More than 160,000 Americans saved themselves $100 million in 2013 by not doing one thing that millions of others had to do: buy gasoline.
According to Union of Concerned Scientists, those drivers saved 45 millions of gasoline last year. Not surprisingly, Californians led the way accounting for nearly half of the savings – $40 million – and reducing emissions of carbon dioxide by 140 thousand tons per year.
The number of plug-in electrics doubled in the U.S. last year to 99,827 vehicles compared with 2012. Again, California led the charge. In fact, 2.5% of the cars sold there in 2013 were plug-ins.
The top sellers were the Chevy Volt, Nissan Leaf and Tesla Model S. Those three vehicles combined to account for two-thirds of the EV sales last year. While the increases are impressive, they are dwarfed by hybrids. Toyota sold more than 234,000 Prius Hybrids last year and the Camry Hybrid was the second-best seller. Ford’s Fusion Hybrid was up 164% in 2013 to claim third place.
(Average ages of vehicles creeps higher this year. For more, Click Here.)
The impact of electric vehicles in America is only going to increase as more EVs are introduced. In 2014, several new models are expected the streets in the U.S., including BMW’s i3 as well as models from Kia, Cadillac and Volkswagen.
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One of the knocks on EVs – aside from limited range – is that they are more expensive than their internal combustion counterparts. Part of that is tied to price of the battery.
(To see TDB’s first drive in the 2015 Chevrolet Suburban, Click Here.)
However, Tesla Motors’ proposed Gigafactory may help in that area. If it gets off the ground, it would increase production levels and affordability of batteries could improve significantly, leading to a drop in the overall cost of EVs.