A new study commissioned by Pike Research has found that plug in electric vehicles (PEVs) will sell stronger in some smaller states rather than in larger states.
This is an interesting finding because smaller states usually lack public transportation, meaning that a person’s car in a smaller state is usually that person’s main method of getting around. One of the largest sticking points that opponents of PEVs single out about the PEV technology is the limited range of the batteries needed to power the PEV. In this line of thinking, smaller states where people have little to no access to public transportation and are forced to rely solely on their automobiles for transportation, these people would not embrace PEVs due to the fear of traveling long distances and perhaps being stranded in the middle of no place with a dead battery.
Pike Research report paints a different picture. Yes, more populated states with large urban centers will make up the highest volume of sales of PEV’s in the coming years. Pike Research forecasts that California, New York and Florida will post cumulative PEV vehicle sales between 2011 and 2017 of 366,099, 146,242, and 101,530 units, representing about 5.4%, 3.7%, and 2.8% dispersion. This makes sense, more people and greater access to charging station and the like. However, Pike Research also reports that Hawaii, Oregon, Washington DC, and Delaware among the top states for PEV spreading.
In fact, Pike Research has found that Hawaii, which has among the highest gas prices in the nation, will be the top state with PEVs representing 6.3% of total light duty vehicle sales in 2017. The second highest penetration rate will be in California (5.4%), followed by Oregon (5.4%), Washington, D.C. (4.6%), and Delaware (4.5%).
Pike Research also looked at consumer’s attitudes towards PEVs. Using data from Pike Research’s Electric Vehicle Customer Survey, as well as qualitative indicators, Pike Research developed an “Index of Positive Opinion” toward PEVs. Scores ranged from 4.36, for Northern California, to 0.07 in North Dakota. 1.0 represents the national average. The top areas in favor of PEV’s are Northern California with a score of 4.36 and Southern California with a score of 2.90. This is not really that surprising given the progressive nature of the state and the number of PEVs already on the roads in California. Continuing on down the list, North Carolina came in third with a score of 2.86, Arizona fourth with a score of 2.85. Downstate New York with a score of 2.27, and Ohio came in fifth with a score of 1.69.
Ohio is commonly thought of a rather rural although heavily populated state, and yet Ohio is in the top five states in favor of PEVs. This is evidence that PEVs are indeed wanted in the rural states seemingly regardless of the supposed fears that have been reported on and expressed by consumers. Furthermore, Pike Research found that in more rural states PEVs were harder find at dealerships—however if Ohio is any indication it would seem that consumers do indeed want them regardless of a states make up.
There are many disadvantages to PEVs. The battery range is not always great, they are expensive, the local mechanic might be at a loss for words if something breaks, and technology is changing so fast that today’s PEVs might be obsolete in five years.
However, with gas prices only increasing and companies being encouraged by the Federal Government to go green, PEVs are the future. Pike Research shows that PEVs are not just some fad for American’s living in densely populated states and cities, but rather PEVs are going to eventually become the norm in all of these refreshingly different United States.
Andrew Meggison was born in the state of Maine and educated in Massachusetts. Andrew earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Government and International Relations from Clark University and a Master’s Degree in Political Science from Northeastern University. Being an Eagle Scout, Andrew has a passion for all things environmental. In his free time Andrew enjoys writing, exploring the great outdoors, a good film, and a creative cocktail.