Battery Powered Vehicle Update

Battery Powered Vehicle Update

Battery powered vehicle (BEV) sales increased 44% over the first half of last year.

PHEV sales increased 30% year over year, while Hybrids (HEV) sales declined slightly year over year.

BEV sales remain at only 0.7%% of total vehicle sales in the United States.

Second quarter and Year to Date sales are shown here:

Data is from the Electric Drive Transportation Association.

See note for the definition of different types of electrified vehicles.

While there is tremendous publicity and political support for battery powered vehicles, the ultimate transition from fossil fuel to battery-powered vehicles will be determined by whether battery-powered vehicles (BEVs) are superior to fossil fuel vehicles.

Transitioning from one technology to a new technology has typically occurred when the benefits of the new technology are clear.

For example, cell phones had clear benefits over landline phones, e.g., connectivity, availability, incorporation of apps and connection to the Internet. 

These benefits made the high cost of additional infrastructure investments, by the private sector, worthwhile.

What are the benefits of BEVs?

Are the benefits worth the added investment in infrastructure, by both the public and private sectors? See, Infrastructure for Battery-Powered Vehicles 

Thus far, the main reason for switching to BEVs is the fear of CO2 induced climate change. But, does the perceived threat by some people, warrant an impulsive transition to BEVs?

Are there other benefits besides decarbonization?

The jury is still out as to whether BEVs have sufficient benefits to warrant their higher cost and added infrastructure investment. 

BEV sales of 0.7%, compared with total light vehicle sales, are minuscule alongside fossil fuel powered vehicles.

Until a majority of people are convinced that the benefits of BEVs are worth the cost, without government subsidies, they will remain the darlings of the rich and famous, first adopters, and AGW zealots.




    • Fuel cell vehicles use a fuel cell pack to generate electricity rather than using batteries. (These vehicles are experimental and are not included in the above data.)
    • BEVs are vehicles powered entirely by battery power. 
    • PHEVs use the battery to travel the first 35 miles, then switch to an internal combustion engine to extend its range.  
    • HEVs are essentially battery-assisted vehicles that use the internal combustion engine to power the car. Batteries don’t provide the motive power for the vehicle.

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4 Replies to “Battery Powered Vehicle Update”

  1. Interesting, looking at the first Quarter for 2017 and 2018, the total number of HEV + BEV vehicles has only risen slightly. For that case almost all the increased number of BEV vehicles is almost the same as the loss in HEV . The percentages don’t tell the story.

    Your Infrastructure for Battery-Powered Vehicles has been ignored by the proponents of Battery powered cars. There are plenty of fueling stations throughout the USA and the world built by private capital over many decades. I have never had a concern about getting gasoline fuel anywhere in the world. The cost to duplicate that system is enormous, not even considering the infrastructure to supply electricity especially to remote locations.
    Knowing people who work on battery development for the military, even they indicate that a useful battery for anything but local driving is nothing but a dream.

    Great article

    • Thanks for your comments.
      Getting battery costs below $150 per kWh is a huge challenge.