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Pike Research projects California, New York and Florida to lead US in PEV sales

Pike projections of cumulative light duty plug-in electric vehicle sales, 10 largest MSAs by population, 2011-2017. Click to enlarge.

Pike Research has earlier forecasted the plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) market at the national level in the US, globally, and within world regions and key countries. (Earlier post.) The company has now constructed a model for plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) sales at the US state level, metropolitan statistical area (MSA) level and for selected utility company territories.

Overall, Pike expects sales of PEVs to experience a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 43% between 2011 and 2017, reaching a nationwide total of 358,959 vehicles by 2017. Pike forecasts that, “unsurpisingly” California, New York and Florida will likely lead the way in PEV sales in the early years of the decade, with 366,099, 146,242 and 101,530 cumulative vehicle sales between 2011 and 2017, respectively. By 2017, PEVs will represent a 5.4%, 3.7% and 2.8% of the total new vehicle sales in these state (2.4% is the national average).

Within the top 10 largest MSAs in the US, New York City and Los Angeles are projected to lead with 116,718 and 96,175 PEVs by 2017. Pike concludes that the combination of a large population area, early rollout schedules from vehicle manufacturers, and positive attitudes toward PEVs for these MSAs will result in strong growth rates of 41% and 35% CAGR, respectively, between 2011 and 2017.

Dallas, Philadelphia, Houston, Atlanta and Washington DC are not expected to show strong sales of PEVs; all are forecast to have fewer than 28,000 PEVs in their markets by 2017. California dominates the top 10 MSAs when ranked by PEV sales, with all six of the top California MSAs in the top 10.

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

  • New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA
  • Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA
  • San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA
  • San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA
  • 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:

  • Southern California Edison (California)
  • Pacific Gas & Electric (California)
  • Consolidated Edison (New York)
  • Exelon (Illinois, Pennsylvania)

To generate the more detailed forecasts, Pike utilized a variety of data to evaluate the development of demand and sales: population and demographics; plug-in electric vehicle attitudes; and manufacturer vehicle rollout schedule.



Don't you love those precise figures, I mean this is just a guess so one might say 400k or 500k but 358,959 implying that they know the future right down to the last vehicle. I'll go with Obama's goal, 1M by the end of 2015. He seems to have Congress behind him on this one, and if they extend the $7500 till then and make it a credit at time of purchase, I say 1M is doable.


With crude oil possibly going up much more than expected, even the Feds end of 2015 estimates may turn out to be much too low.

Secondly, USA is no longer representative of the world major changes, at least no where near we think we are.

Vehicles electrification future major penetration may come from Asia, not from North America. We will do our best to extend ICE era with bio fuels, NG, SG, etc.


Harvey has a hard time accepting the FACT that the EV revolution is born in the USA. Tesla started the new wave of passenger EVs with the Roadster. GM responded with the Volt EREV. Nissan's CEO Ghosn is struggling to get his delayed Leaf out to meet pre-orders by summer.

Nothing from any other country but hot air and "concepts." In GCC parlance that's vaporware until we see production units in consumer garages.

Then there is the Prius PHEV with 10 mile EV range provided you stay under 40MPH.


Harvey might be right about asia getting there first. The EV rev might have been born in the USA but the question is how quickly will it penetrate. It's easier to imagine small/limited range EVs being accepted in other parts of the world. Until the range gets higher it will be a tough sell in the USA.


The EV revolution might have been born in the U.S. but we're not the sole motivator to the revolution. In fact, our very existence as A leader (as opposed to THE leader) is in jeopardy. If the U.S. cannot make the necessary changes, incentives and change of attitude (for the avg. consumer) we will be relegated to an inferior position.

Harvey is correct to assume that Asia is hot on move in this arena & if we don't rally to our strengths e.g. innovation, technology advancements and unity - we could very well be witnessing the U.S. being a follower rather than a leader.

Asia, especially China, India, S. Korea & Japan, are allocating billions of $$ into their R&D & manufacturing infrastructure. This is no minor threat as to who will be vying for the top spot. The U.S. holds an edge albeit a very fine one at this time.

The big internal threat is our own unvalidated arrogance in that we will always remain the leader in industries such as automotive.

Lastly, this report is a good barometer however I would add that we should keep a keen eye on Texas' major markets. I think people will be in for a surprise.


There are more than a dozen reasons why electrified vehicles will sell in much greater numbers in Asia than in North America, Germany or Australia.

1. we have a thicker cultural-financial barrier to go through.
2. we deeply believe that bigger is much better.
3. we have a deep attachment to larger, noisier, heavier cars.
4. we have to show neighbors that our vehicle is flashier than his.
5. we strongly believe that muscle cars demonstrate our superiority.
6. we wrongly believe that ICE run cleaner the electrified units.
7. we wrongly believe that we cannot produce enough electricity.
8. we wrongly believe that ICE are safer the electrified units.
9. we like going to the gas pump.
10. we wrongly believe that recharging an EV is difficult.
11. we wrongly believe that electrified vehicles like cost more than ICE units.
12. We wrongly believe that crude oil will be available and cheap for many more centuries.
13. we wrongly believe that we can produce enough low cost bio-fuels.
14. we wrongly believe that shale gas will be sufficient for centuries.
15. we do not believe that economics are changing fast in favor of Asia.
16. etc


We are endlessly impressed with Harvey's tenacity and enthusiasm for all things Chinese... but at some point the factual world intrudes and forces us to face the music:

Even the touted BYD F3DM only sold 48 (that's forty eight) units in the 1.1B land of China.


Reel$$. The problem may not be with China or Asia but with what we have become. I'm more impressed with what South Korea is achieving. That small nation is doing things that we (and many other nations) only dream of. Samsung, LG, Hyundai products (to name a few) are very competitive and their quality is second to none. Their public education system is a worldwide example that we could not even imitate.

Indeed, problems may be here and solutions somewhere else. Some thing may soon have to be done to reform and re-generate our values.


Harvey, I too am impressed with Korean private sector success stories. Certainly LG is proving to be THE key player for the moment in Li-ion batteries for EVs.

I am also impressed with the sovereign State of Taipei (Taiwan) where HTC is demonstrating its innovative spirit in consumer electronics.

What we are disappointed in is the PRC and it's headlong rush into energy oblivion via coal-fired power plants and zero interest in EVs. Maybe they will wake up before the death rate from air and water pollution doubles to two million annually.


You have a good point. China seems to walk right in our questionable footsteps, specially with the inefficient use of coal fired polluting power plants. However, we may be (pleasantly) surprised to see that their energy diversity will change with the construction of 100+ new nuclear power plants, many thousand and even many million solar panels, massive number of wind turbines etc. By 2020/2030, their energy sources may be cleaner than ours. They can electrify much faster than us. They don't have to spend 10 to 30 years fighting changes in courts.

Time will tell if we can meet the challenge and change the way we manage and accelerate our decision making.

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