In today’s Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB):

  • Tesla models make up more than half of US EV sales in 2021.
  • A Michigan utility wants to be one of the first in the US to go coal-free.
  • UnderstandSolar is a free service that links you to top-rated solar installers in your region for personalized solar estimates. Tesla now offers price matching, so it’s important to shop for the best quotes. Click here to learn more and get your quotes. — *ad.

Tesla EV sales and US growth

It’s time for some electric vehicle statistical facts fun! Bottom line, the numbers confirm what we know: EV uptake is growing quickly in the US.

According to Austin-based research, media, and events agency Zpryme that focuses on energy, and the US Department of Energy and Argonne National Lab, Tesla models accounted for over 54% of US EV sales in 2021 through May. Further, US electric vehicle sales in May reached 53,779 units, representing a 19.2% increase over April 2021.

On a year-on-year basis, this represents a whopping 329% increase compared to May 2020 US EV sales of 12,536 units. April also saw a year-on-year jump, with 10,073 sold in 2020 and 45,105 sold in 2021.

Through May 2021, cumulative EV sales totaled 204,012 and overall EVs sold since 2010 increased by 2.9%, to 1.92 million. Year to date, 2021 total EV sales are up by 119% versus 2020.

In May, battery electric vehicles accounted for 70.6% of all plug-in electric vehicles sold in the US. (Take that, hybrids.)

On the charging front, 609 charging stations and 1,736 charging outlets were added in the US in May. The majority – 439 – of the charging stations added were ChargePoint’s. California, Massachusetts, and New York added the most charging stations in May, with 170, 80, and 59, respectively.

Through May 2021, the US had 46,104 EV charging stations and 117,674 charging outlets. ChargePoint and Tesla were the top two charging networks, with 24,505 and 5,464 stations on their respective networks.

Coal-free in Michigan

Consumers Energy, a public utility that provides electricity to 6.7 million of Michigan’s nearly 10 million residents, announced yesterday that it intends to close its remaining coal plants by 2025. That’s 15 years earlier than planned. It’s closed seven coal plants since 2016.

Consumers Energy reports in its news release:

The plan, which requires regulatory approval, ensures we will:

  • Be among the first utilities in the nation to go coal-free by 2025;
  • Use 90% clean energy resources by 2040;
  • Build nearly 8,000 megawatts of solar energy to power Michigan’s homes and businesses by 2040; 
  • Stay on the path to achieve net zero carbon emissions, and
  • Save customers about $650 million through 2040.

Consumers Energy states that by 2040, renewables will make up more than 60% of its electric capacity.

Combining that growth with advances in energy storage and customer efficiency will allow [Consumers Energy] to meet customers’ needs with 90% clean energy resources.

However, it also wants to buy four natural gas plants to “supply steady, reliable electricity for homes and businesses as the company invests more heavily in renewable energy and continues to explore emerging technology to minimize impact on the environment.”

(Speaking of steady and reliable, natural gas failed during Texas’s big freeze in February and in the heatwave last week.)

The Michigan Public Service Commission has a year to review and make a decision about the plan.

In 2020, natural gas accounted for 33% of Michigan’s net generation of electricity, while coal’s share declined to 27%. Renewables provided about 11% of Michigan’s electricity net generation in 2020, and wind energy accounted for three-fifths of that power, reports the US Energy Information Administration.

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