Infographic: California Drivers Demand Electric Cars

Published May 24, 2016

Electric cars are breaking records in California—and demand remains high.

Two hundred thousand plug-in vehicles and counting. The most electric models available in the country. State policies that incentivize electric vehicles, and a public that’s hungry for more.

That’s the story of electric cars in California, and it’s a story reinforced by an April 2016 survey conducted by the Union of Concerned Scientists and Consumers Union.

Our findings were clear: though California is already a leader in adopting electric cars, the potential market for plug-in vehicles remains huge—and there’s more to be done.

Topline findings include:

  • More than half of all California drivers are likely to consider an electric car in their next vehicle purchase or lease
  • More than half of California drivers—65 percent— want more electric options
  • Three in four California drivers aren’t aware of California’s plug-in electric vehicle incentives; 80 percent aren’t aware of the federal EV tax credit program

A forthcoming analysis by the Union of Concerned Scientists also finds that electric cars are made available in Californian cities at rates exceeding those of Northeast cities—highlighting the popularity of electric cars in California, and reinforcing the need for automakers to market and sell their cars across the country.


The survey was conducted among 1,213 randomly selected adults in California and 9 Northeast states who were licensed to drive and had driven a vehicle in the past 12 months.

The survey was carried out from April 1 to April 8, 2016. The margin of error is 4 percentage points at a 95 percent confidence level for questions asked of all respondents.

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