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January 24, 2024

From the CEO's Desk Newsletter

Photo of EBCE CEO Nick Chaset

Data corner: Electric Vehicles Take Off in the East Bay and Valley

Electric cars are booming in California, making up 25% of new sales. We’ve compiled sales data by city and Zip code in our area. Find out who the EV leaders are in the Data Corner.

Photo by Steve Jurvetson, Flickr CC

Electric vehicles sales are growing rapidly in the East Bay and Valley.

In 2012, then-Governor Jerry Brown set a goal to put 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) on California roads by 2025. In April of this year, Governor Gavin Newsom announced California hit that goal two years ahead of schedule.

The state Energy Commission counts three types of ZEVs: battery-electric (BEVs), plug-in hybrid (PHEVs), and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs). BEVs run only on electricity stored in batteries, while PHEVs can run on both electricity and gasoline and FCEVs convert hydrogen to electricity on the car.

As of September, 25% of all new cars sold in California in 2023 were ZEVs, dominated by battery-only BEVs. California accounts for 40% of such vehicles sold in the US.

Alameda County was a state leader with 40.8% share, trailing only Santa Clara County’s 43.2%. In all, seven Bay Area counties exceeded 30% share, the only counties in the state to pass that mark.

At the ZIP code level, Silicon Valley leads the way in market share of new EVs, but Ava member cities are also eager EV adopters. Parts of Fremont and Berkeley made the top 20 Zip codes in California.

It may be no coincidence, given that Fremont is home to a massive factory from the world’s largest electric car maker, Tesla. Tesla accounts for over half of all EVs sold in the US, and their Model Y and Model 3 are the two best selling cars of any kind in California.

In this interactive dashboard, we present vehicle sales data from the state Department of Motor Vehicles by city and Zip code in Alameda and San Joaquin counties.

Some highlights:

  • The Ava cities with the highest market share of registered BEVs are Dublin at 9.8%, Piedmont at 8.5%, and Fremont at 8.2%, as of the end of 2022. Alameda county had 4.6% BEV market share overall.
  • Fremont has the most BEVs on the road, with 13,500 at the end of 2022. Fremont Zip code 94539 (which includes the Tesla factory) has the highest number of EVs per household, at 0.3. In other words, almost one in three households has an EV, on average.
  • BEV market share in Ava member cities rose from 1.5% to 3.9% between 2017 and 2022, as gasoline cars fell from 88% to 83.7%. PHEV share doubled to 1.5%.
  • Dublin saw the most BEV sales in 2023, with 1,231 sold through the end of September (Q3), followed by Zip codes in Fremont and Hayward.
  • Battery-electrics made up 72% of the three types of EVs registered in Ava cities, with over 55,000 as of the end of 2022. Plug-in hybrids made up most of the rest, at just over 20,000. Only 691 hydrogen fuel-cell EVs were registered. The number of efficient gas hybrid cars (not electric) also continued to rise, hitting almost 90,000.

Ava is working to accelerate EV sales, and to power them with clean electricity. Ava is helping member cities build out charging infrastructure in key locations, to ensure easy access for renters, shoppers, and households of all income levels.

Ava is also developing huge EV charging stations for electric trucks servicing the Port of Oakland and a logistics hub in Livermore. The Air Resources Board is tightening rules on emissions from trucking, creating a big shift toward electric trucks.

There are many incentives available to help buyers switch from gasoline to electric cars, electric bikes, and transit. In some cases federal, state, and local incentives can be added together, creating big opportunities for deep discounts. To see what you are eligible for, see Incentives.AvaEnergy.org.

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