On cars, old, new and future; science & technology; vintage airplanes, computer flight simulation of them; Sherlockiana; our English language; travel; and other stuff
GLOBAL EV SALES are trending upward by significant percentages. Not that the overall numbers are large, mind. What’s more, the U.S. situation is at best unsettled. It’s a good time to perform an EV update based on a variety of sources.
For example, according to EV Volumes.com, “worldwide plug-in vehicle sales in 2016 were 773,600 units, 42 percent higher than for 2015.” These EVs include BEVs (battery electric vehicles) and their PHEV (plug-in hybrid) siblings, but not HEVs (hybrids of the traditional Toyota Prius sort).
It’s not that the world’s EVs are challenging conventional internal combustion any time soon: The global light vehicle market totaled around 90 million in 2016, with EVs taking less than 1 percent of this (around 0.86 percent, actually).
In the U.S., data from Inside EVs.com show EVs (again, BEVs and PHEVs, not HEVs) totaling 159,139 in 2016, up a significant 37 percent over 2015 sales.
Again, though, it’s a mere electric power plant belch, around 0.91 percent, compared with the U.S. total of around 17.4 million light vehicle sales reported, for example, by Reuters.
Also, some 59 percent of these total U.S. sales were specifically not cars, but light trucks (a category with no representatives in the list of 31 BEVs and PHEVs available to U.S. buyers in 2016).
Both in the U.S. and worldwide, Tesla is the big EV sales leader. Inside EVs.com lists the Tesla Model S and X BEVs split only by the Chevrolet Volt PHEV in the top three places.
Clean Technica.com identifies the Tesla Model S BEV as the world’s most popular EV, beating even the significantly less expensive Nissan Leaf BEV overall (50,935 to 49,818).
These aren’t particularly impressive numbers with respect to overall world totals. However, Automotive News, January 9, 2017, identifies a “fast-rising demand predicted by automakers such as VW Group, Daimler, BMW Group, General Motors and Ford Motor Co.… VW is leading the charge, saying it expects to sell between 2 million and 3 million EVs annually by 2025.”
Current U.S. federal regulations set 54.5 mpg as each automaker’s target for 2025. Automakers consider alternative power of all sorts, HEVs, PHEVs, BEVs and FCEVs (fuel-cell EVs) as crucial in finessing their products’ mpgs (and customers’ aspirations) to meet the regulation.
However, such regulations typically contain “offramps,” periodic opportunities for regulators to reexamine the progress toward—and efficacy of—the regulation’s implementation.
Scott Pruitt, the prospective new administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, is not exactly a Green. The Los Angeles Times, February 4, 2017, expressed the editorial view that “Pruitt has led or been part of 14 lawsuits (most of them in concert with industry) challenging rules that limit them or otherwise protect the nation’s air and water…. It’s hardly news that some public officials are shills or apologists for power polluting industries. But to select someone with a record like Pruitt’s to lead the EPA is mind-boggling, offensive and deeply worrisome.”
Pruitt got approved by the appropriate Senate committee through a deft suspension of its own rules. The next step is full Senate consideration.
It’s anyone’s guess whether any 54.5-mpg offramp might confound (or aid) automakers and affect their EV planning. ds
© Dennis Simanaitis, SimanaitisSays.com, 2017