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EV Penetration Highest in Small States, Says Pike Research

September 27, 2011

BOULDER, Colo. — A recent report by Pike Research indicated that sales of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) are expected to accelerate rapidly over the next several years, with annual sales expected to reach about 360,000 vehicles by 2017.

The most populous states will see the highest sales, with California, New York and Florida recording the highest PEV sales between 2011 and 2017. As a percentage of total vehicle sales, however, smaller states will lead the way, with Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, D.C., and Delaware all expected to be among the top states for PEV penetration.

Hawaii, which typically has among the highest gas prices in the nation, will be the top state, with PEVs representing 6.3 percent of total light-duty vehicle sales in 2017, according to Pike. The second highest penetration rate will be in California (5.4 percent), followed by Oregon (5.4 percent), Washington, D.C. (4.6 percent), and Delaware (4.5 percent).

“PEV penetration will be influenced by several factors,” said Dave Hurst, senior analyst. “Demographics, consumer attitudes and available infrastructure will all help determine the uptake of PEVs in different areas.”

And because of manufacturers’ rollout schedules, the availability of PEVs will vary widely by state and by region, according to Pike. New York and California currently account for more than half of the available PEVs in the United States, while Southern states like Mississippi, Arkansas, and Alabama, as well as largely rural states such as Wyoming and Alaska, have very few plug-in electric vehicles available.

As a result, certain utilities, such as Southern California Edison and Pacific Gas & Electric in California and New York’s Consolidated Edison, will need to accelerate their preparations for significant rollouts of PEVs compared to their counterparts in other regions, according to the report.

For more information, visit www.pikeresearch.com.

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