Electric car sales heating upApril 11th, 2012 by ed friedrich
Plug-in electric cars make up a tiny fraction of new passenger
vehicles sold, but they’re rising fast.
Despite a huge jump in plug-in vehicle sales from 2010 (345 nationwide) to 2011 (17,813), they only accounted for .03 percent of new cars sold, according to the Northwest Power and Conservation Council. Some 314 of the Volts were registered in the Northwest, and 1,572 of the Leafs.
Then, probably in response to spiking gas prices, plug-in car sales boomed in 2012. In the first three months, Chevy Volt sales jumped 224 percent and Nissan Leafs 283 percent nationwide compared to 2011.
Northwest Power planners have to keep an eye on electric cars and all kinds of consumption to make sure there’s enough juice for everybody. They’re not expecting to have to build any new plants. Electric appliances will have to meet several new federal requirements over the next several years, and plug-in cars are generally recharged overnight when power demand is low.
The council is bumping up its estimate of how much power plug-in vehicles will use in the future in light of consumer response to high gas prices and technological advances that allow the cars to travel farther before recharging. They’re now predicting it’ll range between 130 to 580 megawatts per year by 2030. I don’t understand why the huge gap. The high number is the equivalent of about 350,000 Northwest houses.