A study by Green Lining in the State of California showed that low-emission vehicle owners are disproportionately white compared with the state’s demographic. The study found that 70% of hybrid vehicle owners are white while the state’s population is just 40% white. It also found that Latino, Asian and African American Californians are much less likely than Caucasians to own low-emissions vehicles.
The study found that “Californians of color [tend] to be more concerned about air pollution than whites, making them a natural (and thus far largely untapped) market for EVs and other low or zero-emissions vehicles.” The study also warns that low availability and lack of widespread knowledge of state and federal tax incentives makes expensive hybrid and electric vehicles look even less attractive to the state’s minority population.
Green Lining’s study also warns against leaving out minority populations when pushing a new green transportation system. It found that the Latino and Asian communities are highly environmentally conscious but are being left behind in the marketing of low-emissions vehicles. The study noted that by 2015, 1 million electric vehicles are projected to be sold and purchased, and 200,000 to 300,000 of those will be in California. With the state making up such a large part of the total EV network, widespread adoption through all of California’s communities is imperative.
Via Fast Company