EV sales rise in California, bucking claims of dwindling demand



Numerous automakers have claimed over the past few weeks that EV demand is dwindling, but recent California sales figures tell another story.

EV sales continued to rise in the state during the third quarter of 2023, according to a quarterly report from the California New Car Dealers Association (CNCDA). EVs represented 22.3% of California new-car sales in Q3, while plug-in hybrids had 3.3% market share.

California EV sales via California New Car Dealers Association, with Experian data

California EV sales via California New Car Dealers Association, with Experian data

In the first nine months of 2023, EVs accounted for just over 21% of the California new-car market, compared to 7.4% on a national level, the CNCDA noted. It shows the trend toward plug-in cars in California, where one in four new vehicles has a charge port, isn’t slowing.

EVs, plug-in hybrids, and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles together accounted for 35.4% market share in California year to date, a massive increase from the 11.6% for the same period in 2018.

2024 Jeep Wrangler

2024 Jeep Wrangler

The list of bestselling plug-in vehicles in California in Q3 didn’t have any real surprises. The Tesla Model Y was the top-selling EV, followed by the Tesla Model 3 and Chevrolet Bolt EV, which is due to be discontinued. For a time earlier this year the Model Y was the top-selling vehicle in the U.S., pickups aside. Price cuts earlier this year may have help assure its continued strong sales.

The top-selling plug-in hybrids were the Jeep Wrangler 4xe, Toyota RAV4 Prime, and Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid. The Jeep has been the top-selling plug-in hybrid nationally as well, and gets a price cut as part of a 2024-model-year update of the Wrangler.


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