California to pass half-million electric-car mark


2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV electric car in Maven car-sharing fleet, Los Angeles [photo: Dan MacMedan fo

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV electric car in Maven car-sharing fleet, Los Angeles [photo: Dan MacMedan fo

By the end of November, California will have more than 500,000 electric cars registered in the state, according to the latest report from Veloz, a consortium of state regulators, utilities, and other advocates for electric cars.

California already has 491,000 electric cars on its roads, out of the 1.02 million sold in the United States since 2011. The data comes from hybridcars.com and InsideEVs.com, cross-checked by Veloz. They expect to easily reach 9,000 more electric-car sales in November.

"Electric cars are the new cool," said Josh Boone, executive director of Veloz, in a statement proclaiming the milestone. "Sales have skyrocketed in the last three months—bringing us to the brink of the half-million electric car sales mark."

READ THIS: New electric-car ads to hit the other half of California drivers

The state has more electric cars on its roads than any other state and most countries. Almost half the electric cars sold in the U.S. are registered in California, and electric cars now make up more than 10 percent of sales in the state.

Even with that many electric cars on its roads and with the cleanest power grid in the U.S., using almost no coal, 70 percent of California counties failed federal air-quality standards in 2018.

The 500,000-car milestone seems to be the result, primarily, of Tesla finally reaching near full production of the Model 3, delivering almost 56,000 of the cars in the U.S. and Canada in the third quarter.

CHECK OUT: Why are so many electric cars (still) only sold in California?

It isn't just Tesla, though. There are 41 plug-in, electric, and fuel-cell models available in the state, many of which aren't sold or marketed outside California.

Despite the milestone and the number of models available, it's Veloz's mission to increase the percentage of electric cars sold in the state even further.

The organization is running ads called "Electric for All," to market the benefits to new potential buyers in the state. "With this campaign, more Californians will know about and experience them. And, like these half-million people, many, many more will fall in love with a better way to drive," Boone said.

 
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