Challenges to the EV Market

Electric vehicle (EV) sales in the United States grew 83% from 2012 to 2013. Compared to hybrids, which only saw its first domestic sale in 2005, EVs have sold twice as many units in their first three years on the market. According to research from, approximately 119,710 plug-in vehicles were sold in the United States in 2014, a 23% jump from 2013 and a 128% jump from 2012, while the most popular models include the chart-topping Nissan Leaf, the Chevrolet Volt, the ubiquitous Toyota Prius PHV and of course, Tesla.[1]

According to a study published by the Electric Vehicle Transportation Center, historical data shows that although total sales for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) continue to rise, the increase seems to be slowing down.[2]

electric vehicles in Texas

The study further identified factors affecting the growth of PEVs, with the following factors presenting barriers to large scale PEVs usage:[3]

  • Vehicle cost
  • Vehicle mileage between charging
  • Availability of charging stations
  • Charging time
  • Resale value
  • Vehicle maintenance and, in particular, battery life
  • Infrastructure, standards, and permitting
  • Public knowledge and education

Another analysis, on the other hand, posits that range anxiety is not really a big issue for EV owners. "Research has shown that range anxiety in the U.S. isn’t really an issue when you look at our travel habits—95 percent of trips made in the U.S. are 30 miles or less, well within the range of all existing mass market electric vehicle models. Owners of gasoline-powered vehicles have long benefited from readily available and evenly distributed gas stations in cities and along highways across the country. Fortunately for now, the vast majority of charging is done at home, where many EV owners have an in-garage charger or other access to charging."[4]

Despite these challenges, there are many reasons to be optimistic about EV sales growth. Infrastructures are being built to provide additional publication charging stations, grids are being improved to accommodate power consumption by EV charging, and the government continues its support for the growth of the EV market.

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[3]    Ibid.


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