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Photo: EV Sales

Fully Electric Cars and plug-in hybrids (or plug-in cars for short) sales are up 27% this past May. Why the jump? And what can plug-in car consumers expect moving forward?


Photo: EV Sales

Looking at the numbers, we see that this past May around 11,540 plug-ins were sold, which is an improvement of 27% from April – but still slightly down from a year ago. One factor to cause this fluctuation was last year’s Toyota clearance and price cut that dominated the Prius hybrid vehicles (over 2600) they had in inventory. However, May’s numbers clearly demonstrate the key player in the plug-in market – the Tesla Model S – with an estimated 2400 cars sold in May.

Ford, a solid contender, also showed impressive numbers with around 1,900 plug-ins sold. These included the: C-Max Energi, Fusion Energi, and the Electric Focus. The Nissan LEAF also flexed its muscles with a jump from 1,553 cars sold in April to 2,104 units sold in May. But the true Cinderella Story? The Chevrolet Volt with over 1600 units sold as compared to the 905 plug-ins sold in April. Though these numbers may fluctuate over the lazy days of summer, according to Inside EVs, September 2015 is expected to show industry gains of 30-40% almost indefinitely.

What’s causing the increase in plug-ins? It could be the tax credit (from $2500 to $7500) that is currently applicable to nearly every electric car and plug-in hybrid on the market. Other reasons:

  • Better electricity rates – most electric utility companies offer special rates to reduce the cost of generating power for your plug-in car
  • Discounts on auto insurance
  • Loving planet Earth and reducing greenhouse emissions
  • Celebrity endorsements

Whatever the reason, May looks promising for the plug-in car market’s future. As states: Americans have purchased over 300,000 plug-in cars since late 2010, and while we may not meet Obama’s goal of a million electrified vehicles by the end of 2015, we’re a lot closer to a cleaner world than we were just four years ago.


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