What factors influence the level of EV sales in a given region? Some may find enlightenment in a new study from the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT).
In “Leading edge of electric vehicle market development in the United States: An analysis of California cities,” Stephanie Searle and colleagues examine 30 California cities in which EVs account for 6-18% of new vehicle sales – 8 to 25 times the US average in 2015 – and explain how regional and city governments, utilities, businesses, and nonprofits are promoting EV sales through a range of activities.
The team performed a city-level multivariate regression analysis of EV penetration, and found correlations (but not causal relationships) between new EV sales and such factors as model availability, public charging networks, local promotion activities, car sharing services and median income.
The ICCT team concluded that various government policies are helping to support the EV market, from the federal tax credit to California’s Zero-Emission Vehicle program to local promotion activities involving parking, permitting, fleets, utilities, education, and workplace charging.
New electric vehicle shares and model availability in California cities in 2015
They also found that EV markets tend to grow along with local charging opportunities. The 30 cities with the highest EV uptake have, on average, five times as much public charging infrastructure per capita as does the US as a whole.
“Governments around the world are contemplating more progressive regulatory policies to promote electric vehicles,” write Searle and her team. “Policymakers are also investigating complementary local outreach, city policy, and charging infrastructure planning. California provides a template for such state and local activities. The California experience suggests that if electric vehicle models are brought to more markets and there is supporting policy in place, market growth will continue. Our findings suggest that California’s playbook could be a helpful example to other regions seeking to encourage electric vehicle uptake.”