EV Statistics of the Week: Californian’s Have Purchased 12 Times More EVs Than the 2nd Highest State

It is no secret that in the US the people of California are miles ahead of the rest of the country when it comes to the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs). We hear often that California comprises 50% of EVs purchased in the US. In fact, between January 2017-August 2017 California’s share of EV sales increased to 51.6%.

But that only tells part of the story. Between January 2011 and August 2017: Californian’s have purchased 12 times (11.9 to be exact) more EVs than residents of Georgia, the second highest state, and 2,041 times Wyoming, the state with the least number of EVs sold.

EV Sales - Jan 2011-Aug 2017
EV Sales: January 2011-August 2017 – ZEV Auto Alliance

When we look at EV sales for the period January to August in 2017, however, Georgia drops out of sight, with the state of New York jumping up to number 2 and California selling 9.9 times more EVs than the Empire state.

EV Sales Jan 2017-Aug 2017
EV Sales: January 2017-August 2017 – Auto Alliance
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If we look at plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) as a subset, California still dominates, but New York closes the gap slightly as compared to overall EV sales. B
etween January 2011-August 2017, California has outsold New York 8.2 to 1.

PHEV Sales Jan 2011-Aug 2017-ZEV Auto Alliance
PHEV Sales: January 2011-August 2017 – Auto Alliance

For the period January to August 2017, the difference in PHEV sales between California and the number two state, New York, declined to 6.7 times to 1.

PHEV Sales - January 2017-August 2017 - Auto Alliance
PHEV Sales: January 2017-August 2017 – ZEV Auto Alliance

Now you might say, “But of course, California has the highest population of any state in the US.” While that is true, California still purchases EVs at a much higher rate than any other state.

In this case, however, on the basis of sales of EVs as a percentage of total auto sales within a state, between January 2011-August 2017, California only outsold the number 2 state of Washington by 1.8 times. And New York, the current number two state in terms of volume of sales was outsold 6.4 to 1 by California. And for the state of Georgia, which was once the number 1 state as far as percentage, dropped to 5th place, and has been outsold 2.9 to 1 by California.

EV Sales Market share - January 2011-August 2017 ZEV Auto Alliance
EV Sales Market Share: January 2011-August 2017 – ZEV Auto Alliance

Looking at the period of January through August 2017, California saw an EV purchase rate of 4.56%, 1.8 times Hawaii, at 2.58%. Not surprisingly, all of the top selling states by market share are blue states and all 8 ZEV states are in the top 13 selling states (below).

EV Sales Market Share-January 2017-August 2017 ZEV Auto Alliance
EV Sales Market Share: January 2017-August 2017 – ZEV Auto Alliance

However you slice it, California hands down is the key driver of electric vehicle sales in the US. And chances are when deliveries of Tesla Model 3s starts to scale up, California’s lead in EVs is likely to become even more pronounced.

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Loren McDonald

Loren McDonald


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