Infrastructure Not In Place for Mass Adoption of Electric Vehicles Cars.com Analyzes "Green" Vehicle Sales Surrounding Earth Day

CHICAGO, April 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- As the country celebrates Earth Day, Cars.com reviews fluctuations in hybrid and electric vehicle (EV) sales. The company found hybrid sales are down 15.9 percent year-over-year, while electric vehicle sales are up 21.8 percent year-over-year.

"EVs are in the very early stages of becoming mainstream, and the nearly 22 percent increase from last year, compared to an essentially flat market, indicates growing consumer acceptance," said Jesse Toprak, chief analyst for Cars.com, an automotive digital marketing company. "Price points for many pure EVs are getting closer to where it makes sense financially for consumers. The biggest limitations for growth in the EV segment are battery costs and range, and the lack of proper infrastructure. Many consumers living in metropolitan areas would like to get an EV, but aren't able to for reasons like not being able to charge it in their apartment complex garage or lack of nearby charging stations. Ultimately, mass adoption will require sufficient infrastructure to be in place, and we aren't quite there yet."

Top electric vehicle sales year-to-date include the Nissan LEAF, Tesla Model S, Chevrolet Volt, Toyota Prius PHV, and the Ford Fusion Energi. The Mitsubishi I-Miev saw the most significant decline, but a new version is expected to be released later this year. Declines were also seen in the Tesla Model S and Chevrolet Volt.

"It appears the increased fuel efficiency of regular gas engine vehicles, as well the rising popularity of pure EVs has made a dent in demand for hybrids," said Toprak. "Some early adopters are now opting for EVs because they feel hybrids aren't as eco-friendly as the pure EV alternatives available. Regardless, hybrids are here to stay and are still the most practical option for the majority of environmentally conscious consumers."

Without taking into account ramp-up of new vehicle entrants, the Lincoln MKZ, Hyundai Sonata, Lexus CT200h, and Kia Optima Hybrid are leading the hybrid segment with the biggest increases thus far in 2014.  The most significant hybrid model drops include the Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid, Toyota Highlander Hybrid, Ford C-Max Hybrid, Toyota Prius V, Toyota Camry Hybrid, and Toyota Prius Liftback.

The following data shows a summary of electric vehicle and hybrid sales ranked by 2014 YTD sales:

Top 10 EV Sales

Make/Model

YTD 2014

YTD 2013

YoY

Nissan LEAF

5,184

3,539

46.5%

Tesla Model S*

3,800

4,900

-22.4%

Chevrolet Volt

3,606

4,244

-15.0%

Toyota Prius PHV

3,296

2,353

40.1%

Ford Fusion Energi

2,211

414

434.1%

Ford C-Max Energi

1,633

1,166

40.1%

Ford Focus Electric

406

419

-3.1%

smart ED

405

2

20150.0%

Chevrolet Spark EV

272

-

N/A

Porsche Panamera S-E

254

-

N/A

EV Industry Total

21,881

17,963

21.8%

*Estimated sales

 

Top 10 Hybrid Sales

Make/Model

YTD 2014

YTD 2013

YoY Comparison

Toyota Prius Liftback

25,518

34,981

-27.1%

Ford Fusion Hybrid

9,606

10,266

-6.4%

Toyota Prius C

8,833

9,865

-10.5%

Toyota Camry Hybrid

8,782

12,434

-29.4%

Toyota Prius V

6,001

8,525

-29.6%

Hyundai Sonata

5,677

4,256

33.4%

Lexus CT200h

4,000

3,245

23.3%

Ford C-Max Hybrid

3,933

8,511

-53.8%

Kia Optima Hybrid

3,616

3,125

15.7%

Lexus ES Hybrid

3,195

4,039

-20.9%

Total Industry Hybrid Sales

101,906

121,111

-15.9%

ABOUT CARS.COM

Cars.com is an award-winning online destination for car shoppers that offers information from consumers and experts to help buyers formulate opinions on what to buy, where to buy and how much to pay for a car. Cars.com offers thousands of new and used vehicle listings, consumer reviews, side-by-side comparison tools, photo galleries, videos, unbiased editorial content and many other tools to take the drama out of car shopping. Cars.com puts millions of car buyers in control of their shopping process with the information they need to make confident buying decisions. Launched in June 1998, Cars.com is a division of Classified Ventures LLC, which is owned by leading media companies, including A.H. Belo (NYSE: AHC), Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI), The McClatchy Company (NYSE: MNI), Tribune Company and The Washington Post Company (NYSE: WPO).

SOURCE Cars.com



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