Updated Apr 17, 2018 - Energy & Environment

Electric/hybrid car sales flat

The electric and hybrid share of U.S. vehicle sales has hovered around 3% for the past decade.

Data: Wards Intelligence; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios

Why it matters: For all the hoopla surrounding electric cars, they’re still only a sliver of America’s auto industry. Fully electric cars are gaining market share, but the overall demand for electrics and hybrids has risen only slowly. In part, this is because sustained low gasoline prices have revived Americans' traditional preference for larger vehicles, which are mainly gasoline-powered.

"We are definitely seeing consumers selecting more fuel-efficient versions of what they already want to buy, but they’re still buying pickup trucks, SUVs and crossovers.”
— Rebecca Lindland, analyst with Kelley Blue Book, an automotive research firm

What’s on the horizon: Last year, fully electric cars made up about 0.6% of light-vehicle sales. They're set to grow significantly, though forecasts range widely about how much.

  • 3%: That's the 2025 forecast from WARDS Intelligence, an automotive research firm whose data auto companies use.
  • 8.5%: That's the 2025 forecast from Bloomberg New Energy Finance, which is more bullish on these issues.

Go deeper: This trend is part of why the Trump administration should rewrite — but not repeal — his predecessor’s fuel-efficiency standards, independent experts tell me in my latest Harder Line column this week.

Go deeper