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Tuesday, February 27, 2024
Feb. 27, 2024

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Sales of electric vehicles revving up in Clark County; 2,000 BEVs registered in county this year

Drivers in county increasingly shift away from fossil fuels

By , Columbian staff writer
Published:
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Battery electric vehicle registrations in Clark County in 2023 are on pace to nearly double the amount in 2022. Through September, 2,000 battery electric vehicles have been registered in Clark County, compared with 1,363 in 2022, according to the Washington Department of Licensing.
Battery electric vehicle registrations in Clark County in 2023 are on pace to nearly double the amount in 2022. Through September, 2,000 battery electric vehicles have been registered in Clark County, compared with 1,363 in 2022, according to the Washington Department of Licensing. (Taylor Balkom/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

Clark County motorists continue to electrify as battery electric vehicle, also known as BEV, registrations in the county are on track to nearly double from 2022 levels.

Through September, 2,000 BEVs have been registered in Clark County, compared with 1,363 in 2022, according to the Washington Department of Licensing. Through Oct. 19, there are 6,589 BEVs in Clark County.

Don Steinke, a local environmental activist, said the increase is not a shock, pointing to Clark Public Utilities’ observation last October that the number of electric vehicles registered in Clark County grows by about 50 percent each year.

Reasons for purchasing a battery electric vehicle vary. Fuel prices are high — Washington has the third highest average gas and diesel prices in the unionincentives to electrify are plentiful and others are concerned about the impact of fossil fuels on the environment.

Steinke is a part of the latter group. He purchased a Chevrolet Bolt in August for a few reasons: its roughly 250-mile range was significantly larger than his 2016 Nissan Leaf, an informed friend had recommended it, he wanted to purchase a union-made vehicle, and it made the most financial sense; with the $7,500 federal rebate, the car’s cost totaled about $21,000, a few thousand cheaper than a new Leaf, the other vehicle he was eyeing.

Tesla

One brand makes up the majority of the total BEVs in Clark County: Tesla. Of the 6,589 BEVs in Clark County, 3,673 are Teslas. The most popular model is the Model 3, with 1,530, followed by the Model Y, 1,417, Model S, 447, and the Model X, 278.

The Tesla showroom in Vancouver opened in late January — the third in the Portland metro area — and since April, an average of 150 Teslas were registered in Clark County each month, compared with an average of 253 total BEV registrations during the same time.

It is unclear if there is a correlation between the showroom opening and the increase in Teslas in Clark County. An employee at the Tesla showroom in Vancouver said he could not comment without being authorized to by Tesla’s main office. The main office did not respond to multiple emails.

How does Clark County compare?

Out of Washington’s five most populous counties — King, Pierce, Snohomish, Spokane and Clark — Clark ranks third on a per-person basis in terms of total BEVs with about one in 78 people in Clark County owning a BEV. King County, at one in 35, and Snohomish County, at one in 58, ranked higher.

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This story was made possible by Community Funded Journalism, a project from The Columbian and the Local Media Foundation. Top donors include the Ed and Dollie Lynch Fund, Patricia, David and Jacob Nierenberg, Connie and Lee Kearney, Steve and Jan Oliva, The Cowlitz Tribal Foundation and the Mason E. Nolan Charitable Fund. The Columbian controls all content. For more information, visit columbian.com/cfj.

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