California Rises to 21.4% BEV Market Share, 33.8% of US BEV Market

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California is one of the biggest and most exciting electric vehicle markets in the world. It’s still dominated by Tesla, which is the 2nd best selling automaker overall in the market, but several other electric cars are also shining in their respective markets. There’s a little more to highlight before wrapping up the 2023 numbers, though.

First of all, note that fully electric vehicles accounted for 21.4% of California auto sales in 2023 (or 21.6% if you count hydrogen fuel cell cars as full electrics). Plugin hybrids contributed another 3.4%, showing that this is very heavily a BEV market in terms of plugin vehicle sales.

Putting the BEV share in some broader context, BEV market share across the US was just 7.5% in 2023 — and remember that figure is taking California (and its 21.4% BEV share) into account. In fact, 33.8% of US BEV sales came out of California.

Combined, full battery electric vehicles, plugin hybrids, and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles accounted for 35.9% of California’s auto sales in 2023. That’s up considerably from their 11.6% five years ago, in 2018, and even from below 10% in 2021. Can California get to 100% electric vehicle market share by 2030? That seems very doable. But when will the market reach 50%, and 75%? With the EV market so dominated by two models, the Tesla Model Y and Model 3, the big questions are if any other models can break through in such a dramatic way and how quickly automakers can and will offer more electric models. The latter may be even much more important for growth than the former.

Of course, I think we’re all curious to see how the Tesla Cybertruck does in California — it seems like the perfect market for this model in many regards (Hollywood look, high tech, homegrown Tesla brand, good for taking to national parks for camping, flashy yet “green,” big). Let’s see if Tesla can ramp up production and keep its market share in California growing, while helping EVs to reach 50% market share in California!

Though, there is one negative to note — BEV market share dropped a little bit in the 4th quarter, compared to the 2nd and 3rd quarter. It’s a small drop, and one can’t assume quarter-over-quarter growth forever, but the 4th quarter is typically a strong quarter, and this could jibe with comments from Tesla and Ford about less-than-ideal sales growth. Something to keep an eye on, just as long as we don’t overhype it or miss the much bigger trends we’re seeing in strong EV growth.

Related Stories:

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

Tesla Model Y & Model 3 Top California Auto Sales in 2023 — Thanks, Cali!

US EV Sales Up 385% Since 2019, Normal “ICE” Vehicle Sales Down 14%

EV Sales Rise to 7.2% of US Auto Sales, Tesla 4.3% of Auto Sales

Graphics courtesy of California New Car Dealers Association (CNCDA).


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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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