Why 2012 was pivotal for next-gen transportation
By Stephanie Levine, Oregon CUB
Stephanie Levine is the community outreach coordinator for Oregon CUB. You can reach her at 773. 307.1666 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
2012 was a pivotal year for the electric vehicle industry, in both Oregon and throughout the United States. We expect to keep that momentum revving this year with tax incentives, lower price points, more choice, better infrastructure and more.
In the past 12 months, U.S. sales of electric and hybrid cars skyrocketed, up 73 percent from 2011. Sales keep rising as more models become available, alongside tempting lease deals. Electric vehicle charging infrastructure has also expanded, thanks in part to federally funded initiatives like the EV Project. The number of public charging stations in the U.S. now totals more than 4,100. The Oregon Department of Transportation has been busy installing “DC Fast Charger” stations up and down Oregon’s major roadways. The prevalence of new charging infrastructure is alleviating range anxiety — the worries many have about the range limitations of a battery-powered vehicle.
Looking ahead into 2013, the outlook for the electric vehicle this year is promising. Almost every major automaker will have a hybrid electric or all electric vehicle on the market by the end of 2013. The Nissan LEAF, Toyota Plug-in Prius, and Chevy Volt — the three top-selling models currently available — will be joined by a host of other cars, giving consumers options in price, size, and performance. The Chevy Spark EV is scheduled to debut here in Oregon and in California this summer, giving Oregonians even more options from which to choose.
With so much competition arriving in the industry, prices are expected to drop. Federal tax credits will continue to help lower the upfront cost on electric vehicles, and consumers can still cash in on federal tax credits for purchasing a charging station for their home.
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