Nissan Leaf

Here's a twist we didn't see coming.

Plug-in vehicle owners are, on average, driving more than gas-powered vehicle owners are driving their cars, and are getting more comfortable charging those vehicles outside of their homes, Plug In Vehicles reports, citing a US Energy Department study concocted with charging station maker Ecotality.

Chevrolet Volt drivers are, on average, logging over 41 miles per day on their cars, while Nissan Leaf owners are tallying 30 miles a day. Compare this to 28.9 miles a day for the average vehicle powered by an internal combustion engine. Meanwhile, plug-in vehicle drivers charged their cars away from home about 33 percent of the time during the third quarter of 2012, compared to 22 percent earlier in the year, according to the study.

Driving and recharging habits are becoming more topical as more people take the plunge and buy electric-drive vehicles. Last month, plug-in vehicle sales totaled 6,784 units, including a monthly-record 2,961 Volts and 1,579 Leafs, the second-highest on record. Toyota moved 1,889 Prius Plug-In Hybrids in October.