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West Coast states dominated the electric vehicle market in 2022

Hawaii tied the two Northwest states for the second most electric vehicles sold in 2022. California had the most sales for the second year in a row.
Credit: AP Photo/Matthew Brown

OREGON, USA — Oregon and Washington claimed second place for most electric vehicle purchases in the United States throughout 2022. Both states were in a three-way tie with Hawaii, which is one of the fastest growing markets for EVs in the nation.

The year prior, Oregon won the number two slot outright, coming in second only to California. The Golden State has led the country in EV sales for the last several years.

2023 is set to be a big year for the electric vehicle industry in the Pacific Northwest. Washington and Oregon have both signed on to California's "zero emissions" standard for vehicles beginning in 2035.

Under the rule, the sale of new gas-powered vehicles will be banned but used sales will still be permitted. Oregon also has a number of rebates for electric vehicles that are continuing into 2023 in an effort to make EVs more appealing to the average consumer.

According to the Oregon Department of Energy, there are roughly 55,000 EVs registered in the state. In Oregon, Tesla remains the most popular brand of electric vehicle, accounting for over 32% of all EVs registered in 2022. Close seconds are EVs manufactured by Nissan and Chevrolet, both accounting for roughly 12% of the EVs on Oregon roadways.

According to ODE, the price gap between EVs and gas vehicles is also narrowing. According to the agency's EV information dashboard, the starting MSRP for an EV in Oregon was somewhere in the ballpark of $37,000 while comparable gas cars started around $20,000. Although the difference is substantial, it is smaller than in years past and has been offset by the multiple state-issued rebates

An Oregonian buying a new EV with a sticker price under $50,000 can expect a rebate in the ballpark of $7,500, and that's just from the state. Anyone in the U.S. qualifies for a federal rebate of of $7,500 as of January 1, 2023. Oregon's rebate program began back in 2018, before the 2035 plan was even proposed. ODE estimates that since then it has issued more than $63 million in rebates.

According to the Washington State Department of Transportation, around 25,000 electric vehicles are registered in that state as of Jan 12. That's roughly half the number of registrations in Oregon. The trend makes sense, however, if you consider the fact that Washington only offers a $1,000 dollar rebate to new EV buyers, in addition to the federal rebate.

Although Washington's overall registration pales in comparison to Oregon, the state saw record sales of EVs this year, also coinciding with the state's adoption of California's 2035 plan.

Hawaii also saw a surge in EV registration in 2022. The island chain has historically never made up a large percentage of car sales in the United States. In the first three months of 2022 alone however, the state saw roughly 14,000 new EVs hit roadways.

One of the key differences between the rollout of EVs in Hawaii and the rollout on the West Coast is the sheer number of incentives for consumers. Hawaii not only offers rebates for buying an EV, but also offers refunds for the cost of charging said vehicle, and even free parking. There are some parking spaces on the islands that are reserved for EVs exclusively.

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