Official: U.S. will not meet 1 million EV goal in 2015

David Shepardson
Detroit News Washington Bureau

Washington — Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said Thursday the United States will not meet President Obama’s goal of getting 1 million electric vehicles on the road by the end of this year, and said hitting the target could be a few years away.

“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,” Moniz said in a Detroit News interview after an appearance at the Washington auto show.

In his 2011 State of the Union Address, Obama renewed a call he made as a candidate in 2008: to get 1 million plug-in electric vehicles on the road by 2015. But sales have been far slower than expected — about 280,000, including 120,000 in 2014.

Automakers have been forced to cut prices on many EVs and have scaled back expectations on sales. But automakers are unveiling a number of electric vehicles. General Motors Co. announced last week a concept EV — the Chevrolet Bolt — that will be able to go up to 200 miles on a single charge.

Electric vehicles face another headwind. Gas prices below $2 a gallon in more than half of the country are likely to be a big drag on EV sales in 2015.

Moniz said he is still very bullish on EVs. “The costs did not come down to where we need them to be in time,” Moniz said.