Tesla Model S Outsells the Market in Some of America's Wealthiest Cities, Says

Tesla Model S Outsells the Market in Some of America's Wealthiest Cities, Says

SANTA MONICA, Calif., Oct. 31, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- It's no secret that the Tesla Model S is the newest "must-have" toy among America's most affluent citizens. But a shocking analysis from, the premier resource for car shopping and automotive information, finds that in some of the country's richest communities, the Model S sells better than any other car on the market.

According to's analysis of new car registration data from Polk, the Model S is the top-selling vehicle this year in eight of America's 25 wealthiest ZIP Codes. The analysis further finds that all eight communities are located in California. Leading the way is Atherton, CA, where the Model S accounts for 15.4 percent of all new car registrations within its borders. According to Forbes, Atherton, which sits adjacent to Tesla's Palo Alto headquarters, is the wealthiest zip code in America, with a median home price of $6,665,000.

Mathew98 | October 31, 2013

That helps explain why 50% of Telsa sales are in Cali...

Rheumboy | October 31, 2013

0% in zip 48126 for many reasons!

carlk | October 31, 2013

GM had the few they bought shipped to somewhere else?

carlk | October 31, 2013

Model S is not called the "Palo Alto Camry" there for nothing.

Captain_Zap | October 31, 2013

Is there a link? I couldn't find it.

Brian H | October 31, 2013

Nearness to TM HQ and resulting exposure has a lot to do with it, too. Seeing is believing buying.

HenryT2 | October 31, 2013

At $6.6M for the median home, you could afford to buy Model S'es for your maid and pool boy!

Earl and Nagin ... | November 1, 2013

You're right but I think you're missing the point.
At $6.6M median home price they could also afford to buy any BMW, MBZ, Rolls, Audi, (as well as Ford, GM, Nissan, Toyota, . . . ). But these folks aren't! They're buying Tesla Model S.
For most people, affordability is the only obstacle to Tesla ownership and it is a real obstacle (although I know a lot of people who have leaned very far forward to be able to afford this wonderful car).
Since Tesla is moving toward more affordability, a Tesla model for everyone will be coming. If those who can buy any car they want are any indication, Tesla is the car most will want.
Not a bad situation for a new car company :-)
Go Tesla!

JeremiahJ | November 1, 2013

That is very true. I also think the Model S may be the "in" car over the next couple of years. This is especially true in Southern California where I live. When it got out that my wife and I ordered one (we get our MS in Dec.), several of our "Hollywood" friends were asking about it. They were talking about the MS in the same way they talked about the Prius 5 years ago and the Hummer/Navigator/Escalade in the early 00's.

The great thing is that if the MS (or MX) becomes the "in" car to drive, the more affordable Gen3 Tesla could be huge.

It is just the right idea at the right time.

carlk | November 1, 2013

Sure they need to be able to afford the car but don't forget people in this area are also very forward thinking and not afraid to try new things. Many of them could be the Prius buyer 10 years ago before they made their fortunes.

TeslaOwnerBlog | November 1, 2013

The statistics are completely CA centric. 8 out of 25 that are Tesla Model S as the #1 car are all in CA! Their are four zip codes in CA that have double digit % market penetration on this list, and the highest number outside of CA is only 1.2%

My analysis here

Olof | November 1, 2013

Many big long lasting trends started in CA and spread across the world; surfing, mountain biking, skateboarding and inline skating to name a few.

Bodes well for Tesla that it sells well exactly there were people get their influences...

carlk | November 1, 2013

@Olef In terms of automobiles Californians started the national trends of VW beetle, Japanese compacts and Prius.

rdalcanto | November 1, 2013

There is no formal advertising. Tesla sales are largely dependent on exposure from current owners. The fact that sales are strongest in California is no surprise, given the location of the factory. As more drivers see the car in other parts of the country, I expect sales to increase in all wealthy zip codes.

DouglasR | November 1, 2013

All but three of those top 25 zip codes are in either California or New York City. It has to be hard to own the MS in NYC because even expensive apartments and coops often lack an easy path to adding appropriate charging facilities. I would be curious to see the numbers for parts of the country where real estate is not as expensive as NYC, but where there is a lot of wealth (e.g., Seattle). I suspect that a chart listing the top 25 zip codes by income or net worth would have a lot more representation outside of CA or NYC. It would be interesting to know whether these zip codes also have a high proportion of Model S owners.

Captain_Zap | November 1, 2013

More are sold per capita in Washington State than any other state. A product of more diverse neighborhoods and stealth wealth, I believe.

carlk | November 1, 2013

Washingtonians enjoy another incentive of no state sale tax for EV.

Captain_Zap | November 1, 2013

@carlk - Not for much longer, I understand. That can make all the difference for many buyers.

eddiemoy | November 1, 2013

I'm in nj and every week I'm seeing more and more of these. I'm in a well off zip, not on the list.

MNGreene | November 1, 2013

@Olof - I agree with you that many trends start in CA, but I'll argue with you a little on inline skates. Scotty Olson invented the modern inline skate, and started Rollerblade, a MN company. Inline skates were very popular in MN right at the beginning. Score one for flyover land!

portia | November 1, 2013

It's also interesting to see what other cars are the top selling models in the wealthiest zip codes, I am surprised to see Jeep's take 5 of them, which may mean when Model X comes out, those 5 will go to Tesla Model X's!
And only two BMW's, both 3 series, not 5 or 7's!
9 of the top 25 go to Mercedes of various classes.
Tesla Model S took 8 of the top 25 in the last table of that report.

Brian H | November 1, 2013

As I observed on your blog, word of mouth and demo sales are pretty much the whole enchilada. If Detroit started making a car and didn't advertise on TV or in the papers, etc., where would most (if any) be sold?

Earl and Nagin ... | November 2, 2013

Don't forget that in CA, a Model S can go essentially everywhere that most people drive, just as conveniently as with an ICE car. This is because the Supercharger network is built out covering the major driving excursion routes.
In other areas, there are a lot more limitations as to where one can conveniently drive in a Model S.
This, of course, is changing weekly.