Sales of all plug in cars almost doubled, world-wide, in 2015 to around 1 million. But they still represent a tiny proportion of the cars on the road, less that 1%.
The Nissan Leaf was launched six years ago this week, going on sale in 2011. It has sold 200,000 world-wide and is an important pioneer, as the first purpose-built all-electric car.
The early argument that pollution was simply being transferred from the tailpipe (although electric cars don’t have one) to coal-powered power station is being overturned as we have moved, more rapidly than expected, to, at times, not using coal at all in the U.K.’s electricity generation: in the second week of May (2016) there were times when coal wasn’t used at all in electricity generation, the first time this has happened since 1882. Since 2010 the amount of electricity coming from renewables has risen from 24.7 % in 2015 from 6.8% in 2010.
Range has increased too. We hear little of “range anxiety”, the worry that you would not make it home, or to a charger before running out. (And the four hours or more it used to take to charge at home has fallen to 30 minutes or less on a fast charger.)
But is the Leaf still evolution rather than revolution?