Chevy Bolt 7th Best Selling Car in California in 2023 — RIP

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I just covered the stunning level of sales Tesla has reached in California, where it is now the second best selling automaker in the state (only trailing Toyota) and has the best selling and second best selling models — of any kind — in the state (the Tesla Model Y and Tesla Model 3). However, there’s a little more to celebrate on the electric front as well. Most notably, the Chevy Bolt was the 7th best selling car (not including SUVs and trucks) in the state in 2023.

To be objective, and leaving Tesla out of it for a moment, getting a car up there in that territory with multi-decade leaders like the Camry, Civic, Accord, and Corolla is quite a feat! Of course, GM has gone and discontinued the Bolt … but that’s another discussion.

The Bolt was the 4th best selling small car in California, just trailing the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, and Kia Forte. Talk about leaving with a bang.

The Bolt deserves the most love and praise behind Tesla for its California sales, but there are a few other models to highlight as well.

The Ford Mustang Mach-E came in second in its vehicle class (two-row midsize SUVs). That’s a decent showing for what is a pretty competitive vehicle class.

The Subaru Outback probably stands out as a surprising #1 to most people outside of California, but a comment on that earlier article about Tesla’s sales in California noted that it’s an extremely popular model in the region. “In my county, far too close to remote-working Silicon Valley, the change has been dramatic. I used to joke that the ‘national car’ of this area was a white Subaru Outback,” he said. “Those have been completely overshadowed by Teslas. Not unusual to see several parked in a row at supermarkets and coffee houses.” So, there’s some tough competition there. Still, to outcompete the Toyota 4Runner, Hyundai Santa Fe, and Jeep Grand Cherokee is notable.

In the “luxury subcompact SUV” class, two electric models were in the top 5, including the Mercedes EQB taking the #1 spot. The Audi Q4 e-tron grabbed the 5th spot, but it should also be noted that the Volvo XC40 in 4th includes a pure electric version — it’s not clear how many of those sales were pure electrics, though.

Then, in the “luxury large SUV” class, you’ve got the Rivian R1S leading the charge. And then also in that category, the Mercedes EQS SUV comes in 4th.

There are still a lot of spaces for electric vehicle models to come in and kick out the old ICE cars, SUVs, and trucks topping the market. The majority of sales, of course, are still non-electrics. But at least there are a few leaders already taking top spots in their respective classes. It would be great to see the Volkswagen ID.4, Hyundai IONIQ 5, and Kia EV6 climb the rankings next. Additionally, it’s largely a matter of choice — the more electric models and options you have on the market, the more electric sales you’re going to have.

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Zachary Shahan

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

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