What Will It Take For Americans to Start Buying Electric Cars?

According to EDTA electric drive vehicles (which include hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and full-electric vehicles) have climbed to 3.8% U.S. market share -- up from 2.4% in 2010.

Published: 25-Jan-2014

Americans have shown willingness to support hybrid vehicles, but consumers have been slow to embrace fully electric cars.

According to the Electric Drive Transportation Association, 495,530 hybrid vehicles were sold in 2013. That's only a fraction of the total U.S. auto sales of 15.6 million for 2013, but it's a number that shows improving traction for the sector, which sold 434,645 in 2012 and only 266,329 in 2011. Overall, EDTA reports that electric drive vehicles (which include hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and full-electric vehicles) have climbed to 3.8% U.S. market share -- up from 2.4% in 2010.

Those numbers, however, are a little misleading. Although hybrids like the Toyota (NYSE: TM ) Prius, Honda (NYSE: HMC ) Accord Hybrid, and the Ford (NYSE: F ) Fusion Hybrid have become strong sellers, no fully electric car has gained any considerable market share. In fact, of the 592,192 electric drive vehicles sold in 2013, only 47,654 were fully electric. That's a tiny percentage of overall auto sales and not a major percentage of overall electric or partially electric vehicles. But it is a number that climbed from 14,251 in 2012 and 10,064 in 2011.

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Some 488,000 hybrids and electric car were sold in the USA in 2012, representing 3.3 percent of the market, but to reach 1 million by 2015, share would have to increase to 6 percent.

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