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Electric Car Sales Race Ahead of Motor Cars Sales

Compared to motor car sales over a century ago, the sales of electric-drive cars today, including battery and plug-in models, are racing far ahead in public uptake.

Published: 26-Dec-2013

General Motors has originally expected to sell as many as 60,000 Chevrolet Volts by this time after its 2010 launch. It is likely to sell about 1/3 that number, providing fodder for critics to complain about 'failed' government policies and 'picking winners and losers.'

But if you consider cars like the Volt or the Nissan LEAF are relatively new technology to most car buyers today, the current 300% rate of sales in 2013 compared to 2012 is clearly remarkable, especially if you compare it to the original launch of the motorcar in 1896.

That year the Duryea Motor Wagon plant built and sold its first 13 motor vehicles. Three years later, just before the turn of the century, some 8,000 motor cars had been sold in America. Writing in Motley Fool, Alex Planes pointed out that adjusting for population growth, today that would translate into 33,000 vehicles in 36 months.

Now compare this to actual sales of modern electric cars from Chevy, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Ford and Tesla, it took just 19 months to hit that number. The infograph below illustrates the point. At the current rate of public adoption, the industry is on track to sell an estimated 68,000 plug-in and battery electric cars in 2013.

Infograph showing E-drive Car Sales

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