In his State of the Union address in January 2011, President Obama called for putting one million electric vehicles on the road by 2015.

The United States, through the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), actively supports the research, development, and deployment (RD&D) of innovative vehicle technologies including electric drive vehicles (EDVs), which include hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), and battery electric vehicles (BEVs).

The U. S. is highly dependent on oil. In 2010, the U. S. used 19.3 million barrels of oil per day. Transportation consumes two-thirds of this petroleum, and on-road vehicles are responsible for about 80% of transportation petroleum usage. 

The larger goals for energy use in the country are to decrease petroleum dependence and greenhouse gases (GHGs). Within the transportation sector, the U.S. will develop more energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly highway transportation technologies that enable America to use less petroleum. The long-term aim is to develop technologies that will provide Americans with greater freedom of mobility and energy security, with lower costs and lower impacts on the environment.

DOE supports R&D on more energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly highway transportation technologies at the national laboratories.Over the past few years, interest in BEVs and PHEVs in the U.S. auto industry has surged, with manufacturers beginning to introduce new generations of these vehicles.

The production capacity of PHEV and BEV models announced to enter the U.S. market through 2015 could be sufficient to achieve the stated Administration goal for putting one million of these vehicles on the road.