#1 metro area in US for electric car growth is no longer in California

top EV citites
© ChargePoint

California has long led the way in the electric car market. The Northwest and Hawaii have also consistently topped the tables. However, the top metropolitan region for electric car sales growth in the 4th quarter wasn't in any of those states — it was in the Southeast!

The new #1 metro area for electric cars is apparently Atlanta. Notably, the ranking, which comes from electric vehicle charging company ChargePoint, is based on sales growth compared to the previous quarter, not total sales. Still, coming out on top by as big of a margin as it did is pretty big news for Atlanta. Additionally, this comes right on top of news that Atlanta is now #1 in Nissan LEAF sales.

From ChargePoint, which used electric car registrations to come up with its numbers, here's the top 10 list for the 4th quarter of 2013:

1. Atlanta – 52%
2. Washington DC – 21%
3. Portland – 19.4%
4. Los Angeles – 19%
5. Bay Area – 18%
6. San Diego – 17%
7. Chicago – 16%
8. Seattle – 14.4%
9. Miami – 14%
10. Detroit – 13%

In the 3rd quarter, the top metro regions were:

1. San Francisco
2. Seattle
3. San Diego
4. Austin
5. Honolulu
6. Los Angeles
7. Portland
8. Detroit
9. Washington DC
10. Boston

As you can see, Atlanta wasn't even in the top 10 in the 3rd quarter. That makes its rise to #1 seem even more impressive. However, if you think about it, that might also help to explain how it jumped to the top. Since the ranking is based on quarter-over-quarter sales growth, if Atlanta had a weak 3rd quarter, a fairly strong 4th quarter would mean big growth.

Still, to top all of the other fast-growing EV regions in the country by such a wide margin is something worth cheering about.

“The electric vehicle market is no longer just growing in California’s metropolitan areas — EV adoption is happening across the nation," said Pasquale Romano, CEO of ChargePoint.

Still, sales are centralized in certain key markets, as I pointed out when discussing the top 10 electric car states. It was reported last summer that 52% of US electric cars were in just 5 cities.

Yep, Atlanta was one of the 5. It accounted for 4.4% of all electric cars in the US. As you might expect, policy has something to do with it. Georgia offers a tax credit of up to $5,000 for purchasing an electric car — more than any other state. It also offers HOV access to anyone driving an EV. That's a big benefit in traffic-clogged Atlanta.

The other top cities for total electric car registrations were San Francisco (19.5%), Los Angeles (15.4%), Seattle (8%), and New York City (4.6%). As those percentages show, Californian metro regions are certainly still housing more electric cars than any other regions. However, sales are growing fast elsewhere now, and cities like Atlanta and DC are working hard to become known as EV cities as well.

#1 metro area in US for electric car growth is no longer in California
If you thought the top market for electric car growth was somewhere in California, you'd be right many months out of the year, but not the 4th quarter of 2013.

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