California and New York Cities to Be the Largest Markets for Electric Vehicles

The growth of the plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) market with lithium ion batteries in the United States will require significant preparation by industry players who are working on setting up recharging station networks, developing product and production plans, and allocating precious marketing resources. Adoption of PEVs will vary significantly by geography, and as state and local government officials as well as utility managers plan for the arrival of grid-connected vehicles, they need to understand where those vehicles are going to be located and what the impact could be.

According to a new report from Pike Research, the metropolitan areas with the largest number of PEVs on the road in the next several years will include New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. The cleantech market intelligence firm also forecasts that certain utilities, such as Southern California Edison and Pacific Gas & Electric, will need to prepare for the arrival of PEVs in much larger numbers than their counterparts in other regions.

"Electric vehicle adoption will follow markedly different patterns in various parts of the country," says senior analyst Dave Hurst. "Demographics, consumer attitudes, city and utility infrastructure, and manufacturer launch plans will all have an influence on the uptake of PEVs in different areas."

Pike Research forecasts that the top 5 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) for cumulative electric vehicle purchases between 2011 and 2017 will be:

1. New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA
2. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA
3. San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA
4. San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA
5. Chicago-Naperville-Joliet, IL-IN-WI

Relative to population, the firm anticipates that PEV penetration rates will be the highest in several smaller MSAs including Raleigh-Cary, NC; San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA; and Sacramento-Arden Arcade-Roseville, CA.

Pike Research expects that the electric utilities with the largest number of electric vehicles will be:

1. Southern California Edison (California)
2. Pacific Gas & Electric (California)
3. Consolidated Edison (New York)
4. Exelon (Illinois, Pennsylvania)
5. FPL Group (Florida)

Pike Research’s report, “Electric Vehicle Geographic Forecasts,” provides data and forecasts for the plug-in electric vehicle market at the state and metropolitan statistical area levels. The report also includes forecasts for plug-in electric vehicle sales within selected electric utility service territories. The data includes sales forecasts from 2011 to 2017 at each geographic level, and analysis of major trends in the forecasts.