Electric Drive

More than 40 models of plug-in hybrid (PHEV), fully electric (BEV), and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) are available now to consumers — and more are on the way. Automakers are providing our customers with record-breaking choice in energy-efficient models, while also providing even safer, more environmentally friendly, affordable vehicles. Electric vehicles (EVs) are an important part of our mission, both in the U.S. and around the world.

Chart current as of July 2020

Consumers

Consumers have more choice than ever before in electric vehicles (EVs). As recently as 2012, there were only a handful of EVs on sale. Today, there are more than 40 -- including 16 battery electric, 25 plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, and 3 fuel cell vehicles - with more models in development. Today, consumers can buy EVs of all shapes and sizes — small cars, large cars, SUVs and minivans, in 2WD or AWD, with shorter and longer ranges, from economy vehicles to luxury models and everything in between. Yet, more work is needed to inform consumers about the benefits of going electric. Automakers and other stakeholders are spearheading consumer awareness campaigns, including Veloz  in California and the Drive Change. Drive Electric. in northeastern states.

Definitions

There are two types of plug-in electric vehicles on sale today.

Battery Electric Vehicles: All-electric cars powered solely by a battery on board the vehicle.  Range varies from 85 miles to 250 miles.  “Refueling” times to charge the battery depend on the level of charging used – typically, 30 minutes to 1 hour for fast charging and 4 to 6 hours using Level 2 charging (e.g., home charger).  

Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles: Vehicles powered by a combination of a battery on board the vehicles and a gasoline engine. Battery range varies between 15 and 50 miles, at which point the gasoline engine seamlessly operates to drive another 350-615 miles.  Refueling time for the gasoline engine is 5 minutes (owners can drive a PHEVs indefinitely on gas only), and “refueling” time to charge the battery is typically 2-6 hours with Level 2 charging (e.g., home charger).  

Fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs:) All-electric cars powered by the conversion of hydrogen into electricity.  Range of FCEVs is typically 350 to over 400 miles.  Refueling times are about 5 minutes.

State Zero Emission Vehicle Mandate

ZEV Mandate States
Special provisions in the Clean Air Act allow states to either follow the federal requirements or adopt California’s vehicle emission regulations. Currently, ten states are following California and implementing the Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) regulations, including the requirements that about 7 to 10% of new vehicles must be electric vehicles in 2025. These states include Colorado, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont.

ZEV Sales
ZEV purchases will need to increase dramatically in order to meet targets supported by California and ten other states with the ZEV mandate.

In 2019, ZEV sales represented almost 2% of total sales nationwide, or about 322,000 vehicles out of 16.3 million new vehicles sold. By 2025, sales of ZEVs are required to be about 7 to 10% of total sales.

Fleets: States Should Buy More EVs
Governments at all levels buy vehicles for official purposes, and these government fleets represent a potential source of ZEV sales. Governments can lead by example by increasing the number of all types of electric vehicles in their fleets.

From 2013 to 2017, government entities in California registered almost 90,000 new vehicles. Only 3.2% (2,885) were plug-in hybrids, fully electric vehicles or fuel cell electric vehicles. In 2017, the vast majority of new vehicles (96%) purchased by government entities in California remained traditional gas-powered vehicles.

U.S. ZEV vs. Non-ZEV sales


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Nationwide, new vehicle sales of electric vehicles were about 2% in 2019.  About half of those sales were concentrated in California. Most of sales outside of California are in states with incentives.

Did you know...

Battery electric vehicles ...

...have something attractive for everyone:

  • powerful acceleration and precise handling
  • no more trips to gas stations
  • reduced maintenance costs
  • no tailpipe emissions
  • vehicles large enough for families

Fuel cell electric vehicles...

...are also a great all-electric option, with:

  • powerful acceleration and precise handling
  • 3-5 minutes refueling at hydrogen stations
  • driving range of 350-400 miles on a single tank
  • reduced maintenance costs
  • zero tailpipe emissions
  • vehicles large enough for families

Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles...

...can be a great option for an EV, if you drive longer distances and hydrogen refueling stations are not available:

  • no tailpipe emissions when operating in all-electric mode
  • powerful acceleration and precise handling
  • extended range in gasoline-engine mode to travel longer distances, especially when charging is not readily convenient
  • vehicles large enough for families