California’s continued electric vehicle market development

California remains home to several of the world’s electric vehicle capitals. The San Jose, San Francisco, and Los Angeles metropolitan area markets have some of the highest electric vehicle sales and market shares in the world. These three markets together, through 2017, already had more than a quarter-million electric vehicles on their roads. Within these three leading California metropolitan areas, 30 cities had electric vehicle shares of more than 10%; nine, more than 15%; and three, more than 20%.

Uneven progress reveals great potential for more marketing, increased local action, and incentives to grow the electric vehicle market. There is great variation in electric vehicle shares across major auto markets. Whereas many cities in the San Francisco Bay area have sales shares above 10%, other major cities such as Bakersfield, Riverside, and Sacramento have electric vehicle shares below the state average. To grow the market, lagging markets would benefit from more city actions (e.g., electric vehicle-ready building codes, expanded public parking and charging for electric vehicles), broader automaker marketing, and continued use of the consumer incentives will also remain important.

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