Atlanta Now #2 Market For Plug In Electric Vehicle Sales In US

JUN 7 2014 BY JAY COLE 23

Electric cars are a hot item in Atlanta.

How hot?  How about second only to San Francisco according IHS Automotive via the Wall Street Journal.  2nd place on the list had been occupied by Seattle.

C'mon Seriously?

C’mon Seriously Atlanta?

Top 5 EV markets in America (via IHS) through the end of March:

  1. San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose – 3.33%
  2. Atlanta – 2.15%
  3. Seattle-Tacoma – 1.83%
  4. Honolulu – 1.71%
  5. Monterey-Salinas – 1.51%

(Check out a listing of…well, all markets here)

The researcher says that on average Georgia contributes more than $4,000  to each electric vehicle purchase in the state – and that is on top of the $7,500 federal credit.

The combined credits on electric vehicle purchases make short term leases on an EV such as the Nissan LEAF almost cost neutral.  The LEAF’s top selling market has been Atlanta in 8 of the past 10 months.

The multiple incentives have far over-stimulated the market…and the state knows it as legislators attempted to end the credit this past March by passing House Bill 257 on the last day of the Georgia Senate’s session for this year.

Republican Rep. Chuck Martin in an interview with CBS46 Atlanta at the time of the bill passing the House:

“My personal view on the [current] policy is it shouldn’t be so rich for the taxpayers to allow someone to buy a car for free,” said the representation reacting to recent Nissan Leaf lease deals.

Nissan LEAF Has Been Selling Like Crazy in Atlanta, But Eliminating the Georgia's $5,000 Ev Incentive Will Certainly Change That

Nissan LEAF Has Been Selling Like Crazy in Atlanta, But Eliminating the Georgia’s $5,000 Ev Incentive Will Certainly Change That

And the bill would have easily passed had it not been for Representative Martin deciding to soften the bill’s effect on the plug-in market in the state by introducing an amendment that would have seen both BEVs and PHEVs get an overall credit of $2,500 (with a $10M cap) during the Senate’s last 2 hours of doing business for the year.

In the end, they ran out of time and it never got to a vote…meaning the uber-credit in Georgia would live on another year.

Ain’t democracy great?

Tesla’s VP of Business development Diarmuid O’Connell had this to say about the effects of strong incentives (via WSJ) “If you have strong incentives it can move the market. People buy a car, they share the experience with their friends and then you have this virtuous cycle.”

Assuming that the credit powering sales in Atlanta only has a shelf life until the Georgia Senate reconvenes, it will be interesting to see if that “virtuous cycle” Mr. O’Connell speaks of holds true in 2015.  In fact, it will be a good gauge of what happens to EV sales overall when someday the $7,500 federal credit is muted or removed.

Wall Street Journal (sub), hat tip to Michael!

Categories: Nissan, Sales

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23 Comments on "Atlanta Now #2 Market For Plug In Electric Vehicle Sales In US"

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When over 95% of EV drivers want to continue driving an EV, getting them into the cars with credits is money well spent.

Mark Hovis

+1 Aaron

Big Solar

Makes me want to move up there but too cold in the winter!




Atlanta’s average low in winter is actually colder than Portland or Seattle. But, it probably doesn’t seam this way because the average high is higher and the winter is when Seattle and Portland get most of their famous rain.

David Murray

I’d rather see them change it to $2,500 per car and include PHEVs.

Micke Larsson



Because PHEVs are also part of the solution. Sorry but a 70-mile Leaf won’t work for me (and many others).

no comment

PHEV’s are more than just “part” of the solution; the are the most practical solution for widespread adoption of EV technology. gasoline is not going to disappear any time in the foreseeable future, so the trick is to use EV technology to replace *most* gasoline usage while still giving the flexibility to allow drivers to operate a vehicle according to the driver’s needs, rather than making the driving adapt his lifestyle to the capabilities of the vehicle.

i suspect that Leaf sales are strongest in warmer climates; in illinois, i rarely see Leaf’s but regularly see Volt’s. in this area, you come to realize that while the EPA estimate is a good average *annual* estimate, during different times of the year the actual range that you get can vary widely. so while operating a Leaf is fine during the warmer months, it is probably not such a good option during the colder months.


I do not think PHEVs are worthy of any incentives.

BEVs are the future, no reason to sponsor delays.


Meh. I prefer BEVs but I think PHEVs should be strongly supported. With the exception of the very expensive Tesla, it is too difficult to use BEVs for long distance driving.

And heavy vehicles like large trucks will be too difficult to do with just pure BEVs.


Actually, in many ways it is easier to do heavy trucks as BEV. A large truck can have a large battery without problems from the size or weight. And changing from 10mpg to about 0.7m/kWhr saves about $0.20/mile. I actually think that UPS or Fedex will go all electric for their local delivery trucks long before electric cars become mainstream. USPS might also be an early mover. It would also make sense for many contractors in cities.

Micke Larsson

Is there anywhere you could see percentage of total sales per state for all the different US states? (Or at least the top 5-10).

It would be interesting to see where the states progress are compared to European countries.


Yeah, the incentive in Georgia is so high that people are absolutely crazy NOT to take advantage of it before they change it.

If you lease the vehicle, you are basically being given it for FREE.

But a lot of people down there are not very clever and won’t figure it out.

Mark Hovis

“But a lot of people down there are not very clever and won’t figure it out.” Low class.


By your logic Spec9, I guess the rest of the country is even LESS CLEVER than Atlanta. What a moron.

Mart Shearer

Subsidies for the well-to-do. If you don’t make enough to pay the tax burden, you aren’t eligible for the tax credit. Household Median Income for the Atlanta metro area is around $54,628.

leaf owner

Tax credit can be spread over several years. Yo do not have to take it all at once.

Mart Shearer

Federal IRC 30D tax credit cannot be rolled over to following years, although the Georgia credit may be rolled over for up to five years.

Antonio S.

If you lease, Nissan takes the Federal credit and passes most of it to you.
The state credit can be rolled over for up to 5 years.
Leasing an EV is the perfect way to stretch the life of your old clunker by using it only for longer trips.


Do you still get tax breaks in the us for company cars? Including on running costs like fuel? Maybe if we are in the mood to save money we should tag those tax breaks on the bill?


So this is for the last 12 months. I wonder what it is cumulative. Portland is slipping.
Time for Oregon to do some kind of decent incentives like its west coast neighbors to the North and South.


Wonder when Denver is going to shoot up the list — they have a pretty good credit.