Motor Vehicle Fuel Efficiency

EVs Charging Up: Sales Beating Hybrid Intro 2017 Expected to Be a Record Year

28 Electric Models Now Available—Electric Vehicle Guide Updated
Ford Making Chinese EVs a Priority—What about U.S.?

Washington, D.C. – A new analysis of manufacturer sales predictions has 2017 EV sales increasing by over 100%, compared to 2016. The Tesla Model 3 and Chevrolet Bolt are expected to lead sales, with the Chevrolet Volt close behind. “This increase in highly efficient, high tech electric vehicles is directly attributed to compliance with federal and California fuel efficiency standards” said Jack Gillis, CFA’s Director of Public Affairs and author, The Car Book and the new Snapshot Guide to Electric Vehicles.

“Last year EV sales hit record numbers, with a 37% increase over 2015. Our data shows that 2017 sales could increase by 119%. With batteries becoming more efficient, an increasing variety of market choices, and prices becoming more affordable, there is no question that EVs are poised to disrupt the automotive marketplace. With the release of the Chevrolet Bolt, and several automakers, including BMW, Volkswagen, and Tesla, pledging to offer dozens of new electric models, the future of electric vehicles is bright.” said Gillis.

In light of this expected sales increase, the Consumer Federation of America has updated its guide to electric vehicles, as more and more consumers opt for EVs and manufacturers broaden their availability. The Car Book’s Snapshot Guide to Electric Vehicles is available for free on the ConsumerFed.org website and provides an overview of the key features of the 2017 EVs, allowing consumers to readily compare the mileage, range, and charging types available among new models. The guide is designed to improve consumer knowledge and understanding of EVs, while providing a comparative road map to the choices available for 2017.

EVs Catching on Faster than Hybrids

“What’s particularly noteworthy is that EVs are being adopted faster than the now well-established hybrid vehicles,” said Gillis.  As the chart below shows, during their first five years, sales of EVs have outpaced the now popular hybrids.

According to manufacturer and industry estimates, 2017 is expected to see record EV sales.  With Tesla projecting over 100,000 sales and the new Chevrolet Bolt over 50,000, 2017 sales are expected to double.  “Consumers understand that low gas prices will not last forever, and these early adoption numbers for electric vehicles signal significant future growth in the market,” said Dr. Mark Cooper, CFA’s Director of Research.

“A critical reason why U.S. manufacturers need to focus on EVs is because the Chinese have made the development and production of EVs a top priority.  Not prioritizing EVs will have a profoundly negative impact on domestic manufacturers both here and in the global marketplace,” added Gillis.  To meet the Chinese demand (established by strict fuel economy targets), Ford is planning to make 70% of its Chinese vehicles hybrids, plug in hybrids, or fully electric vehicles by 2025.  “If they can do that in China, we certainly expect they will do it here in their home country,” said Gillis.

Contact: Jack Gillis, 202-737-0766


The Consumer Federation of America is a nonprofit association of more than 250 consumer groups that was founded in 1968 to advance the consumer interest through research, advocacy, and education.