One of the most exciting areas of green technology innovation is in the electric drive sector, where hybrid and plug-in electric vehicle sales, which had been limited by the recession, are accelerating.
According to data from the Electronic Drive Transportation Association, an organization that promotes electric vehicles, Hybrid-electric vehicle (HEV) sales in 2012 totaled 434,645, a 63 percent increase over 2011. Extended range (EREV) and battery-powered (BEV) vehicle sales ticked up to 52,835, a 425 percent increase year-over-year.
For 2013, it looks like this pace will continue. Monthly sales numbers have climbed over last year, and electric vehicles now have a 3.77 percent market share, compared with a 3.38 share of the market in 2012 and a 2.23 percent share in 2011.
The massive jump in sales of plug-in electric vehicles is probably attributable to the increasing availability of these models. Manufacturers like Chevy, Nissan and smart have been able to promote their newest electric fleets, and buyers can't get enough of them.
A recent report published by Navigant Research, a clean technology research group based in Boulder, Colorado, predicted that 22 million electric vehicles would be sold by 2020. Dave Hurst, the firm's principal research analyst with Navigant Research, cited the rising cost of fossil fuels as a significant contributor to the increase in sales.
It remains to be seen how successful other manufacturers will be in rolling out new electric vehicles, particularly plug-in models like the Chevy Volt or Nissan Leaf. One of the biggest obstacles to further growth in this industry is the relative paucity of charging stations throughout the country, particularly in rural and suburban areas. Currently, there are about 15,000 non-residential chargers across the United States. For electric vehicles to catch on with a broader audience, we may need many more.
LifeIsGreen.com will keep you posted on the latest developments in green energy efficient products.