December sets new records for sales of hybrids and electric vehicles
2012: ‘Year of the Green Car’
December brought good news on sales of electric vehicles, both in monthly numbers and the year-end reports, and overall 2012 sales make it the “greenest new automobile fleet ever.”
"The growth in sales of these alternative-fuel vehicles is good for the environment, and a very promising indication for the sustainability of the industry in the long run," according to Charles Griffith, climate & energy programs director at the Ecology Center. The Ecology Center is one of the founding members of the Built by Michigan coalition, a group of large and small businesses, labor groups, car buffs and environmental groups working to advance the manufacturing and sales of the electric vehicle in Michigan.
"Increasing sales of electric and hybrid vehicles is especially good news for Michigan since so many of the vehicles are designed and built here, strengthening our economy and creating jobs for our workers," Griffith said.
So what about the numbers?
“December of 2012 will close out as the strongest month on record for plug-in vehicle sales, as the ever-widening choices of plug-in vehicles continue to expand," the website InsideEVs reported.
In particular, the Chevrolet Volt rebounded from slightly slower November sales to record a near-record 2,633 units sold in December, bringing their year-end total up to 23,451, triple that of 2011.
Sales of Ford’s C-Max Energi, also made here in Michigan, came down to earth a little bit in December after an incredible launch in November, but “demand was not the issue, as Ford ‘focused’ on getting the Fusion Energi ready to go to market and production of the C-Max Energi (and thereby dealer inventories) was adversely effected,” according to InsideEVs.
Overall in 2012, EV sales were up 228 percent over 2011, according to numbers reported by Luke Tonachel at the Natural Resources Defense Council. In the 2012 model year, “hybrid sales grew by 55 percent and plug-in electric vehicle sales jumped 228 percent,” he wrote.
What’s the secret?
“Government action played a role,” he said. “State and federal governments continued to support the up-take of plug-in electric vehicles with purchase incentives such as tax breaks. Last August, the Obama Administration finalized strong fuel-efficiency standards that will reach the equivalent of 54.5 mpg by 2025. These standards, which build upon standards covering model years 2012 to 2016, provide the auto industry with the certainty it needs to invest in fuel-saving technologies.”
And the long-term outlook? With continued support, lobal sales are likely to continue to go up steadily, reaching 3.8 million units by 2020, according to a column in Forbes, citing recent data from Pike research.
EcoLink — January 2013 Ecolink An online publication of the Ecology Center