New EV leasing and electric vehicle purchases surge ahead of Tesla sale

NEW YORK (Reuters) – New EV sales rose more than expected to 3.5 million units in the first half of the year, according to an industry tracker, the most in four years and ahead of the anticipated Tesla sale.

The National Association of Manufacturers’ Energy Star survey showed EV sales were up 6.6 percent from a year earlier to 1.6 million units, and the share of electric vehicles in new U.S. sales increased to 11.5 percent from 10.4 percent in the previous year.

The market is expected to be bolstered by a lower gasoline price that is expected by some economists to boost the number of electric cars sold and lower vehicle maintenance costs.

Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA.

O) on Wednesday announced that it will sell 100,000 vehicles to buyers in the United States, with sales of those cars in the months ahead expected to increase.