Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf

During last week's State of the Union address, President Obama reiterated his ambitious goal that calls for one million plug-in hybrids and electrics on the road by 2015. However, IHS Automotive analyst Rebecca Lindland thinks that hitting the one-million mark will require extensive fleet sales.

Lindland claims that the general public will be reluctant to purchase plug-in vehicles due to a lack of recharging infrastructure and because, "There's going to be perpetual range anxiety." The reluctance will translate into much lower sales than early plug-in vehicle OEMs are predicting.

Linland forecasts that Chevy will sell just over 60,000 [a year, see below] Volts to retail customers by the end of 2015 and that sales of the Nissan Leaf will be marginally lower. Linland does anticipate that the upcoming launches of plug-in vehicles from Toyota, Ford and Fiat will contribute to the total plug-in sales volume, but automakers will still fall short of hitting the one million target. Only by emphasizing fleet sales, Lindland claims, can the U.S. hit Obama's goal. Hat tip to Frank T!

*UDPATE: The original Automotive News piece says:

By 2015, she forecasts, retail sales of the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid will total slightly over 60,000, while those of the Nissan Leaf electric sedan will be about 60,000.

Lindland actualy estimated that the Leaf and the Volt will sell around 60,000 annually by 2015. This is a big difference, and we apologize for passing on AN's misleading wording.

[Source: Automotive News – sub. req.]