If you read a lot of technology blogs or happen to live in Silicon Valley, you may be under the impression that electric vehicles are quickly becoming a thing for the masses. Well, you’re mistaken. According to data from Inside EVs, Ward’s Automotive Reports and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, plug-in electric vehicles are still a niche phenomenon, accounting for less than one percent of light vehicle sales in the United States in 2016.
While 160,000 electric vehicles certainly pale in comparison to more than 17 million light vehicles sold in the United States last year, the upside is that plug-in EV sales still increased by 37 percent compared to 2015. However, electric mobility faces an uncertain future under Donald Trump, a declared climate change skeptic, who might well pull the plug on incentives such as the tax credit that buyers of electric vehicles currently receive.
This chart shows estimated plug-in electric vehicle and total light vehicles sales in the U.S. in 2016.