Less Gas, More Drive

Environmental News Service today reported sales of plug-in hybrid and battery electric cars rose significantly last year, with more than 59,000 electric vehicles sold by the end of August, and surpassing sales for all of 2012.

An updated nationwide analysis released by the Union of Concerned Scientists on Wednesday shows that Americans have purchased almost 140,000 plug-in vehicles in the last three years.

The growing number of plug-in vehicle sales is reducing the need to burn fossil fuels; 40 million less gallons of gasoline have been burned per year in each of the past three years. In California alone, fuel savings from plug-in vehicles total more than 10 million gallons of gasoline per year.

California sales of EVs and hybrids have jumped to more than double the rate of last year’s sales, with Californians purchasing 29 percent of all U.S. plug-in vehicles.

Incentives are also driving plug-in vehicle purchases. California provides both HOV/carpool lane access to solo plug-in vehicle drivers and up to $2,500 in purchase rebates.

But it’s not just the incentives that are energizing the market. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, choices and costs drive sales too.