While sales of the all-electric Nissan Leaf and range-extended Chevy Volt are beginning to ramp up, Pike Research is looking at the future of plug-in electric vehicles (PEV) in the country. A new forecast shows that there could be 359,000 PEVs on the roads of the nation by 2017, with California and New York being the most popular states for PEV sales.

In the Electric Vehicle Geographic Forecasts report, the team at Pike Research gathered data about potential PEV sales to create a geographic forecast model. The model will be helpful for power companies that want to get ahead of the trend and prepare their infrastructure for the electrified vehicles of the future.

The full report answers several key questions including:

  • Which states have the greatest affinity toward electric vehicle ownership?
  • Where will plug-in electric vehicle sales grow the fastest?
  • How many vehicles will electric utilities have to prepare for?
The result of Pike Research’s careful analysis shows that California and New York will be the two states with the highest PEV sales over the next six years. Areas within these states specifically mentioned include the New York City metro area, the Los Angeles metro area, the San Francisco metro area and the San Diego area. This shouldn’t come as a surprise as these markets have been involved in electric vehicle pilot projects for years.

Florida is also expected to have an above average demand for PEVs over the next six years. According to Pike Research, by 2017 PEVs will account for 5.4 percent of new vehicle sales in California, 3.7 percent of new sales in New York and 2.8 percent of sales in Florida. The expected national average for plug-in vehicle sales in 2017 is just 2.4 percent of total new car sales.

Although this is merely a forecast, the data gathered by the team at Pike Research may prove beneficial to utility companies in these three states as they begin to expand their infrastructure.