Electric car sales have a banner year but overall volumes remain …

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Electric car sales have a year, but overall volumes low

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In a sign of the economy, more than 15 new cars and light trucks be sold in the United States year, up from 14.4 in 2012. Among them be a record number of electric though overall volumes low as consumers slowly grow with the new technology.

There was an that electric vehicles take off very quickly, but is a process, said auto analyst Alan Baum. a process for consumers and it’s a for the automakers. You can’t turn market on with a switch.

It’s a market that slowly increase.

Nissan it is on track to sell roughly all-electric Leafs in the United this year, which the 19,512 Leafs sold in the in 2011 and 2012 combined.

The which has a base price of before federal or state tax and has a range of about 75 miles per was first introduced three ago. California still for roughly a third of all sales, and such as San Francisco, Seattle and have emerged as major

Sam Ori, executive vice of the Electrification Coalition, a nonpartisan group, notes that electric vehicles are just in third year.

There are now 17 models on the market, said. It’s not just the and the Leaf.

Though several automakers have recently electric vehicles — the Fiat 500e, Honda Fit EV and Fusion Energi — the top sellers in the electric vehicle and hybrid electric vehicle remain the all-electric Nissan and Tesla Model S sedan, and the Chevy Volt.

General is expected to sell more 21,000 Chevy Volts year. Palo Alto-based Motors (TSLA ) does not monthly sales figures but in a recent regulatory filing it is making 550 cars a week at its factory and will deliver Model S sedans in 2013, includes some initial to Europe and Asia.

Elon Musk has done a job of selling the Model S as a vehicle, not an electric vehicle, Baum

Nissan executives say they are with the Leaf’s sales, that the market has moved early adopters who were to embrace electric transportation. As the begins to reach mainstream Nissan is seeing an organic pattern emerge in which of Leafs convince their and neighbors to buy the vehicle.

This is a major technology in many people’s minds, Erick Gottfried, Nissan’s of EV sales and marketing. We’re early adopters and have a point where we are selling to a minded consumer who is looking at the economic savings of driving the

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Some analysts say lower gas in recent months, along improved fuel efficiency for cars, have tempered demand for alternative-fuel vehicles. to a Fuel Economy Trends recently released by the U.S. Protection Agency, new automobiles in model year 2012 a record-high 23.6 miles per for 2013, they are expected to 24 mpg.

Low and falling gas prices do not help the vehicle market, said Caldwell, an analyst at Edmunds.com. tends to be a lot of exposure for advanced vehicles in the media when gas are high, and that exposure to increased consideration.

Contact Hull at 408-920-2706. Follow her at

Projected 2013 U.S. of top-selling plug-in electric

1. Nissan Leaf: 22,000

2. Volt: more than

3. Tesla Model S: at least


* Tesla’s figures include sales, though most of its are sold in the U.S.

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