To date, the United States is home to some 7.5 million hybrid vehicles, and California leads the way.
According to research compiling data from a number of sources, such as CARB (California Air Resources Board) and hybridcars.com, some 40% of those plug-in vehicles are in the State of California. In fact, over the last four years alone, between December 2010 and August 2014, over 100,000 plug-in electric and hybrid vehicles were sold in California. Baum & Associates (B&A) reports that, in the same period, about 250,000 were sold across the country.
Of course, part of this outstanding number has to do with the fact that California is also the biggest automobile market in the United States. At the same time, California has done a lot to push the sale and adoption of plug-in electric and hybrid vehicles, such as ZEV (Zero Emissions Vehicle) credits to automakers, tax incentives for buyers, and HOV lane access. As a result, many automakers are releasing plug-in vehicles only in California, some of them for the perks, and some of them because they don’t want to lose their place in the United States’ biggest automobile market (yeah, I’m talking about you, Fiat 500e).
On the other hand, B&A founder Alan Baum suggests that California’s title of plug-in vehicle capital won’t hold for long. True, plug-in electric and hybrid vehicles, such as the Tesla Model S and Chevy Volt, got their start in California, but they can be found across the country now, mostly. Likely, other mass-market plug-in electric and hybrid vehicles will expand across the States, and B&A estimates that some 300,000 more will hit the roads this year, and they won’t be confined to California. Good news for the rest of us!