While Tesla might not hit its ambitious sales goals for the Model S in 2015, the electric car maker has led the pack in EV sales through the first seventh months of the year. This year, Tesla looks primed to top Nissan in the segment for the first time in the automaker’s brief history.
In fact, Tesla sales have become strong enough that a secondhand market has emerged across the country, and research by Edmunds and Polk reveal the East Coast is as hungry for a used Model S sedan as buyers out west. Likewise, the pre-owned Model S market is flourishing in states where Tesla is banned from selling cars. Not even lawmakers beholden to the auto dealer lobbies can stop progress, it seems.
Here are the top 10 states for used Tesla Model S sales according to Polk Automotive and Edmunds data.
Chicago is No. 12 on the list of metropolitan areas where Tesla sells the most used cars, and the great state of Illinois checks in at 10th place on the overall list. While Illinois residents have purchased 4.3% of new Model S vehicles on the road, the used market represents 2.4% of those registered in the U.S. With a plastic bag ban and a high number of EV registrations, Chicago is leading a very green charge in the state.
Ohio might seem like Big Three country, but Tesla’s electric vehicles are popping up regularly on the used car market there as well. According to the Polk and Edmunds data, 2.5% of used Model S registrations end up here. The lion’s share are registered in Columbus, where 1.7% of all used Teslas in America are on the books. Surprising as it may seem, this state is turning out to be a stronghold in the high-end electric vehicle market.
8. New York
Despite the progressive reputation of New York City and the metropolitan area, the Big Apple is far from friendly for electric car drivers, and just 3.6% of new Model S sales take place there. Nonetheless, residents of the Empire State are turning out in some volume for used Teslas. According to the Polk data, 2.5% of used Model S registrations have posted in New York since this high-end EV went on sale a few years back.
When it came to find a place for the massive GigaFactory, Tesla turned to neighboring Nevada where the land is plenty and the incentives were right. It turns out there is sizable base of support for the automaker’s vehicles there as well. Compared to just 1% of the new Tesla market, 2.6% of used Tesla registrations have gone on the books in Nevada. Apparently, it’s the gambler’s preferred ride. Nearly all of those cars — 2.5% of Tesla’s total used market — are registered in Las Vegas.
Arizona has the sixth-highest number of used Tesla registrations (4%) on the books, and Phoenix is leading the charge with 2.5% of the used market, good for seventh among all metro areas in America. That places Phoenix ahead of even San Diego (2.8%), a hotbed of EV registrations and one of the best cities in the country to drive an electric car, according to Chargepoint.
5. New Jersey
Though it was a struggle, Tesla is now allowed to sell its cars directly to consumers in New Jersey. The lift on the sales ban should give a boost to the new Tesla market (3.3%) in the state, but it’s the used Model S market that is really firing. Since sales began, New Jersey ranks fifth in used Model S registrations with 5.5% of the total market. We were surprised to see a Model S in a recent tour through Monmouth in a Ford Focus Electric, but apparently Teslas are common sights in the Garden State.
What is the Tesla market like in Texas, a state where it is illegal for the automaker to do business? Better than you might think: 5.8% of new Model S registrations go down in the Lone Star State. Meanwhile, the used Tesla market is positively bustling. According the Polk/Edmunds data, 8.3% of used Tesla registrations are on the books in the state. The Dallas-Fort Worth area has about half of those (4%).
The Seattle-Tacoma area has a huge concentrations of used Teslas on the books (8.6%), and they make up nearly all of the state’s used Model S market, 8.9% of nationwide registrations. Those figures are double the percentage of Washington residents going for the new Model S. Since the first edition went on sale years ago, just 4.6% of new registrations went on the books in the Evergreen State.
Green cars hardly seem like the norm on your usual trip to Miami, but Florida residents are certainly showing a strong preference for the Model S. Polk/Edmunds data shows 7.3% of new Tesla registrations have been filed in the Sunshine State. The used Model S market here is even more substantial: since it went on sale, 11.2% of all used Teslas have been registered by Florida residents. Miami and Fort Lauderdale lead the state with 4.3% of those pricey EVs.
The top state on this list won’t be a surprise to many. California has close to half (45%) of all new Tesla registrations on the record, and its used market (30.5%) is only slightly less robust. Los Angeles (15%) and San Francisco (10.4%) lead the U.S. in used Model S registrations. With state incentives, available charging stations, and the affluent, tech-friendly demographic of these metro areas, you can see how the two California cities would lead in all things Tesla.
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