Image source does not exist News Release: 2014-06-13 New online tool reveals information about California electric vehicle market

Release #:14-53

ARB PIO: (916) 322-2990

Melanie Turner
(916) 322-2990

New online tool reveals information about California electric vehicle market

ARB and the California Center for Sustainable Energy provide insight into who buys electric vehicles, and why

SACRAMENTO - A new online tool offers the general public, researchers, policymakers and stakeholders the opportunity to learn about who is buying plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) in California, and why. The online dashboard offers multiple approaches to analyzing the data provided by a survey of those who received rebates for purchasing PEVs.

The information — including income levels, geographic distribution and reasons for purchasing these ultra-clean cars — provides valuable insights into the highly successful state rebate program that has propelled California into the forefront of the national zero-emission car market.  

The Clean Vehicle Rebate Project, which provides incentive funds that help consumers buy zero-emission battery electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, is a major factor in driving that market demand. Over two-thirds of respondents indicated that the State’s rebate was very or extremely important in enabling their clean-vehicle purchase. Sales of plug-in electric vehicles in California tripled in 2013 compared to the previous year.

As a result, California now leads the nation in putting the cleanest cars on the road. Currently, more than 40 percent of the cleanest vehicles in the world are on the roads in California, even though the state constitutes about 10 percent of the national market for cars.

Between March 2010 when the rebate program began and March 2014, the most recent month for which data was available, roughly 191,000 PEVs were sold in the U.S., with more than 83,000 of those in California. A clear majority — roughly 70 percent of California PEV drivers —have taken advantage of the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP).  

Current survey results were collected beginning in October 2013 and cover California PEV drivers who purchased or leased their vehicles after August 2012. The survey pool consists of CVRP rebate recipients for PEVs, which include both battery-electric vehicles that run exclusively on battery power and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles that combine a gas-powered engine with an electric motor. As fuel cell vehicles become commercially available, they also will be included in the surveys and dashboard. Results will be updated on a bi-weekly basis as new survey responses are received.

The new online tool — known as the ‘dashboard’ — is available at and provides easy interactive access to the survey results including the ability to tailor queries by filtering the data in multiple ways, such as by manufacturer, geography or vehicle technology. Responses to the survey include:

The tool now offers real-time insight and analysis into what drives consumers to purchase or lease plug-in electric vehicles, and will provide policy guidance to ensure that California continues to expand the zero-emission vehicle market to meet the state’s air quality and climate goals.

The California Center for Sustainable Energy (CCSE), which administers the CVRP and the survey for the ARB, has issued more than $130 million for more than 60,000 rebates since the rebate program began. Currently CCSE is processing more than 3,000 rebates per month.  

CCSE will be hosting a free, live demonstration of the EV Driver Survey Dashboard on Wednesday, July 16. Please register for the webinar here:

Previous survey reports and accompanying infographics are available online at CCSE’s website at

CCSE also offers an online map depicting region-specific PEV adoption rates based on the number of rebates issued by ZIP code and type of PEV purchased. The map is available at

California is part of an eight-state alliance to put 3.3 million ZEVs on the road by 2025. To date, manufacturers have rolled out more than two dozen ZEV models, developing a solid foothold in the automobile market.

ARB's mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy. The ARB oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health based air quality standards.