Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Have U.S. Sales Of Electric Cars Peaked?

In the years 2010 and 2011, Americans only bought a total of 17,425 electric vehicles (EV's).  The following year, 3 times that amount were sold; putting another 52,607 on the road.  In 2013, that number was almost doubled to 97,507.  But in 2014, Americans only bought 25,542 more EV's than they did the year before; bringing the total sales for that year to 123,049.  Even so, that number represented 38% of all worldwide sales of EV's.  

However, 2015 is a completely different story.  In the first 10 months of this year, only 92,347 cars were sold.  Compared to the same period in 2014, this represents a decline of 8,018 vehicles  sold; year-to-date.   Also, America's 38% of all sales in 2014 fell to just 25% of the worldwide sales in 2015.  So, obviously, the slowdown is isolated to this country.

While a one-year decline doesn't make a trend, it could be the beginning of one.  That reality is reinforced by the fact that the growth in American EV sales has been slowing each year.  Certainly, as an all-around vehicle, electric cars are pretty impractical with limited range. Couple that with the knowledge that you have to find a place to charge them whenever you run their batteries down. Another reason may be that the price of gas has fallen from $3.76 a gallon in May of 2014 to the lowest price since 2006 at $2.39 in October of this year.

It will be interesting to see if the decline of sales continues.  Also, when it comes to saving the planet, putting less than 400,000 cars on the road since 2010 is hardly a "green" winner in a country that has more than 254 million passenger cars.  Additionally, the tax payers are on the hook for nearly $3 billion federal dollars since 2010 from handing out $7,500 subsidies to just 383,000 buyers of EV's; mostly a bunch of wealthy environmentalists.  $3 billion dollars is a hollow effort to save the planet.  Further, when people decide to trade-in their old EV's, they find that they take a big financial hit  since there is little demand for used ones.  There's no rebate and the fact that someone might have to replace a very expensive lithium ion battery is quite a turnoff.


Monthly Plug-In Sales Scorecard: http://insideevs.com/monthly-plug-in-sales-scorecard/

Electric Vehicle Incentives: http://www.teslamotors.com/support/incentives

U.S. Retail Gasoline Prices: http://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/hist/LeafHandler.ashx?n=pet&s=emm_epm0_pte_nus_dpg&f=m

Passenger vehicles in the United States: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passenger_vehicles_in_the_United_States

Resale Prices Tumble on Electric Cars: http://www.wsj.com/articles/resale-prices-tumble-on-electric-cars-1424977378


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