because EVs are not profitable. The only reason that governments mandate them is because they think EVs are environmentally friendly, but when 40% of the world’s electricity comes from coal and the fastest growing source of new electricity is coal, EVs don’t make any environmental sense either because coal powered EVs are not cleaner than gasoline vehicles. In summary, electrification of the vehicle market will be much slower, much more expensive, and much less clean than most “experts” are predicting.

    • 0 avatar
      brandloyalty

      @Stingray65:

      Can some of the money in your wallet be traced back to the Koch brothers or a Russian troll farm?

      “the fastest growing source of new electricity is coal,”

      Do an Internet search for “fastest growing source of energy”.

      Do you regard cleaning up after unprecedented hurricanes as a form of subsidy to fossil fueled cars?

      Do you know that lots of electricity is used to obtain the materials for ice cars, build them and fuel and maintain them?

      • 0 avatar
        stingray65

        Look at China and India over the past 10 years and see where most of the new electricity capacity is coming from: Coal. Look at Germany and Japan in the past 5 years – also coal. % wise solar or wind might be higher than coal, but then going from 1% to 2% is doubling but not very meaningful, while coal goes from 55% to 60% at the same time. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/think-electric-cars-are-truly-green-not-if-their-power-comes-from-coal/

        There is absolutely no link between hurricane activity and fossil fuel use – hurricane activity has been declining steadily for the past 50 years in the US, while GHG emissions have steadily increased. Looks like we are having a bad year with Harvey and Irma, but 1 bad year is not because climate change suddenly decided to pump up hurricanes. https://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/01/05/hurricanes-and-global-warming-still-no-connection/

        Perhaps you should do some research before you post snarky comments that show your ignorance.

        • 0 avatar
          HotPotato

          If you are saying 97% of climate scientists are wrong about climate, and one discredited petro-funded study is right about EVs, your credibility is gonna have a bad time.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            97% of journalists are truthful and are never wrong or do no promote fake news.
            97% of politicians are incorruptible patriots and set the best example by obeying all laws.
            97% of bankers are honest workers with only your best interests at heart.
            97% of lawyers seek nothing but truth and justice.
            97% of universities want nothing but to educate and promote knowledge.
            97% of primary and secondary public school teachers are dedicated educators only interested in the future of their students.

            Since all of the above is true, 97%; of all “climate scientists” must be correct.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            I suggest you take a look at the root source of most of that “fake news”. In almost every case it’s a fringe publication that very clearly includes a disclaimer that their stories are pure imagination but presented because a certain group wants to believe them.

          • 0 avatar
            philipwitak

            Those 3% of scientific papers that deny climate change? A review found them all flawed…

            https://qz.com/1069298/the-3-of-scientific-papers-that-deny-climate-change-are-all-flawed/

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      “Despite the naysayer claims, a proper accounting of emissions footprint shows that, in the U.S. and many countries, electric cars, even running on coal powered electricity, are cleaner than gasoline compatriots. Some studies looking at countries like China or India, with their heavy reliance on coal and weak environmental protections, found that electric cars running on their electricity is dirtier, and therefore claimed all electric cars are dirtier than gasoline.”
      https://greentransportation.info/energy-transportation/evs-need-clean-electricity.html

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I’d really like to see more figures and citations but in general 40% worldwide coal usage sounds about right. US coal usage was 38.8% alone in 2014

      Source:

      upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/
      commons/5/54/U.S._2014_Electricity_Generation_By_Type.png

      Pure EVs are not profitable and without technological advancements they never will be. He is right in saying by mandating EV, you increase coal and natural gas production in the US. Electricity demand will only increase over time due to disposable consumer devices, computer systems, and future innovations. But as I may point out, increased pollution effects do not come to the smeghead f**ktards in the PRK and elsewhere who mandate this insanity as coal fired plants are not numerous where ***they*** live but are where the ***poor*** live. This is literally a case of we force billions to be spent on toys for us, we get to use HOV lanes, and we don’t directly absorb any environmental impact from electricity demand. Profitability might as well be in Klingon to them, they just don’t care.

      “The last remaining coal-fired power plant in California is the 63 MW Argus Cogen plant in San Bernardino.”

      energy.ca.gov/renewables/tracking_progress/
      documents/current_expected_energy_from_coal.pdf

      The smartest and most pragmatic move for the Neocommunists of the People’s Republic of Kalifornia, EPA, industry, consumer, and fans is to focus on hybrids which use batteries. Hybrids can, did, and will sell well again in the right circumstances. Battery and charging technology can economically be further researched for hybrid use. If and when a 600 mi cheap fast charging battery is introduced, the pure EV may succeed, but there will be direct environmental impacts to some as electricity demand increases. A self charging EV might be the next Model T.

  • avatar
    S2k Chris

    I really like the house in that first picture for some reason.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    There are a number of factors that need to be kept in mind with a BEV (I will ignore the different hybrid variants for now since the article didn’t discuss them.)

    1) Range: To be acceptable, even as a second car in a two-car family, it needs to have enough range to meet personal needs. This means it needs more than a mere 80-100 miles as that pushes the limits of many people’s daily commute when you add shopping, hauling the kids around, etc. While they may not go that far every day, there are enough runs, even at once per week, that would make it the less desirable choice. 200 mile range vehicles offer the ability to do almost anything on a semi-local basis and still get home on a single charge.

    2) Performance: Too many people see BEVs as little better than “hopped-up golf carts”, meaning slow acceleration, poor driving dynamics and in general, an old fogey’s car. Even now, with the exception of the Tesla series, available BEVs look like sub-compact econoboxes and that includes the Leaf and now the Bolt.

    3) Capacity: People tend to want vehicles big enough to carry their family and/or their household goods in the course of their daily lives. This means CUVs and SUVs at least large enough to carry four comfortably AND handle a trip to Costco. They want enough room to carry a brand-new 52-inch flatscreen TV or a new mini-fridge or other bulky items that simply wouldn’t fit in a Bolt, as an example. Even the plug-in Toyota Prius is getting too small for some people.

    4) Trucks: What people aren’t buying the larger CUVs, etc., are buying pickup trucks for their massive size and capacities. Whether they need them or not is beside the question but it would be noted that with the high relative fuel economy and relatively low price of gasoline we’ve experienced over the last five years, the idea of buying a BEV for economy is at least somewhat neutralized by the perception that fuel prices will remain reasonably low for several more years.

    5) Charging: People seem to have the idea that a BEV needs to be charged as quickly as an ICEV (Internal Combustion Engine Vehicle, meaning gasoline or diesel engine.) Because the typical charging rate at the dryer outlet is about 18-30 miles per hour plugged in, they believe all charging will be excessively slow–ignoring the fact that this rate is only used when the car is not in use–i.e. When you get home for the day and won’t use it again ’til tomorrow.

    Fast chargers are available for when you need to charge while away from home but even then the belief is that it will take an hour or more to charge even if you’re within easy range of your home charger. Knowing the charging rate, a person could estimate how much charge they need to get home, which could be as little as 10 minutes for 15-20 miles for some or 50-70 miles for others. Additionally, those charging stations don’t need to be at nearly every street corner as we see them today; they need to be conveniently located, true, but since most of the time you charge at home with the equivalent of a full tank every morning, highway-accessible chargers are more important with slower chargers in parking garages while you’re shopping or attending an event where the car is likely to sit for several hours anyway. Tesla, in particular, has the advantage here as the locations are such as to enable cross-country travel with a BEV where other brands have no access except in inner-city locations.

    6) Price: The typical BEV today is anywhere from $10K-$25K more expensive than their equivalent ICEV versions. This is most notable even with the Leaf as the base price tends to run around $30K-$35K before any governmental incentives. True, the average price of an ICEV tends to run in that $30-$35K range today but they’re also typically bigger cars with bigger engines than the ICE equivalents of those BEVs. Again, Tesla is the exception on size and performance but they are also priced notably higher than $35K as well.

    • 0 avatar
      NetGenHoon

      Good points all, Vulpine. I’d like to provide some counter points:

      1) Range: I think ~150 freeway miles with AC/heat is the sweet spot. That’s half a tank of gas. This covers a couple days of driving in case of charging failure. We’re almost at the point where this capacity will be available in more popular body styles.

      2) Performance: On this point I tell people to drive one. The Gen 1 Leaf has great kick off of the line, but slows down around 45MPH. The instant torque in gear makes passing smooth and predictable

      3-5) Nailed it.

      6) Price: My issue here is a $30k Leaf on the inside feels like a $15k Versa… While there’s a massive price premium, the interior quality and feature content needs to keep up. That’s why most brands are starting to electrify the high end of their lineup. Even the Prius came out as a premium vehicle.

      • 0 avatar
        HotPotato

        Will 150 miles be the sweet spot? The market’s reception to the new 40 kWh Leaf will tell us.

        Agree 100% about price vs. interior quality. I don’t have a problem paying 35 grand for a Chevy as long as it doesn’t look and feel like a Honda Fit. If Chevy had launched the Bolt EV as a Buick, they could have priced it a few grand higher and used the dough to make it a little bit bigger and use a better grade of interior materials. But a) I think they were thinking more in terms of making a sturdy little city warrior for use as a Lyft taxi and Maven hourly rental than plush retail commuter, and b) presumably they were spooked by the promise of a $35k Tesla Model 3, even though I expect it will meet the same bait-and-switch fate as the 40kWh Model S: crank out a tiny handful to say you met the promised price point, then cancel the base trim forever.

    • 0 avatar
      stingray65

      Lots of good points here, but one thing that most observers forget is that early adopters are typically very different than the mass-market. Early adopters are typically wealthier, better educated, and probably more intelligent, which means they are more likely to have home access to an recharging outlet, more likely to be able to afford a fast home recharger, more likely to remember to plug-in whenever they can, and more likely to be able to afford an conventional car or two as back-ups. The low-end consumer (50+% of the total market) is likely to not be as conscientious about plugging in whenever possible, less likely to have home recharging (i.e. live in an apartment with only on-street parking), perhaps has a longer commute due to need for cheaper far-out housing, less likely to afford a 2nd or 3rd car, etc. which make the limitations of the electric vehicle a much more serious problem. The green car market right now if basically about 5% of the market, where VW diesel and Prius owners trade-in for a Volt or Leaf or Tesla, and hence are simply trading a somewhat to very green car in for a slightly greener one, which doesn’t have much if any environmental impact.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        While I may not have specifically addressed that, Stingray, it was at least somewhat covered in my discussion. Remember that the Prius was adopted first by exactly the types you mention, which over time brought them into the mainstream. I expect similar for BEVs, especially now that they’re coming down to more affordable ranges. We have to consider economy of scale, too, where as more BEVs are built by any one OEM the easier it is to bring the prices down farther, though obviously not to “economy car” pricing yet.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    Few, here, can accept that things WILL change. Hey! Change happens all the time. Look at you all, sitting in front of machines that didn’t even exist 30 years ago, using phones that only barely existed ten years ago. Who’s to say that even transportation can change in as little as another ten years?

    The move to electrification, whether it be hybrid or plug-in, is happening; slowly, most definitely, but happening. You cannot assume things won’t change. Sure, you’ll all resist it, but what about those who don’t visit these boards? Look at how long it took the Prius, a hybrid, to be routinely accepted. That wasn’t an overnight thing. Now the Prius is common, seen on nearly every street in America. How long will it take for EVs to become just another car on American roads?

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      @vulpine: I still like my theory that status will ultimately drive EV sales. With all of the premium and super premium brands going electric, it’s not long before the ICE starts becoming an indicator of economic status. Status drives a lot of sales and people are willing to go through hell for it. Just look at the number of ancient German cars rolling around an economically depressed area. ICEs may also end up being associated with older drivers. Ultimately it’s not going to be the environment or economics that puts EVs on top, but status. Mark my word.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        For some that will be true, mcs; perhaps for many. But not for all. If I were one of those ‘status’ types, I’d already be driving a BEV, despite the fact that none of them meets my needs and wants. I’m not driving one simply because none of them meets my needs and wants. Then again, very few ICEVs meet my needs and wants as well, which is why I drive a 20-year-old “mid-sized” pickup truck (only 25K miles on the clock–certifiable.) If I were a ‘status’ type, I’d probably be driving a full-sized truck instead, despite having no need of the size or capabilities of said Road Whale™.

        Don’t get me wrong, I’m fully aware of the many different kinds of personalities in the world and each has their right to buy and drive what they want; but that doesn’t mean I have to agree with them when they say something can’t do what it is clearly already doing. Sure, those older people you mention want to go back to the days of their youth, when the specific car types you describe were new and highly desireable.

        That’s why so many resto-mods and retro styles are on the roads today. Problem is, the designers of today’s retro cars tend to pick up on the wrong cues or make other mistakes that make such retro models impractical and unaffordable to their target market. Chevy’s SST is a prime example of getting the right look but pricing it way out of its target market through over-engineering; it never needed to be a convertible, which in itself added nearly $10K to the price. When they prototyped it, demand was high; Chevy advertised it as a truck for the Camaro crowd. It ended up being priced for the Corvette crowd. Guess what happened to the demand.

      • 0 avatar
        stingray65

        The problem with status as the electric vehicle path of least resistance is that by its very nature it likely does nothing to benefit the environment, which is the whole point. If only the 1%ers or 5%ers go electric, it really doesn’t do a thing for air pollution or global warming, especially since the environmental benefits of electric vehicles is marginal at best. Of course if lots of people get on the EV band wagon, then the status benefits start to disappear, and the status-seekers will have to move on – perhaps by buying giant diesel SUVs from Rolls Royce, Bentley, Maserati, etc.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          @stingray: That really depends, you know? You’ve got some pricy brands now starting to bring out their own EVs. Jaguar–a status brand–bringing the iPace next year. Porsche, McLaren, Bentley, Maserati, many of the so-called ‘premium’ brands are moving in where Tesla has led. Few are doing anything yet in the mid-priced range other than Tesla itself and Chevy. Even Nissan is entering that lower (but not low) priced market with a longer-ranged, similarly-priced model.

      • 0 avatar
        HotPotato

        mcs, I believe you have a good point!

        If the price were the same, would you rather have a Mercedes C-class or a Chevy Cruze? Especially if the neighbors were looking on in judgment? And if maintenance cost were magically not much of an issue? It’s a rough world for the Chevy Bolt EV, when the Tesla Model 3 (sort of) exists.

  • avatar
    carguy67

    I got stuck behind a stalled car in a left-turn lane a couple days ago. When I got around the obstacle–an SF Bay Area driver was surprisingly courteous and let me in his lane–I saw it was a Leaf with an Asian lady driver frantically ‘dialing’ her cell phone. Presumably, her range meter lied and she came up a couple volts from getting home. The irony was that the intersection she was stalled at had a discount–but quality–gas station catty corner from where she was stranded. Assuming the station had the typical 1-2g loaner can, she could have walked across the street, bought a gallon and been back on the road in 10 minutes if she had a hybrid or ICE car. As it was, she probably had to get a tow (do tow truck drivers have a way to ‘fast charge’ EVs, yet?).

    On long road trips, I sometimes suffer ‘range anxiety’ in my ICE autos; not sure I could manage it with an EV.

  • avatar
    stingray65

    With the exception of the Bolt and Tesla, driving an EV is like driving a gasoline car with a 2-3 gallon tank that needs to be refilled with a drink straw. Most people start to get nervous when they have only 2-3 gallons left – my car gives me a warning chime at about 75 miles of range left, but I have the option for a quick splash and dash if I need a bit more range to get to my destination. With an EV, if you forget to plug-in overnight, or the recharger at work or on the way is busy or out-of-order, or if its cold and you lose 20% range or its hot and you lose 20% from heavy A/C use, there is no “splash and dash” equivalent to get you to your destination. Range anxiety is a real issue with regards to the mass adoption of battery-electric vehicles.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      @stingray: Most BEVs, even today, are little more than Compliance Cars; they were designed with a mere 50-100 miles, including all of the European and Japanese ‘e-model’ standard platforms. Those are great as a city commuter car but worthless for any other purpose. This is why Tesla has held the lead for so long as a “primary car” and why every other brand is scrambling to produce 200+ mile cars.

      Those City Cars are good for their limited range however, since most people RARELY drive more than 50 miles on a daily basis.

      • 0 avatar
        Zane Wylder

        True, but ever have to go on a work related roadtrip before?

        You’re screwed if there’s no chargers and it’s so hot out, ac is mandatory

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          … Which is why the Tesla cars, the Chevy Bolt and new Leaf 2 have an advantage, though not as great a one for Bolt and Leaf 2. Typically (though not always) the company pays air or rail fare for anything over about150 miles because of travel time and other factors. All three of these could handle the one-way trip with relative ease, winter or summer. And since many parking garages and hotels now have chargers installed (admittedly, not enough) an overnight charge is a given. Very minor research can tell you where chargers are and if you make an overnight reservation at a hotel, the charger use itself is free.

          Longer road trips are an issue for everyone BUT Tesla at the moment, though that is changing fairly rapidly due to Volkswagen’s forced requirement to install a standardized network and third-party operators expanding their fee-based network. The problem with these networks for now is that they’re focusing on metropolitan areas more than they are on highway locations more easily accessed by travelers. Tesla has focused on the road trip capabilities, knowing that the cities in general are well covered with, admittedly slower, standardized chargers that they, too, can use. Faster road-trip chargers are coming for the non-Tesla cars but it will be another year or two before they’ll be all that noticeable in the market.

  • avatar
    NMGOM

    EV’s will be neither practical nor accepted for general-use vehicles in America for the foreseeable future, because of these factors:
    a) They would need a range of greater than 500 miles.
    b) They must charge fully in 10 minutes or less.
    c) They must cost LESS than a comparable ICE vehicle.
    d) They must be supported by charging stations all over the country (America).
    e) They must have a supporting electric grid capable of powering more than 25% of all customers who would drive all EV’s (which does not yet exist).
    f) They must not depend on exotic metals like indium and cobalt, which are rare and rapidly depleting.
    g) They must have adequate VERY cold-temperature performance (which they do not now).

    And right now, into the foreseeable future (10-20 years out), the market will still favor ICEs at about an 80% take rate, because of engine advances:

    http://www.caranddriver.com/flipbook/12-propulsion-technologies-that-will-increase-future-cars-efficiency

    ===========================

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      @NMGOM: That exact argument has been debunked elsewhere, so I’m not going to repeat it here. Just leave it said that you are wrong BECAUSE none of those factors is true.

      Europe is establishing a ban on privately-owned ICEVs by 2050. China is establishing a ban on privately-owned ICEVs potentially sooner. The OEMs are going to be forced to build BEVs anyway. When that happens, BEVs will take over the automotive market, leaving ICEVs to very specialized work in emergency services and remote areas.

      As for the power grid; enough new windmills were installed just last year to power over 7 MILLION BEVs. The grid is cleaning up faster than automotive exhaust.

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