Tesla Model S More Popular In Washington Last Year Than California

With its generous incentives towards the cost of buying an electric car, not to mention its EV-friendly cities of Los Angeles, San Francisco Bay and San Diego, you’d be forgiven for thinking California is the place where the Tesla Model S lead the rest of the U.S. in per-capita sales for 2013.

Washington really does love the Model S. Quite a lot.

Washington really does love the Model S. Quite a lot.

We can’t blame you either. After all,  Tesla Motors [NASDAQ:TSLA] is a Californian company, and makes its Model S luxury sedan in Fremont, a stones throw from some of the world’s biggest tech companies.

But thanks to some sales data from Hedges & Company (via The Seattle Timesit appears the state of Washington, not California, is where most Teslas were sold during 2013.

As of November there were more Tesla cars registered in the state of California than anywhere else in the U.S., with sixty-seven out of every 10,000 passenger car registrations belonging to Tesla electric cars. Last year an average of 7.9 out of every 10,000 new cars registered in California were Teslas.

Yet in Washington state during 2013, an average of 8.3 out of every 10,000 new car registrations were Teslas, placing it above California. Total new car registrations of electric vehicles in Washington last year accounted for 293 out of every 10,000 cars.

Of course, there are plenty of reasons why this is so. While the state of Washington doesn’t offer any specific rebates for buyers of plug-in cars over the $7,500 Federal tax credit, electric cars are exempt from sales tax. That alone can save thousands on a new car sticker price.

In addition, the state doesn’t require EV drivers to pay tax on charging stations installations for their home, although they will have to pay a $100 annual tax to offset the revenue normally collected from motorists via Washington’s gasoline taxes.

Electricity prices, believed to be the cheapest in the whole of the U.S., also help to make EVs a no-brainer for anyone wanting to save money. Add to that the West Coast Electric Highway, which provides EV charging along some of Washington’s most important interstates, and Washingtonians can’t get enough plug.

Tesla sales in 2013 were highest in Washington.

Tesla sales in 2013 were highest in Washington.

When it comes to the number of electric cars registered in the state as a whole, California still wins hands down. After all, it has a far larger population than Washington. But what we’re interested in — and what we think makes this such a great story — is the fact that per captia, Washington had more EV sales last year than any other state.

Why do you think Washington did so well last year on EV sales? Will its new annual EV tax slow adoption rates down, or is this yet another example of the Pacific Northwest leading the rest of the country?

Leave your thoughts in the Comments below.


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