The 7 States Adopting Electric Vehicles Fastest in America

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How do you get people to stop driving gas-guzzling cars and adopt electric vehicles? If dire climate reports don’t do the trick, buyer incentives usually do. Take Georgia for example.

According to IHS Automotive, Georgia’s electric vehicle market share has grown 70% in the first half of 2014, the biggest increase of any U.S. state. The driver of this growth in Georgia is the state’s generous 20% tax credit (up to $5,000) EV buyers can apply to a purchase. Throw in the $7,500 federal credit and you can get yourself a Nissan Leaf for $16,510. That’s a hell of a deal for a car you don’t need to gas up or fix the transmission.

Other states offer incentives on top of the federal credit, and the carrot approach is clearly working with consumers interested in adopting electric vehicles as a means of transportation. Here are the seven states with the largest EV market share in America, according to IHS Automotive data published by International Business Times.


7. Colorado

With the progressive population of Colorado, one would expect a large volume of electric vehicle adoption. At 0.27% market share, there is still a long way to go in the Centennial State. Nonetheless, that figure was enough to put it in the top seven in America. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports Colorado adopted electric vehicles at a rate of 1 to 2 per 1,000 vehicles in 2013.

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6. Utah

Utah is one of many Republican-controlled states that ban Tesla sales, but that hasn’t stopped residents from adopting dealer-sanctioned EVs like the Nissan Leaf and Ford Focus Electric. In fact, Utah surpassed Colorado with a 0.31% electric vehicle market share through the first six months of 2014. The EIA says fewer than one vehicle per 1,000 sold in Utah was electric in 2013.

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5. Oregon

Oregon remains one of the biggest states for electric vehicle adoption. EIA data shows 2 to 3 EVs sold per 1,000 vehicles delivered in Oregon in 2013. Still, market share has slipped slightly in 2014. After grabbing 0.89% of the auto market in 2013, Oregonians didn’t keep up the pace through June 2014. IHS data showed the market share had dropped to 0.67% through the first six months of the year.

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4. Hawaii

Having banned plastic bags in each of its populated islands, Hawaii appears determined to protect its gorgeous natural resources. This effort certainly extends to the adoption of electric vehicles. The EIA shows Hawaii is one of just three U.S. states where more than 3 EVs sold per 1,000 vehicles in 2013. Through June 2014, electric vehicles had a 1.04% market share. While that figure represented a slight drop over 2013 (1.21%), Hawaii is one of only four U.S. states where the EV market remains above 1%.


3. Washington

Along with California and Hawaii, Washington is one of the three states that sells more than 3 EVs per 1,000 automobiles. Through June 2014, electric cars held a 1.13% market share in the northwestern corner of the United States. Washingtonians do not pay sales tax (6.5% in the state) on pure electric vehicles, so that incentive is available on top of the $7,500 federal rebate that remains on the table throughout the country.

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2. California

Well, California lost by a technical knockout (TKO) on this one. The Golden State has about half the electric vehicles on U.S. roads, but the overwhelming volume of automobiles on the road kept EVs at a 1.41% market share through June 2014 (up from 1.28% in 2013). That makes California the only state besides Georgia with a growing market share for EVs on this list. About 5 of every 1,000 vehicles registered there in 2013 were electric, so it remains the biggest EV adopter by a mile, just not by market share.

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1. Georgia

Georgia has a Republican governor and state legislature, but Tesla is alive and well in the Peach State. In fact, the electric vehicle maker is looking to expand its operations there this year amid dealer protests. With the $5,000 tax credit on top of the $7,500 federal incentive, Georgia is going out of its way to reduce the fumes spewing out of its vehicles stuck in traffic. That has pushed the state into the lead for EV market share in the U.S. According to IHS Automotive, it reached 1.6% through June 2014, up 70% from 0.94 in 2013. No other East Coast state is even in the vicinity.