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Tesla’s 4th Quarter Registrations In California Up Almost 63%

Tesla’s vehicle registrations in California were up almost 63% during the 4th quarter of 2020 compared with the 4th quarter of 2019, Reuters reported. The article noted that this was mostly due to the success of Tesla’s newest addition to its line — the Model Y.

Tesla’s vehicle registrations in California were up almost 63% during the 4th quarter of 2020 compared with the 4th quarter of 2019, Reuters reported. The article noted that this was mostly due to the success of Tesla’s newest addition to its line — the Model Y. The data come from Cross-Sell, a research firm that collates title and registration data. 

The report also showed that registrations in California, which is the largest car market and largest electric vehicle market in the USA, recovered from a 3rd-quarter low of around 16,200 vehicles to 22,117 vehicles in the last quarter. Around 11,471 registrations in the state were for the Model Y, which surpassed those for the Model 3.

The state’s registration for Model 3 vehicles fell 34% year over year in the 4th quarter to 7,044. That meant that just between the Model Y and Model 3, the Y had 62% of sales in the 4th quarter and the 3 had 38% (in California). The split may have been more dramatic toward the end of the year as Model Y production continued to ramp up.

The data also showed that the 4th quarter vehicle registration total in 23 states where the data were collected was 44,749, and the Model Y accounted for almost half of those registrations.

Back in December, we noted that Model Y sales may have been accounting for 70% of all US Tesla sales at that point. In the last CleanTechnica virtual trade show, EVANNEX, which was represented by Matt Pressman, had a presence. One thing the folks at EVANNEX has seen for years is that people mostly order aftermarket products right before and just after receiving the delivery of a Tesla. Matt noted that in a rough estimate, it seemed like ~70% of their recent orders had been orders for Tesla Model Y aftermarket products. When Zach, who wrote the article, followed up with a Tesla representative, the person agreed that a figure of more or less 70% sounded about right. You can read that article here.

Even with this new information from Cross-Sell, we don’t have monthly numbers, but what is clear is the Model Y is the new top seller for Tesla, as had been long expected once Model Y production capacity got high enough.

Model Y Is Hot In China, Too

Earlier this week, Tesla started delivering its made-in-China Model Y in 10 cities across China, with a beautiful launch ceremony in one city.

If you remember, Tesla’s global sales in 2020 were over 500,000 vehicles and China made up just under 148,000 of those sales. This was with the Model Y still only being delivered in North America. China was the top market for the Model 3 in last year’s 2nd, 3rd, and 4th quarters, and if you keep an eye on the buzz on Twitter, you can see that the market for the Model Y in China is just getting warmed up.

Biden’s EV Promises Could Stimulate More Demand

CNET noted that the Biden administration promises an EV era and a new world for the auto industry. One of the things President Biden mentioned a lot during his campaign was the need for policy and investment changes that would usher in a new era for American automakers.

President Biden’s policy plans include restoring the full federal tax credit for electric vehicle purchases (Tesla and GM buyers can no longer get a tax credit because the automakers long surpassed 200,000 US plugin vehicle sales), and CNET noted that there’s a good chance there will be other changes to the program as well. The expectation is the Biden administration would not only give GM and Tesla buyers tax credits again, but would encourage Americans to exchange fossil fuel vehicles for zero-emission vehicles through direct consumer rebates.

Plus, there’s the Biden administration’s big EV charging station initiative.

In a nutshell, 2021 is shaping up to be a stellar year in the US for electric vehicles, and that certainly includes Tesla. And we are still just in January.

All photos by Zach Shahan, CleanTechnica

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Written By

Johnna Crider is a Louisiana native who likes crawfish, gems, minerals, EVs, and advocates for sustainability. Johnna is also the host of, a jewelry artisan and a $TSLA shareholder.


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