Energy Secretary: U.S. Will Not Reach 1 Million EV Goal By End Of 2015


The Chevrolet Bolt EV Concept. $30,000 pricing. 200 mile range.

The Chevrolet Bolt EV Concept. $30,000 pricing (after rebate). 200 mile range.  Production Starts In October 2016

2016 Chevrolet Volt w/ Improved EV range & MPG.

2016 Chevrolet Volt w/ Improved EV range & MPG.

President Barrack Obama had set a goal of getting 1 million EVs on the road by the end of 2015, but Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz now admits that achieving that goal won’t be possible.

During this year’s Washington Auto Show, Moniz stated:

“We’re going to be a few years after the president’s aspirational goal of the end of 2015, but I think that we are within a few years of reaching that goal.”

EV sales currently sit ~ 300,000. Moniz explains that electric car prices didn’t drop quickly enough to make the 1-million mark achievable:

“The costs did not come down to where we need them to be in time.”

However, the auto manufacturers are not backing down.  Most have announced upcoming redesigns on existing EVs, or brand new electric cars, all of which promise to be more affordable and much improved over today’s electric offerings.

We added a few pictures (w/info) to show some examples of the electric cars that are coming in the near future.

We wonder, when will 1 million be achieved?

Tesla Model 3 Price Target Is $35,000 Before Incentives.

Tesla Model 3 Price Target Is $35,000 Before Incentives.

Source: The Detroit News

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32 Comments on "Energy Secretary: U.S. Will Not Reach 1 Million EV Goal By End Of 2015"

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300k now, add in 150 for this years sales and you get to 450… sometime in 2017/2018 the US will hit 1 million with the Bolt/Tesla3/Leaf2.0 leading sales.

Agree – hopefully 2017!

I think we will easily see 1 million EV’s on the road by 2017 and very possibly 2016. We can be a big help by taking our EV’s to car shows and participating in Plug-in day. We are making a difference.

The 1 million EVs by 2015 was a proposal that sought investments in 2009/2010. Even though these investents didn’t occur, EV adoption has continued to move forward … in may cases better results have exceeded expectations without the proposed investments.

California and the other ZEV have a goal of over 1.5 million EVs by 2020 (and 3.3 million by 2025). Chances are much better of reaching this goal(s).

Was it cost or production? If the pip had been nation wide and produced in huge numbers how many could it have sold? Same goes for the I-miev (which would have sold a lot less) but still more than has. The leaf was held back for months due to battery constraints and they have made fewer volts 2 years running now. I think we would still be a long way off the million but we could have been at 0.5+ million by the end of this year if a few things had gone the other way.

Still the million car goal got everyone moving which was the point.

We could

If China is picks up, the first global million could hit this year. As you say Chris, They all are just a number to get things going. It’s a story I look forward to telling my grandchildren about someday.

The million car goal is a U.S. goal, not worldwide. Sure, China could hit that mark before the U.S. does. But a large portion of the Chinese EV market is relatively short-range NEVs, which can’t be compared to street legal, highway capable cars sold in the U.S., European, or British Commonwealth markets.

Not all EVs are created equal.

All their EV’s are NEVs 😉 And it’s more than fair since they are used like regular cars and take you anywhere inside some of the endless cities in China.

There are many normal chinese cars that never (or very rarely) see the highway and highway speeds.

It must be hard to imagine if you’re used to the highways running anywhere and everywhere and even many times a day.

With over 700k sold world wide we will be hiting the first million in 2015 even without China.
With China it’s a no brainer.

It will be interesting to see who get’s to a million first of USA, Europe or China. The US has a pretty large cumulative lead but Europe and China are pushing the change a lot harder.

It might even become a threeway tie.

It was cost, production, lack of advertising, and lackluster design by many manufacturers.

Also lack of effort. EV rollouts all started with limited numbers of cars in limited markets. Many of them still haven’t gone nationwide with sales, and have instead sold only in CARB states like CA, OR, etc.

Easy question. In the year of 2018 that goal will be reached.
It will coincide with the second EV boom of the modern EV era.

I agree, 2018 will be the year. It will also coincide with the first hydrogen FCV boom. Oops, I probably shouldn’t use hydrogen and boom in the same sentence! My bad. 😀


As I’ve been saying, I think it makes sense to view the EV transition in generations:

1.0: Everything before the widespread availability of an EV or 40-mile PHEV. In other words, everything (incl. Teslas) pre-Volt/Leaf.

2.0: First shipment of the Volt and Leaf until the Bolt/Leaf 2.0. Essentially, this is the period when EVs “became real” but mostly tech enthusiasts, environmentalists (like me), and lunatics (ditto) bought or leased a plug-in car.

3.0: Bolt/Leaf 2.0/Tesla 3 availability until whatever the next major knee in the curve is. This is when EVs really start to take off, and we lunatics look less like lunatics and a lot more like visionaries in the eyes of our friends, neighbors, and co-workers.

I fully expect that sometime in the next couple of years we’ll see the long-awaited Big Announcements from Honda and Toyota, as they try to convince us that their shiny, new EVs are not only better than a Bolt or Leaf or Tesla, but that they invented EVs, batteries, cars, and electricity. Depending on the timing, this could only enhance the knee-in-the-curve effect of the start of EV Gen 3.0.

Right Lou – If Honda and Toyota don’t get with the program – they may become an afterthought of car company.

My guess is that Toyota will come out with their EV just as Nissan and GM run out of credits and will use the $7,500 cost advantage to grab market share.

Toyota is using up its credits by currently selling the plug-in Prius, and has used up credits when it sold the RAV4 EV. Even though the plug-in Prius only gets a $2,500 credit because of its small battery and short AER, it still counts for one full credit.

Part of the problem was the lack of advertising. Few people know the advantages of plug ins, and few know about the $7500 tax credit or the state rebates. Few dealership salesmen know.

The government should have advertised these cars when they came out.

The $7500 tax credit should have been a rebate for use at purchase, like the cash for clunkers rebate. It would have helped more people who really need to save on their gasoline bill.

Maybe it should be a rebate for qualifying EV’s/EREV’s (battery size wise) whose MSRP is $35K or less, and a Tax Credit for those greater than $35K.


For consumers, it’s about awareness and education. Very few OEMs are creating demand. That’s pretty unusual for a new product. They have to compete with their legacy technology. That’s a hard balancing act.

For OEMs, it’s about battery cost, availability, and control of IP. Very hard to create barriers to entry with electric drivetrains.

It’s a valid concern from an automakers perspective. I believe there will be many new EV market entrants over the next decade.

I think what is holding back the big million is battery production. A lot of EV makers seem to have a hard time getting enough batteries for their mass market EV’s. Also the ranges are to low right now for very large numbers of EV’s along with lack of quick charging.

When auto makers start making compelling plug-in EVs and make them available in large numbers, then people will start buying them in large numbers. But PEVs with less than 100 miles of electric range don’t cut it. EVs are currently stuck in the “early adopter” phase, with batteries still too expensive to make a long-range EV that can compete on price with any best-selling gas guzzler. Kudos to Tesla Motors for working to push the edge of the envelope in (a) developing truly compelling PEVs, and (b) building the Gigafactory to bring the price of batteries down, and the volume of production up, to where at least a mid-range priced car can, hopefully, be made and sold in large numbers. Too bad Tesla is the only company, so far, that is serious about building compelling EVs in large numbers, -and- has the resources to make that happen. Don’t expect legacy gas guzzler manufacturers to be in any rush to follow Tesla’s lead, despite all this talk of “200 mile EVs” from various auto makers. Sure, they might develop a nominally 200 mile EV… which means maybe 150-175 real-world miles. But will they make them in numbers to match even a… Read more »

Very well stated.

Out of the 300K plug-ins sold, Both GM & Nissan sold twice as many plug-ins as Tesla.

We are in more than the ‘early adopter’ phase. I think we are in a combo of:
1) The Early adopters (the sub-100 mile range EVs);
2) The wealthy elite (Tesla Model S buyers); and
3) The plug-in hybrid pragmatists (Volt, Energi, etc.)

What we really need are:
1) Affordable 100 to 200 mile range pure EVs (to go beyond the pure EV early adopters); and
2) More types of plug-in hybrids. Pick-ups, mini-vans, SUVs, etc. to go beyond the small car PHEV (PiP, Volt, CMAX, etc.)

Samuel Adams.. I mean Secretary Moniz is correct. We won’t reach the goal.. this year. But if we reach almost 1/2 the goal, that is nothing to dismiss. I think we should create a new goal for 2020.

LOL! You beat me to it.

Is it just me or does Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz look like Javier Bardem in “No Country For Old Men?”

The 1 million EVs was a very optimistic aspirational goal. I have to say that I am pleased with how well EVs have done so far. Of course, I’d always like more but the key thing is that EVs now are here to STAY.

We just need the gigafactory and other mass manufacturing scales to jump to the next level. This must take place in all parts of the manufacturing chain . . . raw materials used in batteries, battery manufacturing, EV components (chargers, motors, controllers, etc.), etc.

I’m not so worried about the first 1 million EV’s/PHEV’s. I’m more worried about the future of the 2nd million. If we elect full Republican control of the federal gov’t, it could spell the end of the $7,500 federal EV tax incentive, federal CAFE fleet MPG requirements, and the end of California’s ability to write their own EPA clean air regulations. (Assuming they don’t keep their campaign promises and completely eliminate the EPA.)

The major contributors to the (R) presidential candidates are well known for sponsoring legislation to block anything “green”, including EV’s, solar, wind, etc. Even high MPG requirements for gas cars. There will be a debt to be paid.