California Sets New Electric Vehicle Sales Record, Tesla and Toyota Lead the Charge
California achieved a new milestone last year, with electric vehicles (EVs) comprising 21.4% of all new car sales, marking a significant leap in the state's journey towards sustainable transportation. Tesla continued to dominate the EV market, with its Model Y and Model 3 models becoming the two best-selling cars in the state. Despite Tesla's success, Toyota managed to retain its position as the top-selling brand in California, closely followed by Tesla.
This information was disclosed in the latest quarterly Auto Outlook report by the California New Car Dealers Association (CNCDA), highlighting auto sales trends for the entire year. California, a leader in EV sales in the U.S., shows a promising shift towards electric mobility, with EVs holding a 21.4% market share compared to the national average of 7.5%. This is a significant increase from just a few years ago when EV sales in California were around 7% and approximately 2% in the rest of the country.
Although California's contribution to nationwide BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle) registrations has decreased, dropping to 33.8% of U.S. BEV sales in 2023, this indicates a positive trend of increased EV adoption across the country. The spread of EV sales beyond California is seen as a healthy development, ensuring that the benefits of electric mobility, including reduced emissions and improved air quality, are experienced more widely.
Toyota led the market with a 15.7% share for the year, while Tesla held a 13% market share, placing it in a strong second position. This means that one in every eight vehicles sold in California last year was a Tesla, a notable achievement for a company that has been selling cars for just 15 years.
The report also highlighted the diversity in the types of vehicles sold, with BEVs, PHEVs (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles), and FCEVs (Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles) collectively making up a quarter of all vehicles sold. When including hybrids, which Toyota is particularly known for marketing as part of its electric lineup, the percentage of vehicles with an electric motor reaches 35.9%.
Tesla's sales growth in California remained impressive, with a 24.6% increase from the previous year. However, this growth rate has decelerated compared to past years, possibly due to Tesla's established presence in the state or shifting consumer attitudes towards the company and its CEO, Elon Musk.
Overall, the CNCDA's report underscores a significant year for electric vehicle adoption in California, reflecting broader trends that could influence the rest of the country. As the automotive industry continues to evolve, the increasing market share of electric vehicles signals a shift towards more sustainable and environmentally friendly transportation options.