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Sales Increase for Electric Vehicles

Cars that run partially or entirely on electricity make up a tiny sliver of the vast U.S. car market. But companies selling them posted big gains in June.

Electricity is slowly, slowly becoming a transportation fuel. While they account for only a tiny fraction of sales, electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids are rising. They’re being fueled by competition, federal tax credits worth up to $7,500, and the persistence of high gas prices. While consumers have several choices, three companies—Nissan, General Motors’ Chevrolet, and Tesla—hold almost 75 percent of the market for electric cars. And each has posted significant gains this spring.
Nissan Leaf

Nissan sold 2,225 of its Leaf electric cars in June. (Gary Cameron/Reuters)

On Tuesday car companies (but not Tesla) reported their June sales. In the month, Nissan sold 2,225 of its all-electric Leaf. That’s up from 2,138 units this May and up a whopping 319 percent from May 2012. Nissan said that by lowering prices and producing the car domestically, it was able to attract a greater number of consumers to the Leaf. The vehicle has even gained traction abroad, with Nissan celebrating its 10,000th sale in Europe in late May.

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