As we noted the other day, “this is a good time to be in the business of selling electric vehicles.” Why? Three main reasons: 1) more choice; 2) lower electric vehicle prices; and 3) higher gasoline prices. All of this has resulted in “sales of electric cars hav[ing] more than doubled in the U.S. during the first six months of 2013 compared to the same time period in 2012.” It’s not just EVs, of course, but also hybrids, as the New York Times pointed out in an editorial yesterday:
In a welcome development for the planet, the cars on American streets are becoming much more climate-friendly much sooner than many had expected. Consumers are increasingly buying fuel-efficient hybrid and electric vehicles thanks to breakthrough innovations and supportive government policies.
Automakers sold more than 350,000 hybrid and electric cars in the first seven months of this year, up 30 percent from the same period in 2012. While these vehicles make up less than 4 percent of light vehicle sales, hybrids, which use electric motors and conventional engines, are now so mainstream that there are more than 40 models available. The most popular one, the Toyota Prius, is among the 10 best-selling passenger cars in the country.
For a few thoughts about how the future might play out with regard to hybrids and EVs, see Navigant’s latest forecast, which expects hybrid electric vehicles to double their share of global light duty vehicle sales by 2020. In addition, Navigant sees “a [plug-in electric vehicle, or PEV] market that will reach 3 million vehicles sold in 2020, representing 3% of the global light-duty vehicle market.” This is all very promising, and can be even more so if, as the New York Times points out, we get “timely regulation, targeted assistance and government-private sector cooperation.” Let’s make sure we do.