California will have over half a million electric vehicles on the road by the end of the year, as west coast consumers rush to embrace the transition to electric mobility.
California is already leading the US in terms of electric car sales, having bought almost half of all the north American country’s 1.02 million electric cars – about 491,000 sales by the end of October, to be exact.
The data has been released by Veloz, a public-private coalition formed by electric car industry stakeholders to encourage Americans to adopt EVs.
And adopt they have, with Californians leading the charge, so to speak.
Sales are skyrocketing, says Veloz chief Josh Boone, pointing to Veloz’s EV public awareness campaign “Electric for All”, although it is likely that California’s horrendous air quality scorecard may also have something to do with it.
“It’s clear Californians are embracing the electric car,” he said in a statement.
“With this campaign, more Californians will know about and experience them. And, like these half-million people, many, many more will fall in love with a better way to drive.”
The October figures, garnered from a variety of sources, show sales are taking off and indicate that in the US at least, the shift to electric is well under way.
The boon in the electric car industry is largely attributed to generous tax incentives that has given EV drivers a $US7,500 ($A10,000) tax credit.
Sales for EVs in the US were at an all time high in September 2018, due in part to EV pioneer Tesla ramping up deliveries of their popular Model 3 which has taken the US by storm.
While October figures were slightly lower, Boone says the 9,000 EV sales needed to achieve the magical half a million mark in California will be an easy goal to kick.
The EV tax credit is planned to be phased out as each carmaker reaches 200,000 in EV sales (Tesla has already done this but tax credits are at 100% at least until the end of the year).
Yesterday, another coalition was formed by carmakers Tesla, Nissan and GM who want to lobby the US government to extend the incentives.
If they succeed, the electric car market in the US will be assured of success.
As far as Boone is concerned, it already is. “Electric cars are the new cool,” he says.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.