Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA), the Silicon Valley based automaker, was always expected to succeed in California. The state’s number one selling car for two years in a row has been the Toyota Prius in a state that cares about the “green” benefits of the hybrid. Additionally, outside of San Francisco, California demands that people spend a fair amount of time driving and the gas mileage that the hybrid gets certainly saves owners money when they head to the pumps. The all-electric Model S sedan is not an inexpensive car by any means but California is flush with people who have no issue with the $67,000 starting point. It’s for this reason that Tesla has sold nearly 5,000 units in California in the first half of the year.
Tesla Model S sales expectations
This represents over half of the company’s output for the year to date, and Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) is expected to sell 21,000 Model S sedans in 2013. However, Bloomberg Businessweek teamed up with Hedges & Co., an Ohio-based auto-research firm, to determine where you will find the most Teslas on the roads. Not in sheer numbers, but on a per capita basis.
It’s not California, where Tesla owners are given a number of state and local subsidies beyond the $7,500 federal tax rebate buyers get on Teslas anywhere in the country. Rather, it’s Washington state that enjoys the highest ratio of Model S registrations relative to all other new passenger car registrations this year.
Tesla sales statistics
In the first half of the year, Washingtonians registered one Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) for every 100 passenger cars, according to Hedges & Co. Californians bought 107 other cars for every Tesla. By this density metric, which corrects for California’s bigger population, Washington is the top state for Teslas. It doesn’t hurt that buyers of Teslas in Washington are not charged sales tax and owners needn’t go through emissions tests in order to register their cars. The other Pacific states, Oregon and Hawaii, along with Washington D.C. round out the top five locations with the highest density of Tesla sales.
On the opposite side of the coin, there are only three Teslas registered in both North and South Dakota combined with residents of Montana and Idaho also having no access to a showroom without a serious bit of travel.
Showrooms represent a boon to Tesla sales. Additionally, Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) sells cars in places that there are already Teslas.
“Where we have cars, we’re going to sell more cars,” says Tesla spokeswoman Shanna Hendriks. “Our customers are actually being our salespeople.”