by Brett Williams
An update is now available on the UCLA Luskin Center EV Initiative's Market Dynamics  page. This presentation now includes facts and figures characterizing the U.S. sales of near 90,000 plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) through March 2013.
Notable trends include:
* The cumulative PEV fleet on U.S. roads is capable of using its nearly 2 million kilowatt-hours of batteries to drive over 5 million EPA-rated electric miles before recharging.
* Over 35,000 Chevy Volts are now on U.S. roads. There are almost as many Volts as LEAFs and Prius Plug-Ins (the next two most popular PEVs) combined.
* Plug-in hybrids still hold roughly two-thirds of the cumulative PEV market, but the release of the MY2013 LEAF at dramatically reduced price helped launch the total monthly sales of all-battery models above that for plug-in-hybrid models for the first time since summer 2011.
* This was reinforced by increasing sales of the Tesla Model S (which are roughly estimated and increasingly not all U.S. sales), which continues to influence the sales-weighted average characteristics of all-battery EVs, which have been previously dominated by the LEAF. For example, average battery size, motor power, electric range, and vehicle price have increased, as has the all-battery revenue share of the PEV market.
* 2013 PEV sales through March were very similar in total magnitude and PHEV/BEV ratio as 2011 PEV sales as a whole.
Are EV sales really disappointing? That may be a matter of expectations (more on this in the blog entry "Managing EV Expectations"). But what are the facts so far? Soon there will be over 100,000 plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) on U.S. roads. And by some measures, PEVs are off to a much better start than gasoline-only hybrids were a decade ago. U.S. PEVs represent $3.4 billion in gross revenues (and the Volt alone $1.4 billion). Learn more from ongoing Luskin research, to be updated monthly, characterizing PEV sales from December 2010 to the present.