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California trend: hybrid sales sink, plug-in electric cars soar

Thu May 25, 2017 4:38 pm

Via GCR:
. . . A total of 506,745 cars and light trucks were delivered in the first quarter. Of those, 13,804 were battery-electric vehicles, making up 2.7 percent of the market. . . .

A total of 2,735 Bolt EVs found buyers in California in the first three months, which represents 88.5 percent of the 3,092 Bolt EVs sold anywhere in the U.S. Deliveries of Chevy's 238-mile electric car in Maryland, Massachusetts, and Virginia didn't start until February.

Plug-in hybrids made up another 2.1 percent of total California vehicle sales, a rise of 54 percent over the same quarter last year. That puts vehicles with plugs of any kind at almost 5 percent of the California total, against roughly 1 percent of overall U.S. sales of 17.5 million vehicles last year.

Hybrid cars, meanwhile, took an additional 4.4 percent of California sales, meaning electrified vehicles of all kinds represented 9.2 percent, or almost one of every 10 vehicles sold in the state. But as the Los Angeles Times notes, that percentage of hybrid sales is 9.2 percent lower than in the same period last year. It's known that sales of hybrids correlate fairly closely with gasoline prices, which have remained at relatively low levels over the last few years.

The new fourth-generation Toyota Prius, while it is a much better car than its predecessor, is selling below expectations—possibly due to its extreme styling. . . .

I'm seeing a fair number of Bolts, in fact I had two days in a row where I saw 3. The Prius Prime is still largely missing in action - I've seen a few, but they are far less common than the Bolt. I have no idea where they're selling in numbers greater than the Bolt, but it doesn't appear to be around here.
Guy [I have lots of experience designing/selling off-grid AE systems, some using EVs but don't own one. Local trips are by foot, bike and/or rapid transit].

The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'. Copper shot, not Silver bullets.

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Re: California trend: hybrid sales sink, plug-in electric cars soar

Thu May 25, 2017 5:23 pm

Awesome that sales are going up.

I don't really agree with the Prius not selling because of it's extreme looks. If that were a limiting factor, I don't think there would be ANY Nissan Leaf's on the road. The HEV/PHEV/BEV market buyers seem to be more function over form. When I bought my Prius, I thought it was fugly. The look has grown on me, but I wanted a hybrid, the Prius was the best hybrid, ergo buy a Prius. Same with the Leaf. Wanted electric, and the only 2 reasonable options were 4-5 times difference in cost and I didn't need the range of a Tesla, so I have a Leaf.

I think the reason the Prius isn't selling so well comparatively is because it's a lot of the same people buying in these circles. Most people seem to go from ICE only to HEV to maybe PHEV and then BEV. Very few people trade in their F350 for a Bolt would be my guess. The Prius is still the best HEV hybrid, but the Prime is far from the best PEHV anymore. It's sad Toyota spent the last decade distracted by hydrogen and are now way far behind.

I'm looking for another vehicle, a longer range mostly electric as a Prius replacement. We use the Prius mostly on weekends and up in the mountains. Only looking to replace it with another hybrid, hopefully plug-in. Not even considering any of the ICE only options. Once you drive something with a big 'ol battery pack, you never go back.
2013 Nissan Leaf SV with every option
2013 Prius C Package 4
2012 Lexus RX450h
2006 Prius Gen II, pIV
2005 Honda Civic Hybrid
2001 Honda Civic EX
1997 Honda Prelude SH
1981 DeLorean DMC12
and more...

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