Hybrid cars, like the Prius, are selling well and small high mileage gas powered cars are leading the market; but consumers just are not buying EVs even with government subsidies and tax incentives in place. Because of this manufactures are looking past EVs and towards other options such as hydrogen powered cars. The Obama administration last week has even backed away from its goal to put 1 million EVs on U.S. roads by 2015.
While the Nissan Leaf is the bestselling pure EV in the United States, Nissan sold about as many Leaf EVs in 2012 as they did in 2011. In fact, total EV sales (not counting plug-in hybrids) in 2012 were only 14,687, representing 0.1% of total U.S. sales. Not a good sign for Nissan. When looking at hybrid sales in 2012, the number climbs to 473,083 roughly 3.3% of the market and the majority of those sales were for Toyota of Lexus vehicles. As a result Nissan has decided to shift more of its green tech investment into hybrid vehicle development.
Reports like this do paint an unclear future. On the bright side, the push from developers and consumers for some type of alternative fuel vehicle continues. On the darker side, the American infrastructure might be investing in preparation for the wrong type of technology.
Andrew Meggison was born in the state of Maine and educated in Massachusetts. Andrew earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Government and International Relations from Clark University and a Master’s Degree in Political Science from Northeastern University. Being an Eagle Scout, Andrew has a passion for all things environmental. In his free time Andrew enjoys writing, exploring the great outdoors, a good film, and a creative cocktail. You can follow Andrew on Twitter @AndrewMeggison