August is usually the hottest month of the California summer season. Perhaps appropriately, sales of electric/hybrid vehicles topped the 100 thousand mark sometime that month, demonstrating that interest in these types of vehicles is likewise heating up.
According to the chairwoman of the California Air Resources Board, Mary Nichols, “We’ve clearly gotten beyond the point where this is just a boutique item for enthusiasts.”
The 100K figure is paltry compared to the 1.7 million sales of light-duty vehicles in 2013 alone, but advocates and enthusiasts of the electric vehicle wave are, well, electrified by the vehicles’ steadily growing market share. To put things into perspective, these types of vehicles weren’t even on the market until 2010. Nevertheless, sales have only continued to trend upwards with the passage of time.
To wit, in 2012, pure electric cars such as the ones sold by Tesla and Nissan’s Leaf recorded 6,197 sales, while hybrids like Chevrolet’s Volt sold 14,701 units in California alone. The following year, sales of pure electrics leaped up to 21,963, outpacing the hybrids with 20,235 units sold. And through just the first eight months of 2014, Californians bought 15,251 pure electric vehicles and 16,239 hybrids. Current trends suggest 2014 should be the biggest sales year yet. These numbers, incidentally, come from the Plug-In Electric Vehicle Collaborative, a public-private group that exists to promote electric-powered transportation. The California Air Resources Board is a member of the Plug-In Electric Vehicle Collaborative.
Mary Nichols says, “The car companies have done their bit by building some wonderful, fast, sporty, attractive vehicles… Consumers need to see them out on the road to understand the potential. This 100,000 mark is important because it means there’s enough of these cars on the road, in the parking lots, for people to see.”
If what Ms. Nichols says is true, then the upward sales trends should only continue.