Those with an eye to alternative fuel vehicles have been championing electric vehicles, among other forms of green-minded cars. But as recent sales numbers suggest, EVs are not poised to grow with the rest of the car industry. So what’s to blame?
Let’s get the obvious out of the way: gas is cheap right now, and conventional gas engines are getting more out of a drop of fuel than ever before. EVs make up less than one percent of the new car market in the US, but the concern is that the market share is not growing as analysts have expected. In fact, they are losing market share.
PHOTOS: See more images of the Nissan Leaf EV
A recent report from BestRide suggests that the actual cost per mile associated with owning an EV is hurting sales. California is the only place where EVs are selling well, even though areas like the Northeast share similarly progressive views and buying habits. The report makes the argument that the low price of gas, combined with the price of electricity off the grid are making it more favorable in places like New England to own a hybrid rather than an EV like the Nissan Leaf.
According to AAA, the average price of a gallon of regular gas in Massachusetts yesterday was $2.75 (about a penny under the national average). In California, a gallon of regular will set you back $3.71. In terms of cost-per-mile, if you owned a Toyota Prius–and actually achieved the combined 50 mpg–that’s 5.5 cents for Ma. and 7.4 cents in Ca.
PHOTOS: See more images of the Toyota Prius hybrid
BestRide then factored in the local power company was charging (after some shopping around) 19.8 cents per kWh in June. So for a car like the Nissan Leaf, which consumes 30 kWh per 100 miles traveled, it amounts to 5.94 cents per mile traveled.
The Prius sells better than every other EV combined. It also outsells electric cars even when you combine EV sales with plug-in hybrids, but looking at these power rates, it might make sense why the EVs sell better in Ca. than in the rest of the country. The costs associated here might be in cents, but they add up, and hybrid and EV buyers pay very close attention to these costs.
What do you think is going on with EV sales? Do you see a lot of hybrids and alt-fuel cars in your neck of the woods? Let us know in the comments below.
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