San Diego Now Has More EVs Per Capita Than Any Other US City


Just Plug In and Drive

Just Plug In and Drive

The hotbed for electric vehicles is now San Diego, California.

San Diego Gas and Electric Plug In Prius

San Diego Gas and Electric Plug In Prius

According to San Diego Gas and Electric, the city of San Diego now has more EVs per capita than any other city in the US.

Unfortunately, San Diego Gas and Electric didn’t provide us with a figure for the amount of EVs registered there, so all we know is that San Diego leads all cities in regards to EVs per capita.

Back in August, Nissan listed San Diego as the nation’s #7 market for LEAF sales.  Again, no sales figure was provided, so there’s not much info we can glean from this.

Is there any usable data we can glean from any of this?

Perhaps not, but at least when you’re asked which city in the US has more EVs per capita than anywhere else, you can definitively answer with San Diego.

Of interest Smart City San Diego noted in August some figures on EV adoption in their city stating:

“As of August 2013, San Diego County is home to over 5,000 electric vehicles, 1,500 charging stations, and over 40 clean transportation companies. Smart City San Diego is committed to helping San Diego become America’s Finest “Plug-In” Ready City by facilitating the expansion of a public electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure that ensures the safe, reliable and efficient integration of EV charging loads with the power grid.”

(Hat tip to Alan C)

Categories: General


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13 Comments on "San Diego Now Has More EVs Per Capita Than Any Other US City"

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Go go SoCal! 😀

I expect Pacific Gas & Electric (which has its HQ in San Francisco) to retort this press release within minutes, lol

Yeah, I seriously doubt San Diego’s statement and wonder what data it was based on.

Here are some possible competitors: SF, Seattle, Honolulu, maybe even Atlanta… and this is just among major cities.

There wasn’t crap (pronounced krdrahp) for plug-ins in LA. (at least compared to my typical EV searches)

I would bet their numbers come from people who’ve registered/reported their EVs to the utility. I don’t know this for certain, but unless the utility is pouring over the DMV’s registrations, I don’t know how they’d know actual numbers around the country. For instance, I have an EV, but have not told PG&E, because I also have solar and thus the Solar net metering rate structure I have is better for me than the EV rate structure. Thus, I have no reason to tell PG&E that I have an EV. Not hiding the fact, just no point in telling them, and I’m not sure how they’d log that anyway if they’re not changing my rate structure. I will note as has been pointed out on many a solar blog, that EVs are the one bright spot in the foreseeable future for the utilities. Solar will start to become a big problem for them due to the offset in peak production vs. peak use (refer to the infamous “duck’s head” daily energy profile). But EVs are a huge energy consumer, and it looks like most will be sucking down electrons when the distribution network loads are at their lowest tiers.

I have used my SmartMeter data to calculate my annual energy cost on all the relevant PG&E residential rates with the following results:
E-1 (tiered, non-time-of-use) $1,469
E-6 (tiered, TOU) $1,129
E-9A (tiered, TOU, EV) $817
EV-A (flat, TOU, EV) $837

Those are the full year true-up costs for my whole house and charging my RAV4 EV. I have a 4.32kW DC PV system. So, you would be well advised to see if your assumptions about which rate schedule is best are actually true. I was surprised by the difference between E-6 and the EV schedules because the time periods on E-6 give much bigger negative numbers. However, the Off-Peak prices on the EV schedules cannot be beat. When I get kicked off E-9, the experimental EV rate, I will definitely go to EV, not E-6.

More detail here:

THAT is fascinating. Thanks for that post and info. I think we’ll have to also factor in how much EV driving we’re doing (not a lot; she drives like 10-12 miles/day); that may reduce the value of the EV plan…unless we get another EV for me!

But seriously, I had no idea it could be lower on an EV rate. Perhaps it’s because on the E6 plan there’s no peak in the winter, and thus you’re losing that value of the net metering component? But then again, your peak/partial peak goes way later on the EV plan, so you’d better not start turning on a bunch of stuff when you get home.

Honestly, I find the entire thing both frustrating and fascinating. I’ll head over to your post info and think about how I might want to automate all this…. you rock!

There’s probably some small town somewhere, with 1 guy with an EV, that beat’s the #. However they did say “city” and not town/village/etc.

I used to live in a town of under 100 people and there were 2 plug ins there. My Imiev and a plug in prius. That was in late 2012. Maybe we had the record then??

Based on what I’ve seen(as a resident),I’m not surprised at all.

It would be interesting to compare “EV vs. population by zip-code” across the U.S. (At least EV registeration data for the Top-5 EV states)

Expecting San Diego county may have some competition from Portland, OR. With half the population (~600,000 vs ~1.3 million) , I believe they have more than 2500 EVs? btw: Did San Diego include the 300 Car2Go rental EVs in their count, or just privately owned EVs?

I doubt San Diego is #1 per capita. Portland is consistently in the top 5 for Leaf sales this year and last, yet is a much smaller city than the others in the top 5. San Diego isn’t even in the top 5!

For registrations per 100,000 residents, this list had Portland 4th in the world, and top in the U.S. Funny thing, I don’t even see San Diego on the list:

Chargepoint comes up with a best cities for EV’s list that is based on sales and charging stations, but it is partially based off there own chargers. PDX is less represented by Chargepoint. There are plenty of chargers, its just that there are a couple other companies that are way more common than Chargepoint. On a per capita basis Portland has people covered for chargers
(if you’re not only looking at Chargepoint owned chargers).

Seriously doubt this info from the utility is right. If it isn’t Portland, I could imagine it being Honolulu or maybe SF. Not San Diego.

Other than the Leaf sales data, what else could be used to collect this info? Not all utilities have special rate plans for households with EVs. Registering an EV or Plug in is no different in some locations.

I like how Nissan gives info on their top markets. Anyone know if when they do that, they are looking at the metro area market or the city? There is a less of a difference in population when comparing the city limits of cities like SF, Seattle and Portland than when you compare the metro population. If Nissan’s numbers are for the city limits, then I think SF wins hands down for per capita Leaf ownership. If the numbers are for the metro area, then I’d guess Honolulu or PDX.

I wouldn’t put Atlanta up there, because it came in at #3 this year, but I don’t think it was up there the year before, and I don’t think it was one of the initial launch markets.

Must. Get. More. Data.