IHS on EVs

Electric cars probably draw more ire from automotive enthusiasts and pundits than anything since the introduction of the catalytic converter.

Electric cars probably draw more ire from automotive enthusiasts and pundits than anything since the introduction of the catalytic converter. Somehow, it doesn’t seem right to them that there is no combustion involved. (Or maybe it has something to do with the fact that one of the greatest proponents of electric vehicles is Tesla’s Elon Musk, who seems to have a somewhat abrasive personality.)

One thing that critics of EVs are delighted to point out is that sales of the vehicles are anemic at most.

But IHS Automotive has done a study that shows that global EV sales are “progressing at a much faster pace than hybrid cars did during the same stage of their deployment.”

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The researchers point out that four years after the Prius—which is certainly the quintessential hybrid—was introduced, cumulative global sales were on the order of 52,000.

2 Four years after the Nissan Leaf EV was introduced, its cumulative global sales were nearly 100,000 units.

A And while there is quibbling in some corners as to whether the Chevy Volt and its European fraternal twin, the Opel Ampera, is an EV or a hybrid, it is quite clearly a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), so IHS took a look at that, too. Its cumulative sales after four years on the market are approximately 70,000.

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Again, better than the Prius, and the Prius is certainly one of the most successful vehicle launches in recent history. According to Toyota, as of December 31, 2013, its cumulative global hybrid sales since August 1997 were 6.072-million units, of which more than half were Prius.

Ben Scott, IHS Automotive analyst, said, “We’re still in the early stages of the EV market. Most EV drivers still own their first-generation electric vehicles. Furthermore, there have been insufficient product offerings to effectively legitimize the market and show to consumers that EVs and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles [PHEVs] represent the way of the future. However, with EV adoption exceeding the historical precedent of hybrids, this means that the trend toward EVs is still progressing, although at a slower rate than many expected.”

So it looks like some people are going to have more EVs to kick around for a whole lot longer.

Wonder how they’ll feel about hydrogen-powered cars. . . .