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Disappointing Year for EVs and PHEVs

January 27, 2015

A disappointing year for those who see PHEVs and EVs as the future for the automobile industry.

The motivation, of course, is to cut CO2 emissions, but not much is happening in that regard with disappointing sales, and where most of the electricity for charging batteries is generated using fossil fuels.

The question should be asked: How low would PHEV and EV sales be without subsidies, paid for by taxpayer dollars?

Here are total PHEV and EV sales for all of 2014.

US Sales of Electric Vehicles, Including HEVs 2014
Month

Hybrid (HEVs)

PHEVs & Extended Range Vehicles

Battery (BEVs)

Totals

Total PHEV & EV

January

27,085

2,934

2,971

32,990

5,905

February

30,561

3,721

3,324

37,606

7,045

March

43,790

4,594

4,578

52,962

9,172

April

39,430

4,718

4,187

48,335

8,905

May

52,227

6,651

5,802

64,680

12,453

June

39,225

6,511

4,982

50,718

11,493

July

44,488

5,740

5,693

55,921

11,433

August

48,208

5,920

6,483

60,611

12,403

September

31,385

3,357

5,983

40,725

9,340

October

30,892

3,735

5,818

40,445

9,553

November

31,109

3,609

6,176

40,894

9,785

December

33,302

3,867

7,419

44,588

11,286

Totals

451,702

55,357

63,416

570,475

118,773

% YOY Increase

-9.0%

13.0%

33.0%

 

 

Total U.S. vehicle sales in 2014 were 16,435,286 vehicles.

The PHEV and EV sales were less than one percent of total U.S. sales, or 0.72%.

Do PHEVs and EVs really deserve taxpayer funded subsidies?

When these vehicles were introduced, it was expected that there would be 1,000,000 sold by the end of 2015. This was the forecast made by President Obama.

Total cumulative sales since these vehicles were introduced in 2011 are:

  • PHEVs = 150,620
  • EVs = 135,425
  • Total EVs and PHEVs, 2011 – 2014 = 286,045

A far cry from 1,000,000.

Volt and Leaf

Volt and Leaf

 

It also brings into question whether Tesla’s proposed $5 billion dollar battery factory will be a sound investment, or a good use of tax payer subsidies with perhaps $1.5 billion in subsidies from Nevada alone.

The factory is being built to support the sale of 500,000 EVs per year, by 2020.

It’s important to recognize that HEVs, such as the Prius, are not the same as EVs and PHEVs. They do not recharge their batteries from the grid and have no effect on the grid.

HEVs use electric motors to improve the overall efficiency of a vehicle powered by an internal combustion engine. HEVs use gasoline, or diesel fuel, as the source of energy for propelling the vehicle.

HEVs are different from EVs, which are designed to use only batteries and eliminate the use of gasoline, and PHEVs, which are intended to use battery power for commuting distances. EVs have a range of around 100 miles, while PHEVs have a range of around 35 miles on battery power, and use an auxiliary internal combustion engine to allow the PHEV to travel longer distances.

Some commentators mistakenly combine HEVs, EVs and PHEVs when describing electric vehicles. This distorts the actual market penetration of cars that rely on battery power, either exclusively, such as the Tesla, an EV, or for commuting distances, such as the GM Volt, a PHEV.

Tax payer subsidies are also helping to fund the installation of battery charging stations.

So far, EVs and PHEVs have been toys for the rich and famous, with middle class families subsidizing these purchases with tax payer dollars.

Based on the evidence thus far, it would seem that tax payer money is being wasted on this effort to build and sell PHEVs and EVs, and to install battery charging stations.

* * * * * *

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Mary Hartman permalink
    January 27, 2015 10:30 am

    Hi Donn,  I just read an article about the engineer who designed the Tesla (and sold the design) moving forward on manufacturing of hybrid garbage trucks.  I read an article in Hawaii about this.  He sees little benefit to converting smaller cars given their overall efficiency and EPA regulations, which do not apply to vehicles that use $60,000 in fuel and emit a great deal of exhaust during their daily use.  He apparently has several companies signing up to switch over.   Thought I’d pass it along as it may be of interest to you.   Mary  From: Power For USA To: hartmanmary98@yahoo.com Sent: Tuesday, January 27, 2015 8:44 AM Subject: [New post] Disappointing Year for EVs and PHEVs #yiv6727619903 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv6727619903 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv6727619903 a.yiv6727619903primaryactionlink:link, #yiv6727619903 a.yiv6727619903primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv6727619903 a.yiv6727619903primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv6727619903 a.yiv6727619903primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv6727619903 WordPress.com | Donn posted: “A disappointing year for those who see PHEVs and EVs as the future for the automobile industry.The motivation, of course, is to cut CO2 emissions, but not much is happening in that regard with disappointing sales, and where most of the electricity for” | |

  2. Bryan Leyland permalink
    January 27, 2015 7:52 pm

    Well said! Keep it up!

    Kind regards,

    Bryan Leyland

    Phone +64 9 940 7047 Mobile +64 21 978 996 bryanleyland@mac.com http://www.bryanleyland.co.nz

    >

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