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3 Reasons Why EV cars are popular in California, but not in US

25 Sep 2016
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3 Reasons Why EV cars are popular in California, but not in US

The International Council of Transportation has published recently a very interesting analysis of the California electric market. It provided a great overview of the effects of different policies and promotional activities in effect there through 2015, as well as lessons for other locations.

This analysis was based around city-level data on electric vehicles for 30 different cities, including adoption rates, public charging infrastructure availability, model availability, promotional efforts, incentives, etc. Electric vehicle adoption rates in many Californian cities are much higher than elsewhere in the country, and California as a whole is home to about half of all US EV sales.


  • New electric cars shares and model availability in California cities in 2015

  • Electric vehicle sales in U.S. though 2010 to 2015

As a summary to these graphics shown, we can say that there are 30 California cities with from 6% to 18% electric vehicle share of new vehicle sales. The EV sales are up in San Jose to 4,000 cars approximately, and all of the cities tended to have about 20 electric vehicle models locally available over 2015. That's huge comparing to other U.S. cities.

  • New electric vehicle share, number of electric vehicle promotion actions, and public charges per million residents in 30 California cities

We have made 3 important conclusions from these analysis:

  • 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.

  • Local promotion activities are encouraging the electric vehicle market. The 30 cities in California with the highest electric vehicle uptake - with 8 to 25 times the US electric vehicle uptake, have seen the implementation of abundant, wide-ranging electric vehicle promotion programs involving parking, permitting, fleets, utilities, education, and workplace charging.

  • The electric vehicle market grows with its charging infrastructure. The 30 California cities with the highest electric vehicle uptake have, on average, 5 times the public charging infrastructure per capita than the US average.

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