Tesla Model S: Now the No. 1 car of the (West Coast) wealthy

An analysis of America's wealthiest ZIP codes reveals that rich Californians are environmentally conscious. And like to show it. East Coasters, however, are still resisting.

The choice of the conscious wealthy. Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

You know what a Porsche says about you? It says you don't care.

You know what a Mercedes says about you? It says you believe that if the world ran out of gazelles, it would be just fine.

What drives me to such draconian extrapolations? A piece of fascinating analysis performed by Edmunds.com.

It attempted to discover whether the Tesla Model S was popular beyond the chest-beating, organic sackcloth-wearing confines of Silicon Valley.

Stunningly, the numbers show that in 8 of the top 25 most expensive ZIP codes in the US, the Tesla was the No. 1 registered vehicle of 2013. And it was No. 1 in more of the top 25 than any other vehicle.

Yes, America's wealthy are rallying round to save the Earth. Or, at least, to buy the same rather attractive car.

Of course, all eight of the ZIP codes were in California, where people always like to think they are ahead of any curve -- especially if they've invented that curve in the first place.

The East Coast's rich still seem mired in tradition. Take the 10065 ZIP code -- in the heart of New York. The median home price is $4,860,494. But the most registered car title is a tie, between the Mercedes GL-Class and, um, the Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Then there's the 11962 ZIP code. This is Sagaponack, NY, the fifth most wealthy ZIP code. Do you imagine these folks are caring enough to choose, say, the Prius as their favorite car? Sadly, no. Their favorite is the Jeep Wrangler.

California and New York ZIP codes dominate. Aspen, Colo., and Coral Gables, Fla., are the only outliers. The latter favors the BMW 3 series. And the former? Well, it's obvious, really. The Aspenites choose the Ford F-Series.

I am sure that there are many structural reasons, as well as mental, for these disparities.

However, given that Teslas do look very pretty, perhaps they will soon become status symbols as ubiquitous as Mercedes.

Which means that everyone will start making more jokes about them.

The Earth is grateful. Edmunds.com
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