As compared to 2011, sales of electric and plug-in hybrid cars is expected to increase fivefold in 2012. According to the website Clean Fleet Report, citing research from technology research firm Gartner, 2012 should see sales of at least 100,000 electric cars, which is a major jump up from the 18,000 sold during 2011. Those 18,000 include 9,674 Nissan LEAFs and 7,671 Chevrolet Volts, so it will be interesting to see where the rest of that jump in numbers comes from. The Chevy Volt, in particular, had a rough 2011. After some engine fires, it was (and continues to be) a punching bag for those concerned about the safety of EVs, and a recent report stated that dealers are refusing to take the Volts that are allocated to them. Chevy had hoped to sell 100,000 Volts in 2011, but because the company only sold 7,671 of them, it has backed away from plans to build 60,000 of them in 2012.
All that being said, there are many new plug-in hybrids coming on the market, such as the Mitsubishi i, Prius Plug-In Hybrid, Scion IQ Electric, Smart Electric Drive, and several Ford products. Even in this economy, with gas prices on the rise 2012 could be a very good year for alternative vehicles. Let’s hope the report is right and EV car sales exceed 100,000 units.