California Dominates US Plug-In Market

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon

A shock that may come to no one among the B&B, California leads the way in sales of plug-ins with just over 100,000 units sold in the past four years.

Bloomberg reports the figures, accounting for 40 percent of the plug-in market, were compiled by the California Plug-In Electric Vehicle Collaborative from data gathered between December 2010 and August 2014 by the California Air Resources Board, and Baum & Associates. Baum also reported overall U.S. sales checked-in at around 250,000 units over the same period.

Though California has 40 percent of the plug-in market covered — thanks in part to legislation pushing automakers to bring more ZEVs to market — the milestone is a long way from the goal of 1.5 million plug-in vehicles by 2025, let alone the Obama administration’s target of 1 million such units by the end of 2015.

As for the present, Baum & Associates founder Alan Baum — who says 300,000 total units will hit the road by the end of this year — believes California’s stake in the market will likely shrink “as certain mass-market models that were initially sold only in state are introduced more broadly across the country.”

Cameron Aubernon
Cameron Aubernon

Seattle-based writer, blogger, and photographer for many a publication. Born in Louisville. Raised in Kansas. Where I lay my head is home.

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  • Kendahl Kendahl on Sep 10, 2014

    Pure EVs will be second or third cars, but not only cars, until recharging times get near the time to refuel with gasoline or the like. Chicago to Denver is a long day's drive with a gas powered vehicle. It's two days or more with an EV because you spend more time recharging than driving. For a person who only needs one car, pure EVs don't make financial sense unless they are so cheap to buy that their purchase price plus running costs are lower than the running costs alone for a gas powered car.

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    • Dal20402 Dal20402 on Sep 10, 2014

      If you're somewhere where power is super-cheap (like, say, the PNW, where I live) you may save more than enough in EV running costs to rent a gas car on the one occasion every year when you take a road trip. My wife and I have two cars, and one of them could easily be an EV if there were one on the market that I liked enough and could afford.

  • PandaBear PandaBear on Sep 10, 2014

    It is all about the HOV stickers, don't you know?

  • Jkross22 Jkross22 on Sep 10, 2014

    Take away the subsidies and get back with me on the impact on sales.

    • Furiouschads Furiouschads on Sep 11, 2014

      take away the oil subsidies and get back to me on ICE advantage (subsidies like aircraft carriers in the gulf, iraq war, iranian revolution, 9/11, depletion deduction, intangible drilling costs, pollution externalities, rolling coal to atmosphere instead of into cab)

  • Burger Boy Burger Boy on Sep 10, 2014

    Having lived in Southern California briefly with average highway speeds around 15mph, I would think that range anxiety would keep most out of plug-in cars. They must have a commuter car and a "Ralph's" car.