Electric vehicle sales have been slow out of the box, despite marketing hype, government incentives and the hopes of green car advocates.
Total sales last year were 17,425, which is less than 0.1 percent of the U.S. car and light truck market.
Nonetheless, automakers show no signs of pulling back their multibillion-dollar bets: They need electric cars to meet tough new fuel-efficiency standards. About a dozen new plug-ins and fully electric cars will go on sale in the next year.
Auto executives point optimistically to March, when electric cars had their best-ever sales month: Nearly 4,000 vehicles sold in the United States. Still, three in every 1,000 cars drove off dealer lots under battery power.
News in recent months has done little to reassure skeptical buyers: General Motors Co. slowed production of its plug-in Chevrolet Volt. Two crash-test Volts caught fire; a government investigation ultimately found no safety problems. Politicians ridiculed electric cars and called for an end to government assistance. Battery companies and suppliers laid off hundreds of employees, while several electric vehicle startups went out of business or struggle to survive.
From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20120417/AUTO01/204170368#ixzz1sJKNutVN