Why Californians got about half of Tesla Model S of the whole country?

Why Californians got about half of Tesla Model S of the whole country?

There are about 38 million Californians out of about 300 million Americans. That's 12% of the population. How could it be that about half of Tesla Model S deliveries or 3,000 are in California?

The rest of the country know better just like NYT reporter Broder does?

Rich California while the rest of the country are poorer?

Too many celebrities in CA?

CA risk takers?

Come on, give me some clues please!

JoeFee | 29 maart 2013

So goes CA, So goes the Nation!

hsadler | 29 maart 2013

Check your figures

Electron | 29 maart 2013

Good economy, proximity to factory and service, has the Silicon Valley full of rich young tech people who also tend to be eco-friendly. Etc. Etc.

davisu | 29 maart 2013

Lets hope it spreads like wild fire.

negarholger | 29 maart 2013

We have half of the Prius, Leafs, Volts, and now also MS. Nothing wrong with that. EV sales on CA are about 3% of total, 0.3% in entire US.
CA is car crazy... Do you have any idea how many Fiat 500 I see every day ? Show me a new car and CA wil buy it.
My very modest neighbourhood added yesterday MS number six - a white one... I love it.

negarholger | 29 maart 2013

@Electron - the young, rich comment is a big miss. None of the six I was talking about is rich, but we do not live pay check to pay check either. Hang out at the Menlo Park service ( the heart of rich ) - yes there you'll find your rich cliché... But it is only 2 out of 10.

carlk | 29 maart 2013

Californians usually are more open minded and not afraid to try new things. That's why people call it a progressive state as opposed to a conservative state. It also started trend to adapt to forign cars in the 70~80's long before rest of nation did.

@Kleist, Rich is a relative term. In many areas $200K family income can be considered rich but it's no big deal for family of two newly graduated members to have that much income or more.

shop | 29 maart 2013

Some ideas: CA tax breaks, more greenies, warm weather state so battery anxiety isn't as high, higher pollution in metro areas so more open to zero emission car, in general trends seem to start more often in CA, Tesla is HQ in CA, so locals know it better, perhaps a more tech aware population.

DerekCrosby | 29 maart 2013

California invested a lot of taxpayer $$ on ev infrastructure back in the late 90`s and early 2000, when you couldn't own a descent electric, because the carmakers blamed lack of infrastructure on the lack of electric offerings. Then the car makes had no more to complain about, but ca. Also lowewd electric or zero emission policies, and the whole thing was perceived as a tax boondoggle.

Tesla proved that you just need something that doesn't look / feel like a turd on the road and people see the infrastructure, and know they can use it without having to worry about just going back and forth to work... But that`s my interpretation and based on the facts at hand and by no means scientific...

Mark2131@CA-US | 29 maart 2013


Is this a trick question?

Where do you think all of the "haters" live? Here's your clue... It's NOT California!

RanjitC | 29 maart 2013

The eyes of the world are on the USA. The eyes of USA are on California. I'm sure you have heard this before. We live on the cutting edge of the world. What else would you expect of us?

ir | 29 maart 2013

Santa Clara County (aka. Silicon Valley) compared to the rest of the country:

Median Income: $89,064 vs. $52,762 (1.69 times greater)

Avg. STARTING Silicon Valley Engineer Salary (Before Stocks & Perks): $122,500 (2.23 times greater)
Double engineer household: $245,000 (4.64 times greater)

Now compare a Model S 85kWh to the most popular luxury car (Mercedes C class): $87400 vs. $35,350 (2.47 times higher)

Wealthier? Yes.
Typical Engineer? Hell YES!
Comparing car to income? Not really. Starts to make more sense.

Mark Z | 29 maart 2013

Warmer winter weather increases the EV range near the coast and at the desert.

Higher gas prices encourage alternative energy transportation choices.

RanjitC | 29 maart 2013

@ir there are more Blink charging stations in San Diego than LA and more in LA than San Francisco .So it's not just the high incomes of the Silicon Valley types. We poor people in LA also are early adopters.

riceuguy | 29 maart 2013

One look at CA gas prices would send me scurrying to the Tesla store!

negarholger | 29 maart 2013

@ir - to complete the picture you have to also include cost of housing... Tiny houses starting at $600k.

negarholger | 29 maart 2013

@ir - come over here and make ends meat. Yes, on the surface it looks better, but you are just watching the money move by...
A typical family home starts at about 1.5 to 2 million. Rent starts at $3 k for a tiny studio...
At work our young engineers have a tough time to estabish themselves and get by on their salaries.

I am in fat city... House paid of many years ago... Anual cost less then $10k. Because I didn't opted to buy a bigger house.

wraithnot | 29 maart 2013

Carpool lane access, $2,500 state tax rebate, highest density of superchargers, highest density of service centers, highest density of showrooms, and a technology based economy (at least in the SF bay area) are some of the reasons that the Model S is very popular in California. People who can pick their car up at the factory in Fremont also get their cars more quickly for a variety of reasons.

DC@Tesla | 29 maart 2013

CA = Bad traffic : EV Car = Access to Carpool (HOV) Lanes
$2500 CA Rebate
Lots of superchargers = Less range anxiety
High gas prices in CA = EV makes more sense
Huge trend in CA to adopt cleaner vehicles
Temperate climate
No need to angst over 21 vs 19 inch wheels (either will work in CA!)
Could go on and on...

Maestrokneer | 29 maart 2013

+1 wraithnot and DC

Plus, in the words of Tupac and Dr. Dre: "California, knows how to party"


portia | 29 maart 2013

Californians are more open-minded, more forward thinking, (in general)
we also love cars more, we have 22 million passenger cars (not couning trucks, RVs etc)
while the US has 136 million such cars total. so 1 in 6 cars is in California. other reasons people alredy mentioned account for why we have more faster, cooler, greener cars.

carlk | 30 maart 2013

@Mark2131 That's one good reason too. There are not that many global warming non-believers and Obama haters in the state although I could not tie the President to Tesla in any significant way.

shop | 30 maart 2013

Keep the hate politics out of it guys, you don't have to believe in man made global warming to love the car.

xenogeek | 30 maart 2013

I agree with the points made by wraithnot and DC@Tesla. I would also add that living in the Bay Area and working in high tech for years, I like being an early adopter of technology, willing to invest in new trends and living through some of the beta phases along the way. I see the vision that Tesla is offering with the Model S and wanted to be a part of it by buying one.

Captain_Zap | 30 maart 2013

High concentrations of early Teslas can be attributed to high concentrations of high tech businesses and engineers that are familiar with the technology, new product launches and new manufacturing lines. They were able to evaluate the technology and the viability of the business before the cars even hit the manufacturing line. They were more comfortable with the design, the development, the leadership and early adopter issues. It was easier for them to invest in the technology because they they knew it was viable on paper. This insight helped them manage their own expectations as well. The Northwest has a high concentration of Teslas for the very same reasons.

It didn't hurt that California was a hotbed of EV activity in the 1990's until incentives were quashed. Many of the engineers that got involved in those projects moved on to other high tech businesses. Some kept EV activities going as a hobby.

wraithnot | 30 maart 2013

One more factor that I forgot to mention- a lot of employers in the SF bay area are installing free charging stations in their parking lots. One of my co-workers just bought a LEAF and the building owner is installing three J1772 charging stations in the near future. At first I wasn't that excited because I have an 85 kWh battery which is complete overkill for my daily commute. But then I realized the power would be free if I charged at work instead of charging at home. It's hard to beat free!

TikiMan | 30 maart 2013

Your answer...

1) Here in California, we don't have harsh weather.
2) Having a nice ride in California is a higher priority than in most other states.
3) Tesla is designed and built in California, so it was introduced here first.
4) We have the largest charging infrastructure to date.
5) We have some of the highest gas prices in the nation.
6) We have some of the worst traffic in the nation.
7) California is blue-state, and supports green-technology more than the rest of the nation.
8) California is where the majority of tech companies are headquartered (it's not called 'Silicon Valley' for it's high number of breat implants :-)

alcassfast | 30 maart 2013

I heard that L.A. has the worst air quality in the nation (and that Houston is in the top three, also). Maybe people are trying to breathe better air? I would live in L.A. except that I like fresh air.

carlk | 30 maart 2013

@shop, People who practice hate politics would not want to be accociated with an EV and appear on this forum. No?

djm12 | 30 maart 2013

California combines innovative spirits willing to try new things, well above average incomes as a result of having a highly educated upper 20th percentile, exceptional respect to the environment (e.g., Yosemite, Redwoods, Whales, Bears) and a history of fighting the establishment - in this case, both oil companies and major auto manufacturers. It should be no surprise that Californians are early adopters of EVs.

With no intent to insult...the Midwest lacks many of these attributes - big oil rules the plains and EVs don't have the range that people there need in the cold. The Northeast also may be a bit cold in the winters, although this may be less a problem than many think. The South would offer an ideal climate, except for conservative attitudes and a general hatred for anything that Californian's like.

What about Hawaii? They could go 100% EV without sacrificing anything.

Mel. | 30 maart 2013

Carik, you are mistaken... Have you forgotten?.. Are you not concerned? It is the axis of EVIL.

shop | 30 maart 2013

@carlk, calling anyone a hater is divisive and rather self-unaware. Left wing political partisans "hate" just as many things about the right as right wing partisans "hate" about the left. When you get past the initial positions, on either the left or the right, you find thought out reasons for the positions. Anyways, back OT, sounds like there are a lot of possible reasons for Californians to be early Tesla adopters. I'm a Californian, and pretty far right in my beliefs, yet loved the Tesla when I became aware of it since I'm technical enough to appreciate the huge technological leap it represented. Noiseless, urban pollution free, higher energy efficiency WITHOUT the past electric car compromises is what got me. Then I drove one, and was absolutely hooked. The adequate cargo space (comparable to a small SUV) helped too. The touchscreen and software updates are the cherry on top :-)

Brian H | 30 maart 2013

The Tesla MS is a tour de force that anyone can appreciate. To accept or reject it because of politics is deeply dim.

TiburonTesla | 30 maart 2013

I'm not a liberal and live in CA. Absolutely love it. Teslas everywhere. Forward thinking everywhere. I guess all the silly good weather just makes ya think anything is possible.

carlk | 31 maart 2013

@shop. Yes liberals hate many things too but not a MS or any other green cars. I have never heard anyone here in the SF bay area say they dislike MS or EV because it's a liberal thing or because Obama administration was promoting it. It's not the case in many other parts of the country where the view is very different. This is just a reason, among many you and others mentioned, but it is definitely a reason.

Fine that you're in Califonia and you're far right. But don't you think perhaps you're using the California standard to rate yourself? Far right in some places wear hoods. Either way Elon did a great job to make a far right like you to become a believer because he made the car so irresistible. ;-)

shop | 31 maart 2013

I should be careful how I label myself. Didn't mean to imply that!

negarholger | 31 maart 2013

Another brand new MS in my neighbourhood spotted this morning... #8. They are popping up like spring flowers. Looks like the top 1% live in 50 year old 1200 sqft houses. I always knew it the mansions are for the middle class.

sanjosedriver | 1 april 2013

I think it is because Californians, especially those from Silicon Valley, are less hesitant to adopt new technology. The pace of change is incredible in the valley.

As a side note, I see between 3 and 9 Model S every day on my morning commute alone... 237W >> 85S >> 280N >> 92E. They should rename Highway 85 the electric freeway, I see at least a dozen electrics in the carpool lane every morning in the span of a 6-7 min drive between 237 and 280.

Vawlkus | 1 april 2013

Two words on that subject Brian: Avro Arrow.

Brian H | 1 april 2013

Yeah, Diefenbaker's crime against humanity was expunging that.

Ezappia | 4 april 2013

Weather. Wealth. CA has about 3/4 of all Porsches, Ferraris, Lamborghini's, etc. It's not a Tesla thing, it's a weather/money thing.

negarholger | 4 april 2013

Weather is real bad in CA and we are not wealthy... we just like to complain about yesterdays technology.

Captain_Zap | 7 april 2013

It is because the west coast is full of descendants of early pioneers and explorers. It's in our blood.
Trailblazers with one eye on the new frontier.

torst1 | 8 april 2013

I believe the smog is why. When you see the smog day in and day out eventually one gets sick of it and wishes to contribute to lower emissions. Also there are many deep and wide pockets in sunny California that has little problems paying the price (! ok now Brian H?)to early adopters. And third it might have to do with the California lifestyle being more focused on green living then what we normally see elsewhere.

noel.smyth | 8 april 2013

hmmm, I have yet to see another Tesla in my dailly commute. I think I need to move to Cali!

Benz | 8 april 2013

@ Kleist

Wow, 8 Tesla Model S cars in your neighbourhood. That must be a very nice view when you go for a walk in your neighbourhood. Which colour is most popular in your neighbourhood?

DFibRL8R | 8 april 2013

I think the wealth comments are interesting but IMO only a small factor. Based on median household income, I live in the wealthiest county in the nation (Loudoun County, VA) and the #2 and #3 are also in Northern Virginia. "Poor" Santa Clara County, CA is only #19! By this stat there should be a lot more Model S's in Northern Virginia but it's been about 4 weeks since I've seen another in the wild. This is why I believe the access to chargers, progressive/innovative mindset and yes politics come into play more than simple wealth.

carlk | 8 april 2013

@DFibRL8R, Yes until you looked at population of each counties. Santa Clara County has a population of nearly 2 million that includes many living in the rural and blue collar areas. The result would be totally different if you filter out those with incomes below, say, 80% quartiles. That is reflected in the fact Silicon Valley has a very high share of wealthiest towns in the country.

The wealth is definitely a significant factor you better believe it. Not just cars many of the most expensive real estate markets are also located in this area. There is no reason why "poor" Californians can be bigger spenders than their counterparts in other parts of the nation.

djm12 | 8 april 2013

The large number of Californians with Teslas can also be partly explained by the extensive number of stores, service centers and supercharging locations. It's hard to sell a car if the nearest test drive is an hour or more away from home.

From my house in the LA area, I am within reach of three superchargers, two stores and two service centers - and a new service center is opening up soon that is within a ten minute drive. This level of saturation is necessary for mainstream adoption.

Benz | 9 april 2013

It would be interesting to see a graph that will show the expansion of the number of Tesla Model S registrations in California. This graph could show the number of Tesla Model S registrations per week/month, starting in June 2012 till end of March 2013. I would like to see the development of these figures over time (till end of March 2013). Is the line going up or down? Or are the delivies of the Tesla Model S in California showing a steady line (not very likely). Maybe someone can come up with this information?