Sales of U.S. Plug-In Vehicles Double as Makers Expand Offerings

U.S. sales of plug-in electric vehicles doubled in the first half of the year, the U.S. Energy Department said.

Motorists bought more than 40,000 plug-in cars in the first and second quarters, up from 17,500 a year earlier, according to an Energy Department statement today. Full-year 2012 sales more than tripled to about 52,000 from 17,000 in 2011.

Ford Motor Co. added hybrid and plug-in models to its lineup and demand increased for Tesla Motor Inc.’s battery-powered sedan. That helped spur first-half growth rates, as more carmakers offer vehicles that consume less fuel and emit less carbon.

“As the market continues to grow, electric vehicles will play a key role in our effort to reduce air pollution and slow the effects of climate change,” Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said in the statement.

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