Stand up (or rattle your jewelry) if you're from Water Mill, NY. Be proud, Hamptons dwellers, for you're the only community outside of California where the Tesla Model S is making a real dent in overall new car sales, says Edmunds.

Of the 25 wealthiest zip codes in the US, eight of them have the distinction of having the Tesla Model S as its best-selling car. In some enclaves, the Tesla is about as common as a Toyota Camry in other cities. For instance, in the San Francisco Bay Area community of Atherton, 15 percent of new vehicles are Teslas. Of course, the average home price in Atherton is about $6.7 million and the Silicon Valley community is pretty much the birthplace of the high-end EV.

Meanwhile, about 3,000 miles east, Water Mill is the only city outside of the Golden State where Teslas account for more than one percent of new-car sales. Overall, Tesla accounts for about one out of every 1,000 new cars sold in the US. That's not exactly commonplace, but it is pretty impressive considering that the far-cheaper Nissan Leaf EV and Chevrolet Volt extended-range plug-in are selling at about the same clip. We'll know a little bit more about Tesla's 2013 sales when the company's third-quarter earnings are released Tuesday. In the meantime, check out Edmunds's press release below.
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Tesla Model S Outsells the Market in Some of America's Wealthiest Cities, Says Edmunds.com

SANTA MONICA, Calif., Oct. 31, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- It's no secret that the Tesla Model S is the newest "must-have" toy among America's most affluent citizens. But a shocking analysis from Edmunds.com, the premier resource for car shopping and automotive information, finds that in some of the country's richest communities, the Model S sells better than any other car on the market.

According to Edmunds.com's analysis of new car registration data from Polk, the Model S is the top-selling vehicle this year in eight of America's 25 wealthiest ZIP Codes. The analysis further finds that all eight communities are located in California. Leading the way is Atherton, CA, where the Model S accounts for 15.4 percent of all new car registrations within its borders. According to Forbes, Atherton, which sits adjacent to Tesla's Palo Alto headquarters, is the wealthiest zip code in America, with a median home price of $6,665,000.

While the analysis shows that the richest populations are snatching up Teslas now, Edmunds.com says that the data offers hints about Tesla's potential to appeal to a broader range of buyers.

"It's a classic pattern for any retail product, including cars: the wealthy and influential buyers set a trend, and the mainstream aspires to follow," says Edmunds.com Sr. Analyst Jessica Caldwell. "As Tesla increases the number of models and improves its price points, it could find itself in demand by more than just those in these wealthy enclaves. After all, luxury car companies typically find the most volume in their entry-level vehicles."

Tesla has made it clear that its next frontier is to make its vehicles more affordable to the mass market. In May, Tesla CEO Elon Musk shared that he hopes to offer a vehicle to car shoppers for under $40,000 within the next four years.

If Tesla does plan to break through to new buyers, it will have to expand its appeal outside of California's borders. Edmunds.com's analysis found that Tesla's market share exceeds 1.0 percent in only one of the non-California zip codes ranked in the top 25 by Forbes (#19 Water Mill, NY with 1.2% of all new car registrations in 2013, through August). The Model S national market share sits at just 0.1 percent.

Jessica Caldwell (@jessrcaldwell) offers more insight into Tesla's class of affluent buyers in Edmunds.com's Industry Center at http://www.edmunds.com/industry-center/analysis/drive-by-numbers-tesla-model-s-is-the-vehicle-of-choice-in-many-of-americas-wealthiest-zip-codes.html.

About Edmunds.com , Inc.

Edmunds.com is a car-shopping Web site committed to helping people find the car that meets their every need. Almost 18 million visitors use our research, shopping and buying tools every month to make an easy and informed decision on their next new or used car. Whether you're at the dealership or on the go, we're always by your side with our acclaimed Edmunds.com iPhone and iPad apps and our Edmunds.com Android App. Our comprehensive car reviews, shopping tips, photos, videos and feature stories offer a friendly and authentic approach to the automotive world. We're based in Santa Monica, Calif., but you can connect with us from anywhere by following @Edmunds on Twitter or by becoming a fan of Edmunds.com on Facebook.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 35 Comments
      throwback
      • 2 Days Ago
      Explain why tax payers have to subsidize a 100K car again? I'm all for people keeping more of their money but do we really need to help offset the cost of luxury goods? If the object is to promote EVs, we should at least have a cap on the cost of the car.
        Technoir
        • 2 Days Ago
        @throwback
        So let me get this straight: Republicans whine for lower taxes and more tax breaks for the rich. Buyers of EVs are getting a tax break on their purchase. Republicans point fingers and whine about the injustice! It makes no sense. The GOP has been run over by hordes of mentally challenges individuals who can not argue rationally.
        m_2012
        • 2 Days Ago
        @throwback
        Maybe you should worry more about subsidizing the oil companies, tobacco, and corporate farms. I wish they would up the credit to $50K. I could have a new car, no gas bill, and pay no income taxes like the tax laws intended (at least for a year).
        Grendal
        • 2 Days Ago
        @throwback
        Taxpayers do NOT subsidize the Model S except in a round about way. The tax credit means you get to keep your own money. The round about way would be if you think that money is owed to the federal government. If so, then you should also be angry about every other tax write off like children and mortgages. Not one cent is coming out of your pocket. So I am comfortable in saying that taxpayers are not subsidizing the Model S.
        raktmn
        • 2 Days Ago
        @throwback
        Throwback, So far in used Volt and Leaf sales, we are seeing that the vast majority of those tax breaks are being passed through to the next buyer when these cars are resold. So if you are really pee'ed off about this, take out your revenge by purchasing a used Tesla Model S from someone wealthy in a few years, and celebrate the majority of that tax break being passed on to you, and put that money in your pocket. Didn't you lose on Jeopardy or something? I thought you were smarter than to fall for populist rabble-rousing...
          MTN RANGER
          • 2 Days Ago
          @raktmn
          Plus, by buying used, you avoid a huge amount of depreciation. I continue to hold on to the belief that by leasing every three years, I am providing affordable used PEVs.
        Samuel Look
        • 2 Days Ago
        @throwback
        So the fossil fuels sector has had something like $500,000,000,000 in subsidies over the last 50 years and your worried about a guy buying an electric car getting something like $8,000....
        m_2012
        • 2 Days Ago
        @throwback
        Please look up the word subsidize. You are keeping some of your OWN money, not others. The rich have more tax write-offs anyways - I would be upset about those first. Anyone that buys this car can keep more of their own money.
          Nick Kordich
          • 2 Days Ago
          @m_2012
          I suppose it depends on your dictionary, but the $7500 federal tax credit seems to fit the definition: "support (an organization or activity) financially." -http://www.google.com/search?q=subsidize "1. Monetary assistance granted by a government to a person or group in support of an enterprise regarded as being in the public interest." -http://www.thefreedictionary.com/subsidy "to help someone or something pay for the costs of (something)" -http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/subsidize
        Nick Kordich
        • 2 Days Ago
        @throwback
        @throwback - What can you do with $100k that doesn't get you a tax break? Buy a first home? Tax credit. Pay mortgage interest? Tax deduction. Buy new appliances? Tax credit. Put on a new roof? Tax credit. Mortgage a second home? Tax deduction. Mortgage a boat? Tax deduction. Lease a car (for business)? Tax deduction. Buy land? Tax deduction. Go to college? Tax credit. Get married? Taxed at a lower rate. Have a kid? Tax credit. Put money into your business? Tax deduction/lower rate. Saved money (IRA)? Tax deduction. Lost money (investment losses)? Tax deduction. Made money (long terms capital gains)? Taxed at a lower rate. Made someone else money (carried interest)? Taxed at a lower rate. Cheers, by the way, those kind souls who thought "charity" when thinking of what to do with $100k - of course, that's deductible, too.
          Nick Kordich
          • 2 Days Ago
          @Nick Kordich
          I don't know if anybody else will bother backtracking to this discussion, given more recent articles, but I wanted to take a closer look at one of those deductions in particular as an example: buying a boat. Take the case of a 47' cabin cruiser mentioned in the story linked below. Boats that size get about 1.5 gallons to the mile and the owner deducts $19,200 every year for interest, since he can treat the boat loan as a mortgage on a second home - as can the person he sells it to, used. http://www.seattlepi.com/local/article/Declaring-your-boat-a-second-home-can-bring-big-1159212.php The amount of lost revenue on people declaring a boat as a second home is not something the IRS provides as a statistic. The author of a bill to eliminate this practice estimated over a billion dollars a year. 400,000 boats qualify, but not all have loans and not all owners qualify (those already deducting the interest on two mortgages, for example). There's also a cap that means the super-rich can't write off millions. However, if only a hundred-thousand owners deduct a hypothetical average of $10,000 a year gets you to that billion. A billion dollars is more than has been given to electric vehicle buyers since the tax credit began - in fact, that'd cover 133,333 EVs, which is close to all of the EVs on the road. The bill was introduced in 2011 but killed by the House Ways & Means Committee. It's been reintroduced, but it's already been punted back to the Committee again and govtrack gives it a 1% prognosis in terms of it getting anywhere. It's seen as "raising taxes" as opposed to "cutting subsidies" by those deciding its fate, so even 1% may be optimistic. https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/112/hr1702 https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/hr2563 Now, don't get me wrong - I love boats. I came fairly close to buying and living on one a few years back. The question for a tax incentive, however, is what bang do you get for the buck you give up in revenue? There are more new and used boat sales...not exactly a strategic industry or one we need to establish a lead in new technology. There's also some positive effect on tourism/recreation spending for and marina services. I think that's about it. On the flip side, what are the drawbacks? I mentioned 1.5 gallon per mile fuel use. There's more litter, oil, anti-foulant paint and other pollutants leaching into lakes and coastal waters. There's also a disgusting and disgustingly common habit of owners dumping sewage rather than paying for pumpout services - in spite of this being a cheap service and the owners saving thousands on tax annually for boats worth tens or hundreds of thousands. Compared to EVs (reduced air pollution; more efficient use of the electrical grid; promoting US auto manufacturing; reduced oil imports; increased petroleum exports), which gives you more bang for the buck? Or, if the goal is to cut something, which credit can both Democrats and the Tea Party caucus agree should go?
      Zapbrannigan
      • 2 Days Ago
      Audi, Mercedes and BMW must be suffering on their "halo" model sales figures. Serves them right dragging their feet developing EVs in the first place. The Model S could have been developed by any of those three 10 years ago...
        Technoir
        • 2 Days Ago
        @Zapbrannigan
        Zap Absolutely. These German firms are run by guys the age of grandpas, they are conservative, opposed to change and afraid of new technology. Serves them well to get slapped by Tesla.
      Grendal
      • 2 Days Ago
      Not a surprise. If you can afford it, then it's the car to buy if it fits your lifestyle.
      m_2012
      • 2 Days Ago
      Rich people buy $100K car. News at 11.
      Joeviocoe
      • 2 Days Ago
      Marco... but tax incentives are given to Oil companies too. So basically every car buying decision we could possibly make will involve subsidizing someone. So it is simply 'shut up about "subsidies" all together', or 'get your facts straight'.
      jeff
      • 2 Days Ago
      So, rich people are buying the hottest luxury sedan on the market.... I am shocked...
      Marcopolo
      • 2 Days Ago
      @ Grendal I support tax incentives for EV adoption, I even support the amount to be in the form of a rebate rather than a tax credit, so everyone can qualify . But let's not mince words, to say that the taxpayer is not subsidising the purchase is disingenuous. Tax credits are given to businesses for a variety of reasons. (mostly to defray expenses and encourage investment). When private individuals are granted a tax credit to purchase a car, the rest of the taxpayers are forced to pay extra into the overall tax pool to compensate for the purchase. To say otherwise, is simply wrong. ( Oh, and yes, single taxpayers do subsidize those with children, etc. )
      northy989
      • 2 Days Ago
      Atherton is a very small community, sandwiched between Redwood City and Menlo Park - and its population is only about 6,000, so not a very large sample size.
        Spec
        • 2 Days Ago
        @northy989
        I live in Menlo Park and this explains why I can't swing a dead cat w/o hitting a Model S.
          Joeviocoe
          • 2 Days Ago
          @Spec
          And bearing the name of a former employee whom he has swindled and then campaigned against the safety of his inventions. Would be a very funny twist of faith. Maybe we could get the GM CEO to electrocute some family pets in a Tesla.
          Spec
          • 2 Days Ago
          @Spec
          No, Thomas Edison was in Menlo Park, New Jersey.
          DarylMc
          • 2 Days Ago
          @Spec
          OK Please excuse my geographical ignorance. I was quite excited to think that a bunch of EV's were driving around in the same place where Edison was tinkering with light bulbs.
          DarylMc
          • 2 Days Ago
          @Spec
          Is that the Menlo Park Thomas Edison worked at?
      GR
      • 2 Days Ago
      This is pretty awesome, not for the fact that rich people are buying an expensive luxury car, but for the fact that that car is an EV. 5 years ago, something like this would've been unheard of but now we're seeing Teslas being sold in droves. Way to go Tesla!
      Marcopolo
      • 2 Days Ago
      Never mind what sort of person buys the Tesla Model S, I just find it exciting that over 21,000 Ev's like this have been sold, with global sales just beginning. It's all happens so quickly ! After years of only specialist electric vehicles being produced, and the idea of production EVs being able to compete with ICE vehicles being written off as impractical, it's great to see so many manufacturers releasing EV models following the success of Tesla. But speaking of communist plots, it's an Irony that the late Soviet leader, Leonid Brezhnev and North Korea's Kim Jong-il, both had the world largest collections of rare and valuable luxury cars.
      DarylMc
      • 2 Days Ago
      Hi Grendal I don’t think there is much point trying to make out that the tax credit isn't a subsidy because it clearly is. Personally I think it is a benefit to the USA and also the rest of the world since Tesla has made some fine EV's. I think the subsidy is reasonable and beneficial regardless if some people have a whine about it. For those people the cost to society of gas vehicles is something they should be considering as well. Since Tesla Model S gets the same tax credit as say a Leaf, well I think the USA and the rest of the world is better for it too. Simply because the gas vehicle it displaces in the case of Model S has much greater capabilities than a Leaf or Volt for the same cost to your government. There is not a whole lot of EV's on the road at this point in time and I hope most reasonable people would see that the tax credit on a Tesla Model S is smart for the USA and beneficial for many reasons.
      EZEE
      • 2 Days Ago
      This just in at ABG - rich people buy expensive cars. Tomorrow, an in depth analysis on why poor people, who cannot afford cars, ride the bus.
        Marcopolo
        • 2 Days Ago
        @EZEE
        @ EZEE " why poor people, who cannot afford cars, ride the bus " Buses, !!! More socialist mollycoddling, these lazy, indolent shirkers, should run, and pull a rickshaw while they're at it. Why, when I was young, I walked ten miles, through snow and ice, ....blah, blah ,blah :)
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