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HomeEV & BatteryCalifornia: Plug-In Car Sales Reached A New Record In Q1 2023

California: Plug-In Car Sales Reached A New Record In Q1 2023

New vehicle sales in California increased slightly during the first quarter of 2023, reaching roughly 450,000 units (up 5.8 percent year-over-year), although this number is far lower than a few years ago.

According to the California New Car Dealers Association (CNCDA)’s data and estimates collected from various partners, plug-in electric car sales continue to increase at a much faster rate than the overall market.

In Q1, some 103,995 new plug-in electric cars were registered (42 percent more than a year ago), which is a new quarterly record (slightly higher than 102,279 in Q4 2022). The market share of rechargeable cars amounted to over 23 percent compared to 17.2 percent a year ago).

Battery-electric vehicle (BEV) registrations were at a near-record level, at 87,525 (up 41 percent year-over-year), taking close to 20 percent of the market.

Interestingly, plug-in hybrids (PHEV) noted a decent growth – by 49 percent year-over-year, to 16,470, worth an additional 3.7 percent of the market.

The non-rechargeable hybrids barely expanded (up by 5 percent year-over-year) to 49,680 and maintain 11 percent of the market.

  • BEVs: 87,525 (up 41%, market share of 19.5%)
  • PHEVs: 16,470 (up 49%, market share of 3.7%)
  • Total plug-ins: 103,995 (up 42%, market share of 23.1%)
  • HEVs: 49,680 (up 5%, market share of 11.0%)
  • Total xEVs: 153,675 (up 28%, market share of 34.2%)

For reference, in 12 months of 2022, more than 518,000 new plug-in electric cars were registered in California, while the number of all-electric cars exceeded 285,000.

  • BEVs: 285,199 (up 62%, market share of 17.1%)
  • PHEVs: 50,035 (down 18%, market share of 3.0%)
  • Total plug-ins: 335,234 (up 41%, market share of 20.1%)
  • HEVs: 183,461 (down 7%, market share of 11.0%)
  • Total xEVs: 518,695 (up 19%, market share of 31.1%)

As we can see, the trend for rechargeable cars is positive and we can expect more records later this year.

Several stand-alone all-electric models were listed among the most-registered ones.

Three all-electric cars were at the top of their subcategories:

* red underline only for models that can be identified as plug-ins by their name

Just like in the previous periods, the two all-electric cars – Tesla Model Y and Tesla Model 3 happen to be the most popular new cars in California, with a pretty big advantage over the rest.

The top five models:

  1. Tesla Model Y – 31,940
  2. Tesla Model 3 – 17,715
  3. Toyota Camry – 13,929
  4. Toyota RAV4 – 13,326
  5. Ford F-Series – 12,955

In Q1, Tesla was the second most popular brand in California, with a share of 11.8 percent (behind Toyota with a 15.2 percent share, but ahead of Ford with an 8.9 percent share).

Tesla also remains the dominant player in the BEV segment with a 60.7 percent share. All non-Tesla BEV registrations combined were at 34,384.

Q1 2023 results in California:

  • Tesla Model Y – 31,940
  • Tesla Model 3 – 17,715
  • Tesla Model X – 2,806
  • Tesla Model S – *680
  • Tesla total: *53,141 (up 10.6%, 11.8% share)
    non-Tesla BEVs total: 34,384
    * calculated from total minus Model Y, Model 3 and Model X.

CNCDA shows also that Tesla has a 4.7% share in the US market. Compared to 3,594,969 units, it would have to be some 169,000 (compared to about 155,360 registrations, according to a different report).

Having the numbers for the US and California enables us to estimate the difference, which is the number of Teslas registered in states outside of California. It’s almost 116,000.

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