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Following the introduction of the Nissan LEAF and Chevrolet Volt, the first full year of sales for mass-market plug-in vehicles was 2011; nearly 18 thousand plug-in vehicles were sold that year in the United States. Sales of plug-in electric vehicles have grown nearly each year since, increasing nine-fold to a record high of about 160 thousand units in 2016. All-electric vehicles (EV) have outsold plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) each of the past three years.

Annual PEV Sales by Vehicle Type, 2011-2016

Graphic showing annual PEV sales by vehicle type for the years 2011 through 2016.


PHEV = Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle which draws some of its’ energy from the electrical grid by plugging in but also has an internal combustion engine to extend range once the battery is depleted. Example: Chevrolet Volt.

EV = Electric vehicle, also referred to as a battery electric vehicle (BEV), has only a battery for energy storage and must be recharged from an external source such as a wall outlet or charging station. Example: Nissan LEAF.

Fact #974 Dataset

Supporting Information

Annual Plug-in Vehicle Sales by Vehicle Type, 2011-16 (Thousands)
EVPHEVTotalEV Share of

Source: Argonne National Laboratory, Light Duty Electric Drive Vehicles Monthly Sales Updates, accessed February 8, 2017.


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