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PHOTO CAPTION: Prototype Audi A3 electric hybrid.

Hybrid, Electric Cars Far From 'Dying' Category

With aid of seven year sales graph, John Gartner corrects impression that electric-drive vehicles are failures.

Published: 10-Feb-2013

Reuters posted an interesting "news" article on February 4th claiming that EVs face a dead end. This article was very selective in its reporting and missed an obvious fact: sales of plug-in vehicles in the U.S. more than tripled in 2012, and continue to outpace the growth of the supposedly more mainstream hybrids.

Despite the "public's lack of appetite for battery-powered cars," as Reuters put it, 54,000 plug-in hybrid and battery electric cars (known collectively as plug-in electric vehicles, or PEVs) were sold in 2012, up from more than 17,000 in 2011. As the chart below shows, PEV sales in their two full years on the market are well ahead of where hybrids were at this point in their lifecycle, and we forecast that they'll stay ahead of hybrids in the years to come.

In 2014, when Cadillac, Honda, BMW and Audi will also be offering mainstream plug-in vehicles, nearly 100,000 PEVs will be sold. For a "dying" segment, that's pretty impressive; Detroit would be ecstatic if every automotive segment displayed growth like this.

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