Highest Concentration Of Plug-ins Relative To US Population In 2015

AUG 14 2016 BY MARK KANE 49

Tesla Model S

Tesla Model S

The DOE Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy’s released some interesting data about plug-in electric vehicle density in the U.S. (as of 2015).

In rank of EVs per 1,000 people, California is second to none with 4.68 plug-ins per 1,000 people.

Hawaii comes in at #2 at 2.94 persons per thousand, while three more states exceed 2.0: Washington (2.32), Georgia (2.2), and Oregon (2.04).  Of note, without its $5,000 EV credit Georgia’s number is pretty much stagnant.

Three other states exceed 1 per 1,000 persons owning a plug-in: – Vermont (1.67), Colorado (1.09) and Distric Of Columbia (1.01).

Worst of the pack?   Good old Mississippi, on average you need 11,000 people to see just one plug-in vehicle (.09%).

“In 2015, there were five states with more than two plug-in vehicles (PEVs) registered per 1,000 people. California had the highest concentration of PEVs with 4.68 PEVs per 1,000 people.

Hawaii had the second highest concentration with nearly three PEVs per 1,000 people followed by Washington, Georgia, and Oregon with about two PEVs per 1,000 people. Georgia is the only eastern state with over 2 PEVs per 1,000 people, likely due to generous state incentives that were offered until the summer of 2015. Mississippi had the lowest concentration of PEVs, but all 50 states and the District of Columbia had at least some PEVs.”

PEV Registrations per 1,000 People by State, 2015 (source: energy.gov)

PEV Registrations per 1,000 People by State, 2015 (source: energy.gov)

source: energy.gov

Categories: Sales

Tags: ,

Leave a Reply

49 Comments on "Highest Concentration Of Plug-ins Relative To US Population In 2015"

newest oldest most voted

Interesting that Hawaii, which has electricity rates about double that of the average for mainland USA, has such a high adoption rate of EVs. I wonder what the percentage is of EV owners who have a home solar power system?

Hawaii might be easy to explain. Given the size of these islands, there is probably less range anxiety (even with <100 mile range vehicles).
Is gasoline the same as on US-mainland or more expensive on the islands?

Us average is $2.14 , Hawaii $2.52. So yes they do pay higher per gallon. If I recall correctly, they have much more volatile swings in pricing too.

Hawaii as an island makes sense for EVs, and there is also the fact energy is expensive.

Higher energy costs sound counter-intuitive, but that cost has spurred 15% of the population to go with rooftop solar over the past few decades…in which case, EVs make a lot of sense if you are already producing your own power, especially in the face of similarly high gas prices for ICE vehicles.

When I was riding in a taxi though the island of Cozumel Mexico gas was $5.00 US a gallon.

Jay, it would be great to see this for the rest of the world.

I was on the Big Island 2 weeks ago and gas was about 3.14-3.29 in Kona. You see some Leafs and Teslas, but I only saw one Volt. I don’t think there is a GM dealer on that side of the island though.

According to gas buddy, the Hawaii average $.60/gal more than the national average…However, as one can imagine, it’s total cost of living, in which gas is just one part…Auto insurance is higher than most states and there is a discount for green vehicles, HI also offers free parking at meters…But everything is more expensive, food is notoriously high and if you want to take a vacation to another state, you’re at a minimum flying 6 hours just to start your vacation…

Hawaii is easy to explain:
-No range anxiety since you are on a small island.
-Gasoline is expensive
-It is a liberal state
-GREAT solar PV resources and high solar PV penetration
-Good local support for EVs.

The downsides:
-Electricity is expensive
-Electricity largely made by burning diesel (which is why it is so expensive)

But the net is good for EVs.

The data here is skewed. Note that car ownership rates are much lower in the northeast given the better public transit and walk scores.. EVs per 1000 people is the wrong metric.

I don’t think is skewed. A high concentration per capita means folks on these states are buying proportionally more PEVs than ICEs, so PEV penetration is higher. This trend is a good one, more transit and more PEVs translates into a lower carbon footprint!

Those states the people have much higher incomes so they have more money to risk spending it on new tech like a EV. While a lot of the lot of low wage states people don’t have the spare money to risk putting it into new tech.

Such as if I was making $15.00 dollars a hour in New York or California on minimum wage It would be very easy to buy a used EV for under $6000.

California minimum wage is $10/hr.

“Such as if I was making $15.00 dollars a hour in New York or California on minimum wage It would be very easy to buy a used EV for under $6000.”

But cost of living is high in California as well. $15/hr in California is like $5/hr in AR or TX..

Look at Colorado. People drive far less in Colorado than they do in Washington – far more people walk or bike. That 1.09 number would represent a higher % of EVs per 100 cars than Washington’s 2.32 does.

That is what makes it skewed!

The same holds for the Acela corridor. Those numbers represent a far higher % of cars in those areas than the numbers would indicate.

Portland leads the nation in % who commute primarily by bike at over 7%. Seattle and Denver are well behind but similar to each other.

Regardless, this is based on per registration numbers not per capita.

I am surprised Colorado’s plug in sales are not the best in the nation given their excellent tax incentive. But, there sales numbers are not as high as the West Coast.

Denver is a very Liberal city and the overall population in the state is pretty small. If you look at plugshare you will see most of the chargers are in and around Denver with like 3 chargers not in the Denver area.

Of course it’s skewed, and it’s an absolutely stupid benchmark to use. For example, greater NYC is over half of NY State’s population, and very few people in NYC keep cars.

The relevant stat would be how many registered EVs there are for 1000 registered cars, not people.

What’s striking is how much it looks like the projected outcome for the presidential election.

Haha, @DonC you stole my thunder.

With perhaps a handful of exceptions, “Yellow States” on this map = “Red States” on the 2016 presidential map.

The biggest exception is of course Georgia, where policy used to go against the grain of 21st Century Southern Conservatism (“you like this? Well, then I am going to hate it!…”), and drove EV sales high. Now, unless the local politicians there get their heads out of their asses, GA is going to gradually fall in line with the rest of the South.

Other notable exceptions: PA and NM, which election-wise are trending Blue, but have low EV ownership rates. With NM it’s probably a combination of huge distances and no megacity, and lower average income.

Also Utah, but Utah is unusual in pretty much every sense, so no huge surprise there.

The map also parallels a map showing the states with higher gas taxes.

Yes it is striking how red states are anti-pev and blue states are pro-pev with the exception of GA.

That high number in GA is only a leftover from when there were practically free Leaf leases due to the $5000 GA tax state incentive that went to the EV leasee.

Not only was the state incentive erased when it turned out to be hugely popular the state legislature passed an extra tax on EVs at registration to cover the loss of gas tax.

GA better get their head out of their @sses — get rid of the EV tax and bring back some type incentive.

I don’t see any red or blue on the map.

They’re talking about states that typically vote Republican (red) or Democratic (blue).


how would the Atlanta Area rate by itself? it would more than double the rate to the highest EV penetration in the USA (2015 Ga population 10.25M vs Atlanta metro 5.7M)

Now that the $4K incentive is gone will be interesting to see this chart again in a year or so…

It will be interesting, as you say, to review the same data year after year. As I live in Georgia, and we have a Leaf in the family, I am quite interested. I actually think the rate might not drop and perhaps could grow (of course those rates will be growing across the country as well). Especially in Atlanta where you can’t go anywhere without seeing a Leaf, a Tesla, a Fusion Energi, or some type of plugin. Public charging infrastructure is quite good and improving all the time. And almost every time I am pluging in at a mall or other public location someone will stop and ask me about the Leaf, giving me the opportunity to be the EV evangelist that I have become. The tax credit made it a sweeter deal, but even without it there are a lot of good reasons to buy an EV here. Not the least of which is free rides in the HOT lanes.

I hate the stupid $200 EV tax though….what a farce.

As it is, it looks more like red states vs blue states. I wish the map is colored based on quintiles instead of linear. Then places greater than Texas would be in mid quintile. Still like red/blue, but more informative than having most of the country at the bottom.

Quintiles would have played down the *magnitude of the differences.
Perhaps add another color for <0.25, to distinguish between the just-low and the very-low.

I would have chosen a less glaring color than electric blue for the middle categories, though.

Btw, this map puts to rest the ridiculous “Coal Cars” talking point.

Nearly all the states that buy most of the EVs right now, have little to no coal in their grid mix.

As I wrote elsewhere, the effective coal fraction driving current American EVs is likely <10%.

Poor Mississippi it continues to be a majority poor segregated state.

Norway: > 30 PEVs per person. And most of them BEVs. Just sayin’.


30 PEV per person??? Think again. The marketshare of PEVs is around 30% and last year norway reached 1 BEV per 100 cars on the road.

Any state with 30 cars/person (BEV or not) makes something wrong or consists only of car collectors.

It is more than a little ironic that MS and LA – hardest hit by Katrina and arguably most vulnerable to climate change – are at the bottom of the list.

What I find odd is that New Jersey has a lot more EV’s then Vriginia but Vriginia is still holding a very clear lead in the number of quick chargers.

Outside of the DC-Richmond-Norfolk area we have a hard time even finding a dealer that will order an EV, much less stock any.

It would be interesting to see how many PEV models are available in each state.

Good point!

That would take the urban people & good public transport system out of equation.

Would be more helpful to see EVs relative to legacy cars. States with EV incentives and general environmental conscientiousness tend to also have more dense places with lower car ownership. DC is an extreme case represented here as its own state; only around half of the city’s households have even one car.

of course my state, Arkansas is tied for the bronze as the least adapting to EV’s.

In AZ 50% of plugin owners do it for the HOV lane access. It’s also ironic that our state ,AZ has one of the lowest gas taxes yet we import every drop.

In AZ we also have a super low registration cost of 100% electrics. That saves $500-1,000 a year but many don’t know about it.

With the exception of Georgia who had that ridiculously generous tax-credit, that is one heck of a red-state/blue-state polarization.

California Uber Alles!

Tennessee is a bit disappointing since they have the Nissan LEAF factory there.

Tennessee has a pretty high population. The nashville, Knoville, and Chattango area all have a pretty good charger network include a Super Charger stations. Memphis TN is a cesspool and there is virtually no infrastructure in that area with just a few Level 2 chargers at that is about it.

If New Mexico could get a solar network to charge EVs (fast charge) on the cheap for early adopters, and the range of $30k EVs started approaching 300mi. , then you are talking a huge potential uptake in the EV market, for a lot of would be ICE buyers. What a state wide experiment that would be!

Affordable quick charging, combined with ample range, facilitated by renewable energy (wind/solar with battery backup) could bring state wide investments that could pull in an expanding profitable business tax base.This formula, of reduced cost, would turn the tide for many ICE buyers on the EV fence. Oh, wait me thinks some car/!battery manufacturer just picked up a Solar Company to complete the above mentioned triangle. I hope that company realizes that affordable disruptive technology can have quite an effect on established buggy whip factories!