California expected to top quarter-million EVs this month

California expects to top a total of a 250,000 plug-in electric vehicles sold this month.

That’s a lot of juice.

Since plug-in vehicles came to the broad market in 2011, sales have climbed through a mix of incentives, rebates and growing consumer choices.

It’s not just the high-profile, $100,000 Teslas hitting the Golden State roads and highways. The market has grown to more than two dozen different models.

“Just a few years ago, you could count the number of plug-in models on one hand. Times have changed,” said Christine Kehoe, executive director of the industry group PEV Collaborative. The group is promoting the growth of electric vehicles at this month’s Los Angeles Auto Show.

The top-selling EV in the country is the Nissan Leaf, with more than 100,000 sold, according to statistics compiled by the website Hybrid Cars.  Nearly half of the 523,000 EVs sold in the U.S. were registered in California.

Still, it’s a sliver of the total automobiles sold. Industry analysts expect 2.1 million new-vehicle sales in California this year. Plug-in hybrids and EVs each make up less than 2 percent of state sales, according to California New Car Dealers Association. The market share has remained steady since 2014.

Also, an industry consortium broke ground on Monday for a new, fast-charging network to deliver  EV owners from Monterey to Lake Tahoe. The network, backed by Nissan and Japanese management firm New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization, aims to make it easier for electric vehicle owners to charge up during trips to popular northern California destinations.

Photo: 2016 Nissan Leaf. (Courtesy Nissan)


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