Electric Vehicle sales and model availability soar in ZEV states

In 2023, the United States witnessed a significant surge in the sales of new electric light-duty vehicles (EVs), reaching approximately 1.4 million units, up from nearly 1 million in 2022. This increase has pushed the EV sales share to about 9% of the total market. However, the pace of growth in the EV market has varied considerably across different states, largely influenced by the adoption of California’s zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) regulations.
This figure shows a bubble chart illustrating electric vehicle (EV) sales shares of new vehicles and model availability in U.S. states and the District of Columbia for 2023. The horizontal axis represents the number of EV models available, while the vertical axis shows the EV sales share percentage. Each bubble represents a state, with the size of the bubble proportional to the number of new 2023 electric vehicles sold. ZEV states are depicted in green and non-ZEV states in purple. California has the highest sales share and number of models available, indicated by a large green bubble at the top right. Other states with significant EV sales and model availability include New York, Washington, and Colorado. Non-ZEV states like Texas and Florida also show notable model availability but lower sales shares compared to ZEV states. The chart highlights the correlation between ZEV regulation adoption, model availability, and EV sales share.
Source: The ICCT

ZEV States Leading the Charge

A critical factor in the increased adoption of EVs has been the implementation of ZEV regulations. As of the end of 2023, 17 states and the District of Columbia had adopted these regulations. These areas have shown a remarkable uptick in EV sales, with 15 of the top 20 markets for EV sales shares being ZEV states. The top 10 markets, which include nine states and the District of Columbia, reported EV sales shares exceeding 11%, all of which have adopted ZEV regulations.

Charging Infrastructure: A Key Driver

One of the significant contributors to high EV sales shares is the availability of charging infrastructure. The 10 markets with the highest EV sales share boasted nearly 980 public and workplace chargers per million residents on average. ZEV states, in general, had approximately 780 chargers per million residents, compared to around 320 in non-ZEV states. States like California, the District of Columbia, and Washington, which are all ZEV adopters, had more than twice as many chargers per million residents compared to the non-ZEV state average.

Incentives Boost EV Uptake

Most ZEV states offered purchase incentives for battery-electric vehicles (BEVs), further driving the adoption rates. In contrast, non-ZEV states largely did not offer such incentives. Among the top 10 markets with the highest EV sales shares, nine offered BEV purchase incentives, with some providing additional incentives for low-income consumers. On average, ZEV states provided incentives worth around $2,000. In non-ZEV states, only Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Texas offered purchase incentives, but these were limited in scope and availability.

Model Availability Correlates with Higher Sales

The availability of diverse EV models has also played a crucial role in driving sales. ZEV states had, on average, 60 EV models available, compared to 46 in non-ZEV states. States with the highest number of available models, such as California, New York, and New Jersey, also recorded the highest EV sales and sales shares. Two-thirds of ZEV states had 60 or more models available and sales shares of 7% or greater.

Non-ZEV States with High Model Availability

Some non-ZEV states like Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Illinois have shown relatively high EV model availability. These states are among the top six largest light-duty vehicle (LDV) markets in the country, making them attractive for a broader range of EV models. Despite not adopting ZEV regulations, their large markets have driven higher model availability compared to smaller states.

The Disparity in EV Sales Shares

Overall, EV sales shares in ZEV states in 2023 were notably higher than in non-ZEV states. California led the nation with a 26.4% EV sales share. Excluding California, the EV sales share in ZEV states stood at around 12.0%, double that of non-ZEV states, which was around 6.1%.


The data from 2023 underscores the significant impact of ZEV regulations on the growth of the EV market. States that have adopted these regulations not only report higher EV sales shares but also enjoy better charging infrastructure and model availability. As the U.S. continues to transition towards sustainable transportation, the success of ZEV states could serve as a model for others to follow, fostering nationwide growth in EV adoption.

Source: The ICCT

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