Light-Duty Vehicle Population in California
Light-Duty vehicle population is updated annually in April to reflect the number of vehicles “on the road” during the previous calendar year. Light-Duty Vehicle population is lower than new zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) sales because of vehicle retirements, accidents, owners moving out of state, or other reasons. Visit full page layout of dashboard, download data, or return to the dashboard collection page.
Definition of Terms
ZEV: Zero Emission Vehicles, includes BEVs, PHEVs, and FCEVs
BEV: Battery Electric Vehicle
PHEV: Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles
FCEV: Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles
Non-ZEV: Non- Zero Emission Vehicles
MSA: Metropolitan Statistical Area
Data as of: December 31, 2021
Dashboard last updated: April 29, 2022
Data Collection Information
- Frequency of Historic Data Collection
Year. Prior to 2018, the DMV provided the CEC with database snapshots twice a year, in April and October. Starting In 2018, the DMV began providing quarterly database snapshots allowing CEC staff to align the sales and population counts with the calendar year. However, transitioning to calendar year causes a discontinuity in the counts from 2016 to 2017, where 2017 includes registrations from October 2016 through the end of December 2017.
Additionally, registrations of new vehicles may take up to three weeks to be processed by DMV. Thus, vehicles purchased at the end of a reporting period may not be reflected until the subsequent snapshot. This is corrected for at year-end for both population and sales by updating the January database with the April database to capture vehicles that registered at the end of the previous year. Vehicles whose registration is either current or less than 35 days expired are counted in Vehicle Population.
- Regional Data Categories
Map Filter. Data can be reflected at the county, metropolitan statistical area (MSA), or ZIP code level. Individual registrations were assigned to a region based on mailing address, with the following exceptions:
- Out of State: vehicles registered in California with a mailing address in a different state
- ZIP Code “99999”: indicates that the ZIP code in the Vehicle Registration database was invalid
- Unassigned: remote areas not associated with an MSA
- Unknown: Invalid ZIP codes categorized under MSA
California Energy Commission (2022). Light-Duty Vehicle Population in California. Data last updated [insert date last updated]. Retrieved [insert date retrieved] from https://www.energy.ca.gov/zevstats
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