I reported recently on the Tesla Model 3 being the #3 best selling car in California in the first quarter of this year (in terms of units sold), and Max Holland showed that it was also the #1 best selling car in California in terms of revenue for that time period. No other electric cars were in the top 10 overall, but a few did quite well in their respective segments.
The Model X was only behind the Lexus RX in the midsize SUV category. That said, because of both its interior size and its price, many people would put the Model X in the “large SUV category.” In that category, it would win by a landslide. Below are charts for each of the categories.
Shrinking down a bit, the Bolt was only behind the Kia Soul in the subcompact car category. Note, as well, that Kia Soul EV sales are included within Kia Soul sales — but we don’t know the split.
The BMW i3 also had a top 5 showing in its class, the “entry luxury” class.
One of the biggest problems in the electric vehicle market, even in EV-paradise California, is that there are not electric vehicles available in many of the main vehicle classes, or there are just one or two models available. The number dwindles even further if you impose some baseline specs (with regard to range, for example).
And then you’ve got the ongoing issue of electric cars having much higher upfront prices than their gasoline siblings. The $38,500 Kia Niro EV versus $23,490 Kia Niro hybrid, for example. Yes, you can cut off $7,500 with the federal EV tax credit, might be able to use other state or utility subsidies, and can save money on fuel, but many buyers are not going to figure all of that out. They’re even less likely to figure out that the EV trims often have various extra features only available in the higher-trim versions of the gas siblings.
Who knows how many people in California now understand the ride-quality, performance, and safety benefits of electric vehicles? The awareness must be much larger than in most other places, but I’m sure there are still many consumers who look at $38,500 versus $23,490 and don’t go further.
In any case, and taking all of that into account, it’s uplifting to see the Model 3 at #3 overall (#1 in revenue and #1 in its class), the Model S at #1 in its class, the Model X at #2 in its class, the Bolt at #2 in its class, and the i3 at #4 in its class. Progress.
If you missed the initial charts regarding the Tesla Model 3’s leadership in California sales, see:
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