Electric Cars: Why Are EV Sales Growing in These Unlikely Places?

Residents of coastal states may rule when it comes to adding a hybrid or electric vehicle to the family car stable, but a new report finds that the biggest growth in clean-fuel vehicle ownership is happening in central and rural areas. .

And, overall, the U.S. is seeing unprecedented growth in sales of hybrid and electric vehicles and may finally have turned a corner in the adoption of battery-powered travel amid record high fuel prices that have hurt the pocketbooks of customers this year.

Electric vehicle ownership is growing in unexpected places: A newly released analysis by iSeeCars.com looked at the US regions with the biggest change in market share for alternative fuel vehicles since 2014, and the results suggest that demand for hybrid and electric vehicles is growing faster in central and rural areas. than in densely populated coastal areas. the cities.

“You’d expect to see strong sales of hybrid and electric vehicles in states like California, Oregon and Washington, or in cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles or Seattle,” iSeeCars executive analyst Karl Brauer said in a statement accompanying the report. “While those areas have the highest share of alternative fuel vehicles, the areas with the largest increases in the share of hybrid and electric vehicles come from states and cities that few would expect.”

For example, the state with the highest growth in the share of alternative fuel vehicles since 2014? Mississippi, with a massive 241% increase in market share. The second highest state is Hawaii, at 116.5%, followed by Utah, with a 97% share increase.

While Utah was ranked no. 3 for hybrid/EV ownership growth since 2014, according to iSeeCars, Salt Lake City is the no. 2 metropolitan US by the same metric, as it saw its share of alternative fuel vehicles grow by over. 105% over the last eight years.

Tristian Galgano, 9, and his father, Tyrone, of Missouri, walk around a Tesla while browsing Tesla models at a dealership in Provo on Tuesday, July 12, 2022.

Ben B. Braun, Deseret News

States with the highest growth in hybrid/EV adoption since 2014:

  1. Mississippi
  2. Hawaii
  3. Utah
  4. Maryland
  5. Wyoming

And, even though many coastal states have encouraged hybrid/EV purchases with state-level tax rebates, states like Mississippi and Utah are still seeing big jumps even without offering their own financial incentives.

“It’s pretty amazing that California barely made the top 10 in terms of hybrid and electric vehicle growth since 2014, even with strong incentives encouraging their purchase,” Brauer said. “On the other hand, despite having no statewide incentives, electric vehicle adoption in Mississippi is growing faster than all other states and may continue to do so as Nissan has plans to manufacture EVs at its Mississippi plant in the coming years.”

Cities with the highest growth in hybrid/EV adoption since 2014:

  1. Houston, Texas
  2. Salt Lake City, Utah
  3. Detroit, Michigan
  4. Sacramento, California
  5. Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas

Was the plug in OK? While electric vehicle sales in the U.S. have seen steady, if somewhat slow, sales growth over the past decade, Car and Driver reports that, in the first three months of 2022, electric vehicle sales grew by about 60% even why overall new car registrations fell by 18% over the same period.

What is behind the growth?

Car and Driver says at least part of the impetus is a greater selection of vehicles for consumers looking to make the switch from pump to plug. New models from the Ford F-150 Lightning to the Kia EV6 to the Hyundai Ioniq 5 are helping fuel fresh consumer excitement for electric travel, and Experian estimates there were 158,689 new EV registrations in the US in the first three months of the year. . The big winners were electric vehicles from Tesla (up 59% to 113,882 new registrations), Kia (up more than eightfold to 8,450), Ford (up 91% to 7,407) and Hyundai (up more than 300%, to 6,964). , according to Automotive News.

While the sharp increase in electric vehicle registrations earlier this year meant that the EV share of the overall market reached a record 4.6%, Car and Driver notes that the US still lags far behind many countries when it comes to EV adoption. clean fuel. An example: in Norway, over 86% of all new vehicle sales in March were for electric vehicles.

Correction: An earlier version incorrectly identified the automotive data website iSeeCars.com as iLoveCars.com in a reference.

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A Tesla range sits parked outside a Tesla dealership in Provo on Tuesday, July 12, 2022.

Ben B. Braun, Deseret News

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