U.S. Electric Vehicle Density Map

DEC 11 2014 BY MARK KANE 45

Welcome to California...The  "Plugged In State"

Welcome to California…The “Plugged In State”

Today in Energy recently released an electric vehicle density map for the US, which shows how many plug-in cars are registered per 1,000 registrations.

The leaders are California, Washington and Hawaii exceeding 3/1,000 (California already is at 5/1,000), while Oregon, Maryland and Georgia are between 2 and 3 per 1,000.

California lead also in other rank, as almost half of all plug-in registrations comes from California.

Average share for plug-in car sales was at 0.4% in 2012, 0.6% in 2013, and 0.7% so far this year, so the numbers of 0.1-0.3%of  total registrations will go up.

Today in Energy press release titled “California Leads The Nation In The Adoption Of Electric Vehicles” posted below:

Several states offer tax incentives to reduce the upfront cost of PEVs to consumers. These incentives are in addition to a federal (nationwide) tax credit, which ranges from $2,500 to $7,500 depending on battery capacity and gross vehicle weight. Examples of incentives include the following:

  • California offers rebates of up to $2,500 for EVs that run only on a charge, and $1,500 for PHEVs, which can also run on gasoline.
  • Washington has exempted EVs from the state’s 6.5% sales and use tax. However, the incentive does not apply to the purchase of PHEVs. While PHEV ownership is higher than that of EVs for the United States, the reverse is true in Washington.
  • Georgia offers a zero emissions vehicle (ZEV) tax credit of 20% of the cost, up to $5,000. ZEVs include vehicles powered by electricity or hydrogen fuel cells.
  • Maryland offers a tax credit of $125 for each kilowatthour of battery capacity of an EV, up to $3,000. Many EVs have a battery capacity sufficient to obtain the full credit. PHEVs have a lower capacity and therefore secure a lower credit; the state estimates that a consumer purchasing a plug-in Toyota Prius would get a credit of $550.
  • The District of Columbia has a tax credit of 50% of the incremental cost of an EV, up to $19,000. The District also exempts EVs from its excise tax, which varies from 6% to 8% depending on vehicle weight.

Some utility companies offer special electricity rate structures for PEV owners to incentivize vehicle charging during off-peak hours, generally in the evening. For instance, DTE Energy in Michigan offers customers discounted electricity rates at off-peak hours if they install a 240-volt Level 2 charger, which powers a PEV more quickly than a 120-volt Level 1 charger. The ratepayer must also install a separate meter dedicated to the PEV. Customers also have the option of paying a flat $40 monthly fee for charging.

California implemented a ZEV mandate that requires automobile companies to produce for sale a certain percentage of zero emission vehicles, such as electric and hydrogen fuel cell. By 2025, approximately 15% of all new light-duty vehicles sold in the state must be either electric or fuel-cell powered.

Nine states have agreed to follow California’s ZEV mandate: Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont. These ten states represent close to one-quarter of the U.S. light-duty vehicle market.

Source: Today in Energy

Categories: General

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45 Comments on "U.S. Electric Vehicle Density Map"

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John in AA

It’s interesting to me that Michigan even placed, considering that there aren’t any incentives here. I wonder how much it’s driven by GM pushing the Volt on their home turf.


There are a lot of plug-in drivers that work for GM and Ford.


It would be interesting to have the PHEV only stats. I’m guessing Michigan would fare better. No CARB BEVs in Michigan, and not too many Leafs.

John in AA

“Not too many Leafs” based on registration data or personal observation? If I was going to go based solely on what I see driving around Ann Arbor, I’d say we were awash with Leafs. Not to say that’s actually true, just that where you do your observation matters a lot.


Based on my observations and also on Michigan’s colder climate and lack of incentives.

AA is an anomaly to the rest of the state in regards to cars. You will always see more foreign cars in AA.

Eric Cote

There are similarly no incentives in NY state, at least in the form of tax credits or rebates.


NYS had (has?) a tax credit on EVSEs, although I don’t know how much that affects sales, if at all.

The state also offers other incentives such as a 10% discount on the Thruway tolls and single-occupancy access to HOV lanes on the LIE (which can be significant if you commute on Long Island).


So far, it’s definitely been a Left Coast phenomenon… with a few notable additions.


Left coast is best coast. 🙂


Yes, as long as you are talking about coasts, but overall the mid-west is the best.

George Bower

Yeh if you can afford it. 🙂


Az wouldn’t be far behind if it weren’t for the battery degradation issue.


…if it weren’t for the Leaf’s battery degradation issue


I wonder how many Arizonians erroneously associate that issue with all plug-ins. I wouldn’t be surprised if many people are afraid to buy a car like the Volt, even though that car babies the battery.


Georgia is the outlier that really stands out. But that is because of a very generous incentive. Colorado kinda fits there too.


The funny thing is very few people know about the Colorado incentive, which is why it is so low.

Part of the problem is that the Colorado incentive is great for purchase (a bit over $5k for a new LEAF) but only so-so for a lease – and the actual lease benefit is unique to each lease and a complicated calculation. During 2014 some Nissan dealers have begun promoting the Colorado incentive, but only a few, and the fact that most EVs are still leased is a big part of the reason.

Add in the fact that the Volt, LEAF, and Tesla are the only readily available EVs in Colorado (you can order a FFE or a Smart EV if you know what you want up front), and that’s why Colorado is still behind the others.

Rob Stark

But Tesla is only allowed one store in Colorado.They placed it Denver. Not allowed second store in Boulder, which would really help.

Not just Tesla sales but bring attention to all BEVs because Tesla is a halo vehicle for all BEVs.

Josh Bryant

Tesla’s first store was in Boulder. But when George Blankenship came on board, he switched to the high traffic mall model.

They closed the Boulder store when the opened up the Denver location.

ground gainer

The other awesome thing about the Colorado rebate is that you can get it on used evs registered in Colorado for the first time. Is prorated but if the vehicle has a large battery like a Tesla or rav4ev you still get the full 6k.

Doug B

The i3 is also readily available and you can get a Ford Focus EV if you ask nice. With a little more knowledge of the incentives available I think EVs will take off big in Colorado as many homes are 2+ car owners, so the range issue is not so big.

George Bower

Yeh , if you give a bunch of rednecks enough money they will buy anything.


Is Georgia going Democrat?
Because, clearly EV cars and JOBS go to DEMOCRATIC States. No wonder they do better.


And this is why it will take a very long time for EVs to become mainstream.

One question for folks here. Do you think 2015 will be above or below a 20% year over year growth from 2014?

2014 over 2013 is about 25% growth for the US plug-in market. I am trying to determine if next year will break 20% growth. No new Volt just yet, no long-range Leaf just yet, Model X delayed, the new models aren’t really nation-wide yet.


I’m proud of us here in the frozen north, buying EVs despite the fact that most aren’t even sold here, and the ones that are sold here are often not well thought out for winter. (Low range in winter, RWD, difficult to defrost windows etc).

I’m really hoping (and do think) you’ll see a bump if/when we get more FWD and especially AWD options not to mention CUVs and SUVs.

We’ll get 20% YOY growth IF Audi, BMW get their FWD options to non CARB markets and we’ll see much higher growth if Tesla and Mitsubishi can get the X and Outlander here in a reasonable time period.

Mark Hovis

I think you kinda answer your question Bonair with the new models. IMO, I think 2015 will be a lack luster year, while 2016-2017 is where EVs experience the six year effect that HEVs did. Regardless, they want happen as fast as us grass roots starters would like, and yet they are most definitely here to stay.


I agree that 2017 is where it’s at. (Maybe 2018 if we are unlucky)
But dint count 2015 out! A new Volt, the Outlander, and the X will be just the shot in the arm we need!

Unfortunately it’s looking more and more like end 2015. But it’ll happen.

I still foresee Outlander flying off the shelves if they can figure out their winter AER algorithm problem. And obviously if they can get the darn thing here.

Steve Strange

Yes – I think 2015 will be closer to flat than to 20% growth, given all the long-in-the-tooth models and still limited range on most. But the other reason is low gas prices — this takes a bit away from the financial arguments for EVs.

George Bower

It will suck.
Gas is too cheap.
But if we keep ’em begging they will like it even more when the next generation of EV’s comes out.

Next gen will be a triple play:

Volt, Leaf and maybe a few years later a Tesla Model 3. 🙂


I agree, cheap gas and old Volt will be strong headwinds holding gains to 10% or less. Upside can come if GM promotes and builds enough new gen Volts along with a good qty of Model X deliveries in 2015. There are a couple of new models scheduled to come on or just introduced to the market too. It is looking more like 2016 for good growth and 2018 should be huge.

leaf owner

Another thing is many of these cars will be coming off their 2 year leases (Leaf especially) and how many people will re-up for a new lease and what will all the off-lease EVs do to the market price. I have a 2013 Leaf — but I opted for the 3-year lease. I’m 90+ % sure I will lease/buy another EV (so I will be a 2016 stat) — just don’t know which one yet.

Josh Bryant

I promise to actually put together my sales prediction piece this year, so everyone can battle it out the scenarios in the comments. I got swamped this year and couldn’t finish putting it together in time.

My initial guess is right around the 20% number. There is really only two “new models” for 2015, Volt 2.0 and AWD Model S. i3 gets a full year and we will get more and more PHEV options for new manufacturers.

You also can’t forget that every year there is more leases coming to an end. The incentives are all still in play and pricing is better than when those leases started. The consumer loyalty scores for plug-ins are extremely high, so most of these people will probably be leasing a new plug-in.


My guess was 20% considering the low oil prices and the volt getting a next gen at the end of the year.

2016 should be a much bigger growth bump with the gen II volt, tesla model X, outlander phev selling in volume.

Eric Cote

Thanks Mark! I’d love to see a similar map with more precision/density coloring, though I don’t know if that level of data is even available.

As in, how many vehicles per 10,000 people, and then paint the whole map a shade of colors. 😉


I look at this and think Nextera may be onto something with electric consumption, in Hawaii. 2-3 out of a 1,000 is only the beginning. They know wind, solar, fossil and are even talking about an LNG import facility. How long might a list of what can be done, for less than $.35/kwh, be?

George Bower

I live in Arizona and I have owned a Volt for the last three years.

I didn’t think we were doing that well cuz I hardly ever see one out here at Lake Roosevelt.


Steve Strange

I’m surprised to see MD in the dark-ish blue color. When I visit there, I never see any EVs! I check out some of the public charging stations just for fun, and they are always vacant. I was there just last Spring.


It is so true in California.

You can’t drive more than 1 minute on the hwy around SF Bay Area without seeing at least 1 LEAF or 1 Volt or 1 Tesla…

Sometimes you will see multiple LEAF/Volt/Model S on a drive. I don’t even get surprised when I see a Fiat500e or eRav4 or E-Fit anymore. The Ford energi models are getting popular as well. Same goes with Prius Plugins. Even the i3 is no longer a rare sighting.

The FFE is still a ghost though. So is ELR ( I do see them about once per week). Spark EV and Fisker Karma is pretty rare these days. But I have seen few Coda lately…

Still waiting to see my first e-Golf and Soul EV…


This is one case where the old saw: “As goes California so goes the nation,” where I could wish that were true. California’s reputation as trend setter is well deserved.

leaf owner

Not a trend — it’s the law….

Greg Cormier

Plenty of people in the Mid-South would love to go electric if it were available to us. I would have to drive 400 miles just to test drive a Leaf. (not my first choice) I get so frustrated reading about the “California only ” cars! I at least want a chance at a Kia,Fiat, or VW EV!


Buy a Volt


I wonder which state has fewer, Texas or Pennsylvania?

leaf owner

PA – no contest. There are regions in TX where you will find decent concentrations (like Austin) — not in PA…..

Josh Bryant

Texas by a landslide.

I live in Houston and see Volts, LEAFs, and Tesla’s regularly. The comparison isn’t really fair because Texas has so many more vehicles than PA.

Texas has cheap electricity and now a $2500 state rebate (for all vehicles not named Tesla). The % might not be high, but the total numbers are meaningful.


You know, in addition to the differences between the states'(CARB)incentives, there also exist the very real differences in performance of BEV’s in warm weather versus those in cold weather. Driving even a smaller BEV(eg Mitsubishi I-MiEV)is a lot more doable than driving that same car in the Northeast. As we all know, the range hit on a BEV in 30 degree F weather is significant. It reduced my I-MiEV from 80 miles average drive in warm weather to below 40 in cold weather(using heater).San Diego or SoCal is a great place to drive an EV, any EV, in my opinion. Besides the improved range you have great incentives and much more vibrant charging infrastructure. The differences are pronounced, and all of them contribute to the population of EV’s in any one area.