Identifying the leading regional electric vehicle markets in the United States

Published: 2016.11.10
By

 Irene Kwan, Nic Lutsey, Peter Slowik, and Lingzhi Jin

This report identifies and quantifies various metrics regarding the auto markets with highest electric vehicle shares by region in the U.S. The work uniquely identifies smaller and medium size metropolitan areas throughout the U.S. that have had the most success in growing the electric vehicle market. The assessment includes an analysis of electric vehicle promotion actions—including incentives, public charging infrastructure, and local policy—in place that are supporting the market.

Based on the analysis, the authors conclude:

  1. State policy, especially the Zero-Emission Vehicle program, is a key driver for the early electric vehicle market. This is seen in the leading regional markets in ZEV states (e.g., California, Connecticut, New York, Oregon, and Vermont)
  2. State consumer incentives have been a key driver for the electric vehicle market, with regionally leading electric vehicle markets typically offering consumer rebates (e.g., in Colorado, Georgia, California, Washington, Connecticut, and Tennessee) and carpool lane access to single-occupant electric vehicles (e.g., in Atlanta, Honolulu, Nashville, San Jose, and San Francisco).
  3. Local electric vehicle support activities—including electric vehicle parking perks, integration within municipal fleets, electric vehicle-ready building codes, outreach events, and stakeholder-group city electric vehicle plans—have helped overcome consumer understanding barriers across many U.S. cities.
  4. Public charging infrastructure has been an important aspect in spurring electric vehicle sales, with leading markets typically increasing their electric vehicle public and workplace charging options (e.g., in Ann Arbor, Austin, Barre, Boulder, Burlington, Corvallis, Honolulu, Edwards, Kahului, Nashville, Seattle, Portland, San Jose, San Francisco).
  5. Utility promotion actions related to electric vehicle user rates, consumer information, and charging infrastructure deployment have supported electric vehicle market growth in many leading markets like Atlanta, Austin, various California cities, Honolulu, and Portland.
Figure 1