Tuesday, 14 February 2012

EV adoption curve steeper than hybrids

The Motley Fool compares the EV adoption curve with that of hybrids (shown) ten years ago. Here are their conclusions:

  • The Volt and the Leaf combined have nearly double the first-year sales of the Honda Insight and Toyota Prius, the only two hybrids available in 2000.
  • More EV models will be sold in 2011 -- two years into major EV adoption -- than were sold until 2005, a full six years into the hybrid adoption curve.
  • If EV adoption is anything like the hybrid situation, we're more likely to see about 366,000 EVs on the roads at the end of 2015.
  • There were only 197,000 total hybrids at the same point in the adoption curve.
  • As many hybrids sold in 2005 as were sold in all prior years combined.
  • It's still really early in the EV adoption curve, and monthly data isn't enough.
Are EVs the solution to all our problems? No, but they're a step in the right direction. Predictions that aim for the moon and miss don't help, but politicians and executives are both known to exaggerate. Don't expect an EV revolution by 2015 -- but if hybrids are any guide, the five years that come after will be the real game-changers. EVs and hybrids are hardly cut from the same cloth, so the parallels won't be exact. But the early numbers aren't as dire as you might think, especially if you ignore unrealistic predictions and take a longer view.