The Chevy Volt was the market's best-selling plug-based vehicle in 2013 - though sales were down from 2012.
For the first time ever, sales of plug-based vehicles came within a hairsbreadth of hitting the 100,000 mark last year, jumping by 84% year-over-year as a flood of new products came to market.
Conventional hybrid vehicles scored a more modest but still strong 15% increase in demand last year, reaching an all-time record of nearly 500,000 sales. Together, all battery-based vehicles still captured less than 4% of the total U.S. new vehicle market, however, less than the total number of F-Series pickups Ford Motor Co. sold for just the first 11 months of 2013.
Stay Plugged In!
Nonetheless, advocates contend that the numbers show a growing interest in battery-based vehicles, something that’s backed up by several recent surveys showing more American motorists are considering the technology as a viable alternative.
They have a growing list to choose from, a total of 16 different plug-based offerings reaching U.S. showrooms last year. With yet more new battery-based vehicles coming this year, the consensus is that sales of plug-based vehicles – both plug-in hybrids and pure battery-electric vehicles, or PHEVs and BEVs – will smash through the 100,000 mark in the coming year, though the segment is likely to remain a small niche for the foreseeable future.