Did You Buy an Electric Car Last Year? 2014 Sets New Sales Record in Sonoma County

February 3, 2015

Electric vehicle (EV) sales are picking up in Sonoma County. Over 1,500 plug-in hybrids and battery electric cars have been sold in the county since electric cars went on sale in 2010.

2014 set a new sales record for EVs in Sonoma with nearly half of all sales occurring in the last year. It also looks like 2015 is off to a good start, despite low gas prices. This January saw sales of EVs double from the year before.

This data comes from the Center for Sustainable Energy, which administers the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project for the State of California. You can check out the numbers for yourself on their great website, but we’ve gone ahead and crunched some of the most interesting stats for you (see below). Are you interested in buying an EV this year? What questions do you have?

Brant Arthur is the Transportation Implementation Manager for the The Climate Center. He can be reached at brant@theclimatecenter.org


Austins Discover that Jazzy New EV + Solar Panels = Less CO2 + ROI


Lindsay and Kirsten Austin carefully crunched the numbers to make sure that investing in reducing their carbon footprint made economic sense. And it did. With current tax credits and incentives, they can pay off their investment in five years and then receive free energy from the sun. With clean power from Sonoma Clean Power, they can be carbon-free.

They are now proud owners of an electric BMW, and soon to be owners of a solar system for their winery.

“There is no excuse not to buy an electric vehicle. The rebates are good and you get to drive in the HOV lane,” said Lindsay.

Listen to Lindsay tell about the EV, solar, saving money and CO2:

Resources the Austins used to help them analyze their investment include:

By Ann Hancock, Executive Director, The Climate Center

Real life experiences with EVs are spreading


Over the weekend I showed off my 2000 Ford Ranger all-electric pick-up truck in an “EV Expo” in Sebastopol, an exhibit of about twenty-five electric vehicles along with their owners. The EVs ran the gamut, all the way from a funky 1925 converted pick-up truck to a $100K Tesla Roadster. And yes – many practical options like the Nissan Leaf and Toyota Rav4 for the average driver.

The idea of an Expo is to make these vehicles available for inspection at a community event without sales pressure and with the owners there to describe their experience in buying, owning, driving, charging, and maintaining the vehicles. It worked. I could see people’s attitudes changing as they were able to touch the vehicles and hear stories.

It turns out that even where several similar EVs were lined up, the stories from their owners varied markedly. Prices, range, and charging times vary, largely dependent on the exact type of vehicle and the driving habits of the owners. Having these real life stories is essential for people to understand and trust EV technology. What all of the owners had in common was that they very much enjoy owning and driving their EVs.

Sonoma Clean Power was on the scene to make the connection between electric vehicles and the emerging opportunity to plug into cleaner power. With Sonoma Clean Power set to launch in May of 2014, EV owners in its service territory will be able to plug into power that is 60% cleaner than the existing power supply, and many people will find it easier to go solar. Integrating these two emerging transformative realities may be the key to rapidly reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector – 40% of the total carbon emissions pie in California.

   – Woody Hastings

The Promise and Reality of Electric Vehicles – April 2

Rafael Reyes, Executive Director of Bay Area Climate Collaborative, will moderate a panel of experts discussing how innovations in EV technology (including batteries, charging stations and design) can point the way to continuing mobility while offering new options for large scale solutions to energy storage.

Join Acterra for a series of exciting conversations focused on different solutions to protecting our climate by breaking out of our modern addiction to fossil fuels. You’ll come away with fresh ideas to spread a positive vision for making the transition to a new energy future.

Tuesday, April 2
7:30 PM

Fenwick & West
801 California St
Mountain View, CA 94041

RSVP to Acterra


Electric Vehicle Forum

If you drive an electric vehicle, or are considering one, or are just curious about them, the Climate One program at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco will be hosting a crowd-sourced program on August 20th titled EV Riders. Unlike many other programs where we hear the marketing spiel or what advertisers say about plug-in, hybrid, and electric vehicles, Climate One will ask the day to day drivers why they chose EVs and what makes it a better car to drive.  They’ll discuss major issues of electric vehicles including range anxiety, environmental benefits, and other EV issues.

Date: Monday, August 20
Time: 5:30 p.m. check-in, 6 p.m. program, 7 p.m. networking reception
Location: The Commonwealth Club, SF Club Office, 595 Market Street, San Francisco

Contact Brad Heavner for more information: brad@theclimatecenter.org; 707-525-1665 x123.