New technology typically starts with a few first-adopters before it either goes in two directions. Either it explodes or it dies. The electric vehicle market is growing, and although young, it’s actually growing faster than hybrid vehicles when they were just starting out.
It seems the first-adopters have touched off a revolution, and thanks to the automakers, there are plenty of vehicles to choose from. According to the Department of Energy [DOE], the first six months of 2013 saw twice as many electric vehicles sold when compared to the first six months of 2012.
To what do we attribute this outstanding increase in sales? First, battery technology has managed to drop costs by about 50%, meaning that the vehicles can be made cheaper. The DOE notes, “thanks to technology improvements and growing domestic manufacturing capacity, the cost of a battery has come down by nearly 50 percent in the last four years, and is expected to drop to $10,000 by 2015.”
The Nissan Leaf, for example, has dropped in price by about $6,000 since its introduction, leading to increased sales. The Chevy Volt has been in the pricing wars as well. Perhaps the best thing to happen for electric vehicle sales is the rousing success of the Tesla Model S, which has recently achieved full production and even paid off its DOE loans nine years years early.
Sure, there are plenty of people that can’t afford a Tesla Model S, but they can still get into electric vehicle action in less-expensive alternatives. Additionally, there are plenty of alternatives that make transition into electric vehicles easier, such as plug-in hybrids and extended-range electrics.