Who owns electric cars in California?
By Erica Yee
No public dataset identifies the races, incomes and other characteristics of Californians who buy electric cars. But the state Department of Motor Vehicles does collect info by ZIP code. We compared electric car registrations in ZIP codes with their demographic profiles.
ZIP codes with the highest rates of electric car ownership tend to be more white and Asian and less Latino and Black than the general population.
The rate per 1,000 cars increases as median household income rises. (The Census does not break down incomes exceeding $250,000.)
The rate per 1,000 cars increases as typical home value rises.
The rate per 1,000 cars increases with the proportion of people with higher education.
Notes and sources
Note: Battery electric, plug-in hybrid electric and hydrogen fuel cell cars are considered electric cars in this analysis. Car counts are light-duty vehicle registrations as of 2021 DMV data compiled by the Energy Commission. Data for 2022 is expected April 2023. Only ZIP codes with 2021 American Community Survey population data and at least 1,000 residents are included. Used by the postal service, ZIP codes do not have exact persistent geographical boundaries. The demographic data here comes from the Census Bureau's Zip Code Tabulation Areas, which are approximated by addresses. Zillow Home Value Index as of February 2023.