Report: California On Track To Maybe Beat Target Of 1.5 Million ZEVs

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MAR 18 2018 BY MARK KANE 15

The target of 1.5 million ZEVs (Zero-Emission Vehicles) on California’s roads by 2025 is going to be meet or even exceeded, according to NEXT 10’s report titled “The Road Ahead for Zero-Emission Vehicles in California.”

The goal was set by Gov. Jerry Brown, who called for new goal now of 5 million ZEVs by 2030.

NEXT 10 is an independent nonpartisan organization that educates, engages and empowers Californians to improve the state’s future.

Currently, there are some 350,000 plug-in cars in California (337,483 were sold through the end of October 2017 according to NEXT 10), which is probably around 45% of total plug-in electric car sales in the U.S.

Zero-emission car in California – cumulative (source:

Zero-emission car sales in California (source:

Zero-emission car sales in California (source:

Sales growth suggest that 1.5 million will be met on time. However, the report indicates that the charging infrastructure is lagging behind plug-in car sales.

With more than 16,500 public available charging station within the state, California is far from 125,000-220,000 that will be needed by 2020, according to the NEXT 10.

Interesting is this comparison with other big markets:

Zero-emission car sales in California (source:

More highlights from NEXT 10:

“ZEV adoption isn’t just accelerating in California. In 2017, global passenger electric vehicle sales reached about 1 million, up from half a million in 2015. Looking ahead, the report finds that electric vehicles could be as ubiquitous in 2040 as smartphones are today. However, California is lagging behind when it comes to ensuring its charging infrastructure keeps pace with the growth of its electric vehicle fleet. California has 16,549 public and nonresidential private-sector charging outlets – most in the nation by far but only 0.05 public charging outlets per ZEV. Studies show that California will need 125,000 to 220,000 charging ports from private and public sources by 2020 in order to provide adequate infrastructure.

The Road Ahead for Zero-Emission Vehicles in California: Market Trends & Policy Analysis analyzes California’s ZEV market, including historic sales, costs, technology trends, forecasts and challenges. It also reviews policies and implications that could affect future market growth.

Highlights of the report:

  • California 2017 ZEV sales increased 29.1% over 2016, while U.S. 2017 ZEV sales grew by 28.8% over 2016.
  • China leads the world in ZEV sales – sales of EVs increased 70% from 2015 to 2016 with cumulative EV sales reaching 650,000, overtaking the U.S. for the first time.

Market Trends: Current trends suggest that cost, range, selection and charging-time barriers to EV adoption will continue to diminish, while costs come down and technology improves.

Total Cost of Ownership:

  • An analysis of 17 popular 2017 models found ZEVs can already be price-competitive without government incentives
  • Based on 12,330 miles driven per year, the pure battery electric Nissan Leaf has lower five-year and 10-year life cycle costs than the internal combustion Hyundai Elantra and the plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt, even without the federal government incentive


  • The most expensive component of a ZEV is the battery. From 2010 to 2016, average battery cost per kilowatt-hour has dropped 74 percent from over $1,000 to $273/KwH while energy density has improved five percent per year. Bloomberg New Energy Finance estimates battery cost will decline by almost 10 percent until 2025, when ZEVs will reach price parity with ICE vehicles.


  • Battery range has been increasing annually. In 2017, Tesla Model S had the farthest EPA-rated range for an all-electric vehicle at 315 miles.


  • 150 different plug-in hybrid and pure electric vehicles are available worldwide, with that number set to rise to over 240 by 2021.
  • China leads with over 75 EV models, while in the top California cities for EV penetration, auto dealers offer 25 to 30 different models.


  • Infrastructure: From 2011 to 2016, the number of stations for charging electric vehicles increased by 1,138% in the U.S. In 2016 there was one charging plug for about every 6 electric cars.
  • Fueling time: Tesla’s Superchargers can recharge EVs to 80% in 20 to 40 minutes. Others fully charge EVs in 3 to 4 hours, while slower charging points take around 6 to 8 hours.
  • Maintenance: ZEVs require significantly less time and money spent on maintenance because they have only about 20 moving parts – about 1,980 fewer moving parts than traditional ICE vehicles.

Public Policy:

  • California and nine other states are moving to accelerate ZEV adoption. Eight states including California signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) committing to bring 3.3 million ZEVs on the road by 2025.
  • As of October 2017, California had fulfilled 22.5% of the MoU goal, followed by Oregon with 10%. California appears to be the only state on track to fulfill its MoU goals.
  • In January 2018, Assemblyman Phil Ting introduced a bill that would ban gas-powered cars by 2040.”

Full report: The Road Ahead for Zero-Emission Vehicles in California


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15 Comments on "Report: California On Track To Maybe Beat Target Of 1.5 Million ZEVs"

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Why are PHEVs included in “zero emission vehicles”?

Exactly. I call BS as well.

Frankly I am tired of this MYTH that plug-ins are electric driven even most of the time. I know Volt owners who admit they don’t own a home charger and rarely charge the thing. And that is for a relatively long range electric drive only car. With plug in hybrids, its probably far less, and the dirty (literally) dirty secret is that it is likely many of the plug in hybrid owners in CA traded in their old non-plug in for that car. Why? Yellow sticker cars (plain hybrids) can no longer qualify for the carpool lane, but plug in hybrids can. Thus a green sticker car whether you actually plug in or not.

About 200 mpg on the Volt for me at 29000 miles. Rarely use gas except a couple long trips. I averaged 42 mpg on 1000 mile trip. Cold days require some gas.

Yeah – and I am sustaining myself on just a slice of cheese per day if I do my calorie budget the way you do your MPG calculation.

(Knowing that some people don’t get it, here it is with a teaspoon. You looked at how many gallons of fuel you’ve used and how far you’ve driven. So you completely ignored the electricity you consumed. I did the same thing with my food, counting only the cheese and ignoring the other food I eat. You got a meaningless MPG number, I got a meaningless “fuel efficiency” measure for myself. MPG is an efficiency measure, and because you have a hybrid you must calculate MPG-e instead. You do it by measuring the amount of electricity drawn from the socket and convert to gallon equivalents of fuel, then add in gallons of actual fuel, then divide the mileage by that sum. If you are only interested in carbon emissions, not efficiency, that’s fine – but you still have to include the electricity – and the result then is expressed in grams of CO2-equivalents per mile, *not* MGP.)

“Frankly I am tired of this MYTH that plug-ins are electric driven even most of the time. I know Volt owners who admit they don’t own a home charger and rarely charge the thing.”

Heaven save us from EV “purists” who want to throw PHEV drivers out of the club! 🙁

On the website, thousands of Volts have their statistics automatically uploaded. The fleet average of EV miles for these cars varies between about 67-71%, depending on the season.

Clearly that is well over half. Unless you’re claiming these statistics are being faked, then your suggestion or assertion that it’s a “MYTH” that Volts are driven in EV mode most of the time… is simply wrong.

And your anecdotes about knowing a few Volt drivers who — according to you — never charge the thing, is absolutely no evidence that this is the average.

We EV advocates should embrace the full spectrum of plug-in EVs, not weaken and splinter our own movement by fratricidal arguments about which types of plug-in EVs are “real” EVs and which are not!

Up the EV revolution!

Plenty doable if Tesla isn’t slacking off so much (or incompetent). Make 500,000 Tesla 3/Y a year, and it’d take less than 3 years (2021).

Only if Tesla could achieve that (unlikely) and they would all go to California (not going to happen).

Anyway – Tesla will probably only hit 500,000 vehicles per year production in 2020, or 2021.

and you base tesla production on what?
To me it looks like they continue to improve constantly.

2020 would be a 500% increase in 3 years so it would seem a bit of constant improvement is already built into a number like 500,000/year.

Fueling time: Tesla’s Superchargers can recharge EVs to 80% in 20 to 40 minutes. Others fully charge EVs in 3 to 4 hours, while slower charging points take around 6 to 8 hours

All EVs with DC rapid charging port can be charged to 80% within 20 to 40 minutes. (even though the range gained is smaller)
Another BS article from someone, who knows only Tesla EVs and nothing else.

That’s what happens when people don’t read my blog. SparkEV is the only car to date that deliver 80% in 20 minutes, and the quickest charging production EV in history and remains so today. See this blog post.

That looks more like “what happens when SparkEV doesn’t read the comment he is replying to”. It clearly says “in 20 to 40 minutes”. Hence, even if Sparky is the only box that can do it in 20 minutes (and it isn’t – the Soul and Ioniq both take 70 kW happily; you cannot get that in practice but it’s not the car that is the limiting factor) it is a bit of a stretch to imply the comment is incorrect.

The Ionic was capable of doing 10% to 80% charging in 15 nim. Expect more to come.

Sigh. Americans and their compulsive need to put a definite spin on absolutely everything!! Zero emission vehicles? Really?!? Who do you imagine you’re kidding? A BEV is *potentially* a nearly zero emissions vehicle IF you only consider use and IF you run exclusively on emission-free energy. Actual emission-free energy doesn’t exist, not even if you only mean CO2 equivalents and ignore all other emissions. Hydropower comes close – but even a hydro station doesn’t last forever and putting one up without any emissions is ridiculously unrealistic. Solar panels live just a few decades, and their manufacture and distribution do cause some emissions… And the production of a BEV is itself causing significant emissions. Perhaps 10%-20% of what an average car will emit from burning fossil fuel over its life (and about 15% more than the production of a comparable ICE vehicle). It is a big improvement, but it certainly isn’t “zero emissions”. So WHY insist on stupid misleading names like this?!? All it does is undermine the efforts to convince the (many!) ignoramuses who doubt that EVs are not just a scam..! Of course this is the least of the problem. Calling PHEV “zero emissions” and defining PHEV as anything… Read more »

Oh, why stop there, Terawatt, in advocating impossibly high standards? Even if the EV could be magically made without the manufacturing process generating any greenhouse gases, the driver and passengers in the car still would not be “zero emission” because human beings emit CO2 when we breathe!

First you want to redefine the term “EV” to apply only to BEVs, and now you’re trying to redefine the term “ZEV” to be so restrictive that no car could ever possibly achieve that standard.

Terawatt, I get the impression you must live inside a plastic bubble, to ensure that the messy and imperfect real world will never, ever intrude on your OCD perfectionism.