Map: Red For BEVs, Blue For PHEVs


Georgia sure does love them BEVs!  Well, with the state’s $5,000 credit now gone, we suspect that Georgia will turn less red in the coming months, but it’s clear from this map that the state was the leader of the nation in BEV adoption (versus PHEV).

The map comes to us via EVSE maker, ClipperCreek with this description:

“Plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) include both battery electric vehicles (BEVs) which run only on electricity, and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) which run on electricity and/or gasoline. Considering all PEVs within a state in 2014, the map below shows states with a greater share of BEVs in red and states with a greater share of PHEVs in blue. Those states where the BEVs and PHEVs are near 50/50 are a neutral color. Georgia had by far the highest percentage of BEVs (84%) of total PEVs. Generous state incentives for purchasing a BEV in Georgia likely account for this high percentage.”

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21 Comments on "Map: Red For BEVs, Blue For PHEVs"

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Kind of makes sense considering most of the blue states have very little charging infrastructure and long stretches of highway to get anywhere.

Your statement holds true for Arkansas. I have a 102 mile round trip every day. I can make that in a Volt if the chargers are down at work in the winter; however, I cannot make it in any BEV other than a Tesla.

Yep, the shades of the colors matches up well with current coverage of the Supercharger network!

Makes perfect sense to me. All the northern states prefer PHEVs. We have cold winters which are murder on BEVs’ range (my Leaf gets ~30 miles on a charge in sub-zero weather). Heat is expensive in a BEV. It’s pretty cheap in a PHEV – just fire up the engine and use it as a cogen (producing both useful heat and electricity).

To me, this is more about winter range than charging infrastructure.

As a Leaf owner in Georgia I kind of agree with you. Sub-zero weather, what’s that like anyway? 🙂

But fear not northern state BEV drivers. Thanks to global warming, those sub-zero days will soon be a thing of the past, even in your neighborhood! (tongue planted firmly in cheek)

Sub-zero basically means that any exposed skin will be frostbitten within 5 minutes. Less if there is any wind. It’s not for the faint of heart. It doesn’t usually get that cold here; February 2015 was actually the coldest month on record for much of the northeast. Still, I enjoy the cold. My joints are less forgiving than when I was younger, but it’s worth it to be submerged in the beauty of winter.

I grew up in PA, so yeah, I enjoy and appreciate 4 seasons that are relatively of equal duration.

However, I can see how it could be extremely cost-effective to live in a warm climate, such as the southern and western regions of the USA. You only need one wardrobe and a sweater (a good friend has lived in the Tampa area for years, where he owns no coats and only 1 light sweater). You get lots of sun along the southern and western US, so that AC load can be partially offset by PV solar. In most cases, you don’t need heat in the car (great for EVs) nor in the house (reduces need for combustion, like wood, coal, oil, nat gas, etc., that we northern folks use to heat our homes from September through April).

I hear you. My home certainly uses a lot of natural gas. Although I’m well below the NYS average household for both electricity and gas.

On the flip side, areas like the western US are highly dependant on water. I rarely have an issue with water – nature provides enough for me to have a lush green lawn and a productive vegetable garden / fruit orchard. Only on rare occasions do I have to supplement. I also recently learned that I use about 15% of the water as compared to the national average for a household.

I guess each region has its own balance of resources and needs. I know some are more intensive than others.

As you can see here, at 0 F, an EV loose only 10% more than the equivalent ICE.
And since 65% of the loss is from heating the cabin, we can say that with increased battery capacity, this 65% will melt rapidly, because the energy required to heat the cabin is a constant factor, and in time, BEVs will lose LESS efficiency in the cold than ICEs!

Point taken. Heating is definitely the range killer. Preheating helps, but not so much if you are running lots of short trips, allowing the car to cool off in between. But a larger battery won’t help the percentage loss on these short trips either. Really what helps is driving more miles in a single trip. Once the car is up to temperature, it takes far less energy to keep it there.

An excellent and eye-opening exercise on this very issue is to go to Tesla’s website and play with the Model S range interactive graphic. You select from a few speeds, a few outside temps, the two wheel sizes, and whether heat or AC is on/off:

scroll down almost to the bottom of the page.

Watch the changes in range when you leave everything else alone and only change exterior temperature. 32F and lower really nails range, and then when you toggle on the cabin heat, it plummets even more.

Increasing external temps improves mileage until you get to 90F. Turning on AC has only a modest negative effect on range.

Makes sense and will continue to make sense. Cold weather takes a big toll on electrics for a number of reasons, but the biggest reason is heating the cabin is a huge load. Volvo, when it released its electric car prototype, addressed the problem in a unique way by having a separate liquid fuel heater.

Too early to show preference, IMO. While I agree the north favors PHEV, there is too much noise from incentives, and limited state sales of BEVs, to point to trend.


Guessing the data source is ClipperCreek EVSE sales and a poll of customers asking of for BEV, or PHEV. The basic assumption would be that ClipperCreek EVSE sales are actually representative of the distribution of BEV and PHEV owners in each state. The two unknowns I see with this assumption are: 1) the number of PEV owners (both BEV & PHEV) that rely on just Level1 charging, and not piurchasong a Level2 (ie: is the ratio of PEV owners using Level1 the same as PEV owners using Level 2) 2) the likely hood of a particular model of owners purchasing a ClipperCreek EVSE vs another brand. eg: is the percentage of Model S owners buying a ClipperCreek EVSE the same as Volt owners? Overall the ClipperCreek data map appears to reflect the general trend in most states, but without knowing actual numbers of PEVs from state registerstions it is impossible to verify. State registration data could add another dimension by including the ratio of HEV (hybrid) vs. BEV & PHEVs. Thanks to ClipperCreek for sharing their data with us. Data like this is interesting as it changes each year base on EV model and policies per state. eg: 5 years… Read more »

Brian: I don’t believe PA is one of the ZEV states. We do offer a rebate for EV’s, but I am unaware of us being in the ZEV group. if that would get us some of the “compliance cars” I’d like it.


I find this an interesting map. Initial reaction is that states that are mostly northern or rural while states that are a mix of urban/rural AND in a milder climate (which is every non-rural state in the US save a few small New England states) are a mixed bag of BEV and PHEV. I think that fits with the geography really.

What would be interesting is a map of other parts of the world. For example, would the same dynamic be in play in Europe with the colder, more rural Nordic countries swinging PHEV and the warmer, mixed urban/rural Mediterranean countries either mixed or swinging BEV?

All the Model S owners in Norway would skew that, unless you put in a weighting factor proportional to incentives for BEV vs PHEV.

Indeed, it’s much as you’d expect. States with major urban concentrations, even if they are large states, will skew more towards BEVs than would otherwise be the case. Mild temps also are a factor in BEV take rates, and infrastructure as well. But big, cold and rural means PHEVs, at least until affordable long-range BEVs arrive.

The colors directly correlates to the incentives amount on the BEVs.

The less incentives there are, the “colder” the color it gets.

The more incentives there are for BEVs, the “hotter” the color it gets.

When incentives are more close between PHEV/BEV, the color is more neutral.

Conclusion, BEV sales are highly correlated to amount of incentives given.