Alternative Fuel Vehicles Gaining Acceptance
There’s no denying the growth and influence of alternative fuel vehicles–and really no reason to doubt that the trend will continue on its upward trajectory. As the technology continues to improve and gas prices continue to rise, car buyers are looking more and more to plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) as an eco-friendly alternative and a more economical mode of transport. Auto makers have started to catch on and hedge their bets with alternative fuel cars because, quite frankly, they don’t have a choice.
Several states, which include California, Oregon, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, Rhode Island and Vermont, are working to incentive the use of emission-free vehicles with the goal of surpassing 3 million electric vehicles sold by 2025. One of their main agendas currently is to build an infrastructure upon which a transition to electric vehicles can succeed. One of the main points of this project is to increase the overall number of charging stations in the U.S.; a number which sits at just under 7,000 as of this writing.
Plug-In Electric Vehicles By the Numbers
This graphic shows the electric vehicles sold by the month since 2010, which indicates a clear upward trend in terms of consumer interest, as well as a market demand that car manufacturers are clamoring to meet. Here are some interesting facts about alternative fuel vehicles:
- Electric cars were popular in the late 1800s before the internal combustion engine gained prominence.
- The Nissan Leaf is the most popular highway-capable electric car as of October 2013.
- Some electric cars can be charged using a 240-volt outlet, though it’s not the most efficient.
- PEV sales are twice what hybrid sales were during the first two years of production
- Range and performance are getting better while battery costs continue to drop
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Tesla Leading the Way With Innovation
For the first six months of 2013, Tesla Motors held 8% of the luxury car market in the United States. The popular Tesla Model S, along with the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf, are the best-selling alternative fuel cars to this point, but it’s clear where much of the innovation is coming from in the industry.
Tesla is not only making huge advancements in the alternative fuel vehicle market, but they’re also demonstrating that their business model is quite efficient. Not only did Tesla recently post a profit for the first time on the sales of electric vehicles, but they also paid off their entire loan from the Department of Energy, making them the only American car company to have paid back their government loan in its entirety.
Further Reading & Online Resources
Electronic Drive Transport Association – The EDTA promotes the use of electric vehicles in the transportation industry and works to raise awareness about clean energy options.
Alternative Fuels Data Center – Part of the U.S. Department of Energy, the AFDC is chock full of information on all types of alternative fuels; including biodiesel, electric, ethanol, hydrogen, natural gas, and propane.
Go Electric Drive – Another great resource affiliated with the EDTA, Go Electric Drive advocates for widespread adoption of electric vehicles for American consumers.
Green Car Reports – News, reviews, guides, and reports on specific cars and companies in the alternative fuel auto industry.