These Are the States with the Highest Green Car Adoption Rates

Not surprisingly, EVs are more popular in states with generous incentives.

Getty Images / Peter Ptschelinzew

Electric cars still make up a pretty tiny market share in the U.S. car market, but that number is changing. It’s changing particularly fast in some states. 

In three of them, more than 5 percent of all cars being sold are EVs, hybrids, and plug-in hybrids: California, Washington, and Oregon. The national average is 2.6 percent.

This is according to a new study from car research site iSeeCars. iSeeCars confirmed for The Drive that the study does not include the hydrogen fuel cell-powered Honda Clarity or Toyota Mirai because those are still lease-only in the U.S. and the study only applies to car sales.

iSeeCars got its data by analyzing over 22.5 million new and used cars sold in 2017 and compared it to 17.8 million cars sold in 2014. Using these data, iSeeCars determined which states saw the most growth in green car adoption and which states slowed down.

Here are the top 11 states for green car adoption by rank and percentage of vehicle sales. It’s worth noting that eight of these states have some sort of state incentive for electric cars on top of the federal $7,500 income tax credit.

  1. California: 7.5 percent
  2. Washington: 6.1 percent
  3. Oregon: 5.6 percent
  4. Hawaii: 4.2 percent
  5. Vermont: 3.7 percent
  6. Maryland: 3.2 percent
  7. Utah: 3.0 percent
  8. Virginia: 2.9 percent
  9. Massachusetts: 2.9 percent
  10. Arizona: 2.8 percent
  11. Colorado: 2.7 percent

And here are the states with the greatest gains for green vehicle adoption between 2014 and 2017 by percentage increase. Six of the top 10 have state EV incentives.

  1. Alaska: 144.8 percent
  2. Vermont: 127.1 percent
  3. Hawaii: 118.1 percent
  4. California: 90.2 percent
  5. Wyoming: 85.5 percent
  6. Washington: 85.2 percent
  7. Maryland: 77.6 percent
  8. New Jersey: 70.1 percent
  9. Connecticut: 69.7 percent
  10. Montana: 69.4 percent

Finally, here are the states where green car adoption actually reversed opposing the 48.4 percent national average increase. Not surprisingly, none of these states have state incentives for electric cars.

  1. Arkansas: -27.0 percent
  2. South Dakota: -23.9 percent
  3. Oklahoma: -11.8 percent
  4. South Carolina: -3.2 percent
  5. New Mexico: -1.9 percent

If anything, this study proves that green car incentives are effective in increasing their adoption. This new study along with the iSeeCars study from last year showing that many of the fastest selling cars on the used market were hybrid or electric furthers the idea that price is one of the main things keeping more people from buying electrified vehicles. When they take a big depreciation hit or when there are more incentives driving costs down for the consumer, more people buy them.