Sales of electric vehicles (EV) jumped in the second quarter of this year. This was enough to convince Real Clear Energy to post “Surge in EV Sales Bucks Cheap Gasoline, Broader Auto Industry Trends”. The posting says that while President Obama’s goal of 1 million EV’s on US roads by 2015 was not met, it was only about half that number in 2015, the surge “gives reason for fresh optimism about the future…..” EV Sales in the first half of 2015 were 70,296 versus 2016 first half sales of 99,634—a 42% change. That looks pretty impressive in the abstract.
However, EV sales need to be evaluated versus all US automobile sales
Detailed Data for sales in August are readily available but June 2016 detailed data are behind a pay wall. In reality the exact numbers are not significantly going to change the fact that EV sales were about 1..2% of total sales. YCharts forecast annual sales based upon auto sales by using the current month’s actual sales. In June , half of the year, the Y chart number for total sales was 17.09 million automobiles. This number counts cars and light truck and it includes EV sales in this number. The 2016 auto sales for the year based upon August July sales was18.15 million. Because the biggest sales months are in the fall of the year, the official forecast for 2016 sales is 18.75 million.
Anyway, if the annual forecast at the end of June was 17.09 roughly the year to date sales for the first six months sales would have been about 8.5 million.
The math: 0.1 million EVsales /8.5 million total sales = 1.2% of the total sales were EVs.
Real Clear Energy really has to be reaching to say that this gives them “fresh optimism.”
A hat tip to David Middleton for this story line based upon his posting in WUWT titled “Green math must be a Common Core product“. I have modified it because I believe his calculation was erroneous. He arrived at number of 0.6% rather than what I believe is the correct number. Middleton’s conclusion however is unchanged by my calculation of 1.2%.