Plug-in electric vehicles in the United States

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The Chevrolet Volt series plug-in hybrid is the top selling plug-in electric vehicle in the U.S. with cumulative sales of over 50,000 units through October 2013.[1]

The fleet of plug-in electric vehicles in the United States is the largest in the world. Since 2008 over 150,000 highway-capable plug-in electric cars have been sold in the country through October 2013.[2] The U.S. was the world's leader in plug-in electric car sales in 2012, with a 46% share of global sales.[3] When sales are broken down by type of powertrain, the United States was the leader in plug-in hybrid sales in 2012 with a 70% market share of global sales, and ranked second in pure electric car sales with a 26% share, after Japan (28%).[4]

As of November 2013, there are 14 plug-in models available in the American market from eight car manufacturers,[5] plus several models of electric motorcycles, utility vans and neighborhood electric vehicles (NEVs). As of October 2013, the top 5 best selling plug-in electric cars are the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid with 50,240 units, followed by the Nissan Leaf all-electric car with 37,590 units, the Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid with 22,819 units, the Tesla Model S with 16,251 units (through September 2013), and the Ford C-Max Energi with 7,760 units.[6][7][8]

The Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008, and later the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (ACES) granted tax credits for new qualified plug-in electric vehicles.[9] The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) also authorized federal tax credits for converted plug-ins, though the credit is lower than for new PEVs.[10] The federal tax credit for new plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) is worth US$2,500 plus US$417 for each kilowatt-hour of battery capacity over 5 kWh, and the portion of the credit determined by battery capacity cannot exceed US$5,000. Therefore, the total amount of the credit allowed for a new PEV is US$7,500.[9] Several states have established incentives and tax exemptions for BEVs and PHEV, and other non-monetary incentives.

The U.S. government also has pledged US$2.4 billion in federal grants to support the development of next-generation electric cars and batteries, and US$115 million for the installation of electric vehicle charging infrastructure in 16 different metropolitan areas around the country. As of March 2013, the United States had 5,678 charging stations across the country, led by California with 1,207 stations (21.3%).[11] In terms of public charging points, there were 18,877 public outlets available across the country by the end of August 2013, again led by California with 4,891 (25.9%) public charging points.[12] In his 2011 State of the Union address, President Barack Obama set the goal for the U.S. to become the first country to have 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2015.[13] Considering the actual slow rate of PEV sales, since mid-2012 several industry observers have concluded that this goal is unattainable.[14][15][16]

Government support[edit]