City-By-City EV Adoption Rated In California For Top 30 Cities, The Highest At 18%

SEP 26 2016 BY MARK KANE 11

Ford Focus Electric

Ford Focus Electric

An interesting new report presenting an analysis of EV uptake rates in 30 California cities with the highest rates of EV penetration was put out recently by the ICCT,

California is one of the US regions with state incentives on top of $7,500 federal tax credit, but also very important to EV adoption in the state is the charging infrastructure, and various other local factors like simply a plug-in model’s availability.

It’s pretty meaningful that EV market share in the top 30 cities in California varies from 6 to 18%. With 18% being nearly 1 out of every 5 new cars sold Saratoga.

This study analyzes electric vehicle markets at the city level in California in 2015. Along with an analysis of city-level electric vehicle uptake, the authors assess public charging infrastructure, model availability, and other factors to identify leading-edge electric vehicle markets in California. The study also includes a detailed analysis of the 30 California cities with the highest rates of electric vehicle penetration, examining how local organizations like regional and city governments, utilities, businesses, and nonprofits are promoting electric vehicles through a wide array of activities.

The analysis finds a link between electric vehicle uptake and many underlying factors in a multivariate regression analysis. Electric vehicle model availability, public electric vehicle charging network, local promotion activities for electric vehicles (e.g., outreach events, informational websites, electric car sharing services, and government and fleet programs) and median income in each city were found to be significantly correlated with new electric vehicle sales share.

Based on their analysis, the authors conclude:

  1. Comprehensive policy support is helping support the electric vehicle market. Consumers in California benefit from federal and state electric vehicle incentives, as well as from persistent local action and extensive charging infrastructure. The Zero-Emission Vehicle program has increased model availability and provided relative certainty about vehicle deployment that local stakeholders can bank on. The major metropolitan areas in California had 3 to 13 times the average U.S. electric vehicle uptake in 2015.
  2. Local promotion activities are encouraging the electric vehicle market. The 30 cities in California with the highest electric vehicle uptake have seen the implementation of abundant, wide-ranging electric vehicle promotion programs involving parking, permitting, fleets, utilities, education, and workplace charging. These cities tend to be smaller, but Oakland and San Jose are also within the high electric vehicle uptake cities. There were twelve cities with electric vehicle market shares of new vehicles from 10% to 18% in 2015 including Berkeley, Manhattan Beach, and many throughout Silicon Valley.
  3. The electric vehicle market grows with its charging infrastructure. The 30 California cities with the highest electric vehicle uptake have, on average, five times the public charging infrastructure per capita as the U.S. average. In addition, workplace charging availability in the San Jose metropolitan area is far higher than elsewhere. Increasingly, major public electric power utilities and workplaces are expanding the public charging network to further address consumer con dence and convenience.
Electric vehicle share of new vehicles and public charging availability, with the 30 California cities with the highest electric vehicle uptake labeled (source: ICCT)

Electric vehicle share of new vehicles and public charging availability, with the 30 California cities with the highest electric vehicle uptake labeled (source: ICCT)

Full report: Leading edge of electric vehicle market development in the United States: An analysis of California cities

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11 Comments on "City-By-City EV Adoption Rated In California For Top 30 Cities, The Highest At 18%"

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Very interesting. And great to see many places are on the verge of the mainstream. Once ten percent or so of new sales are EVs for a couple of years, they become plentiful enough that lots of people are exposed to them, become aware of the advantages, and become likely to consider it for their own next car.

It’d be awesome to see a follow-up in 6 and 12 months!

Definitely a correlation to affluence here. Saratoga tops the list. My relatives live there. Their 1970 tract home is pretty average looking, yet every house on that street is about $2.5 million!

Specifically, San Francisco Bay Area/California affluence. Note only five of the 30 cities are from southern California. None from Sacramento or the Central Valley. Buying an EV is both a financial and a local cultural decision.

Yes, so from that perspective and also considering the tech and environmental creeds the numbers are disappointingly low.

I live in the Menlo Park, Palo Alto, and Menlo Park area. You can’t swing a dead cat without hitting an EV. Usually a Tesla but LEAFs, Volts, and BMW i3s are also big.

Whoops, Los Altos. Not MP twice!

What’s been happening in central Vriginia lately is that I will see a Tesla or leaf or BMWi3 every other day. some times even two or three times a day.

Also the local BMW dealership got the new 2017 BMWi3 in stock that goes 117 miles on a charge with the back up gas motor.

Interesting report.
More interesting IMO is the total EV marketshare for California as a whole, so not just affluent small towns are included. That let’s one see how the various factors work out (CARB rules, incentives, electricity prices, solar issues, other benefits (HOV stickers). charging availability):
For 2015, EV marketshare was 3.1% (1.7% BEVs, 1.4% PHEVs).

If someone has the numbers for H1 2016, please post them.

SparkEV-Fiat500-Leased - M3 Reserved - Bolt- TBD

With actual reasonably affordable Bolt and distance— expect Central Valley to uptick on this with their generous EV credits.

no San Diego love?

Decently priced cars with acceptable range (Bolt EV, Model 3, LEAF G2) and available infrastructure, those factors will make EVs take off. The 100 milers are cars for enthusiasts, people who accept big sacrifices for the greater good. With 200+ mile cars for not much more money than ICE vehicles will open up a much larger market. HOV stickers and other perks are nice but I don’t think they are that important. I think that coming generation of cars will make a huge impact on the market. I think by 2020 there should be around 5-10% market share for EVs nationwide, surely in California 40% or more.

Hey Someone out there, thanks for the compliment, I guess it’s nice to be credited with sacrificing for the greater good. The truth is that I drive an EV because it’s CHEAP! I bought a used one in 2012 and at less than 40k mi. it has passed the return on investment line, counting gas, ICE maintenance and lower cost electricity at night. One of these days it will catch on that EV’s aren’t just for the affluent, but also for cheapskates like me.