See How Electric Vehicle Sales Stalled in 2015

Charles Murray, Senior Technical Editor, Electronics & Test

1/27/2016   25 comments

Sales of plug-in electric vehicles in the US fell by about 5% in 2015, despite a record-setting year for the rest of industry. 

Electric automakers sold just 116,597 plug-ins last year, down from 123,049 in 2014, according to numbers recently released by the InsideEVs website. In contrast, the industry at large posted US light vehicle sales of 17.47 million in 2015, up by almost a million over 2014 sales of 16.52 million, according to Automotive News.

Tesla’s much-publicized Model S was the big winner among electric cars last year. According to the website InsideEVs, sales jumped to an estimated 25,700 vehicles, up from about 17,300 the previous year.

(Source: Tesla Motors) 

It wasn’t supposed to be this way, of course. When Nissan rolled out its Leaf electric car and Chevy unveiled the plug-in Volt in 2010, the industry was optimistic. Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn even predicted that sales of the Leaf EV would hit 500,000 a year by 2013, according to The New York Times. But last year, sales of plug-in hybrids and pure EVs across the entire industry accounted for only about six-tenths of 1% of the US market.

Still, there were some high points for the EV market. Sales of Tesla’s Model S jumped by almost 50% and BMW’s i3 nearly doubled in 2015.

Here, we post sales figures for 15 selected plug-in cars. From the Model S and Model X to the Spark and the Volt, following are the market’s most notable EVs.

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