Plug-in electric car sales in California and in the U.S. increased - maybe not as high as in Europe and China - but it appears that the slowdown is already behind us.

According to Veloz’s stats, electric car sales (including all-electric, plug-in hybrid and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles) in Q1 2021 increased by 35% year-over-year to 59,058. Market share was nearly 9.2%.

That's the best quarterly result ever and considering how bad Q2 2020 was, followed by a sideways trend in Q3, it should be a far better year than 2020. Most likely the best year ever.

Most of the market is BEVs:

  • BEVs: 42,866
  • PHEVs: 15,477
  • FCVs: 715

The top-selling models in the state are Tesla Model Y and Tesla Model 3:

  1. Tesla Model Y: 15,265
  2. Tesla Model 3: 14,536
  3. Chevrolet Bolt EV: 5,252
  4. Toyota Prius Prime: 4,081
  5. Honda Clarity PHEV: 1,374

Electric car sales in California (BEVs, PHEVs, FCVs) - Q1 2021


The cumulative number of plug-ins sold in California stands at over 862,000, compared to over 1.91 million in the U.S.

However, the vehicle population is significantly lower than the cumulative sales (because of vehicle retirements, accidents, owners moving out of state, or other reasons), probably between 650,000 to 700,000 (more than half would be BEVs). As of the end of 2020, it was over 635,000 and about 2.2% of all light-duty vehicles.

EV drivers can use more than 73,400 charging points (AC and DC) in California (a few thousand more than at the end of 2020), which means one charging point per over 11.7 EVs (this number is increasing).

The number of hydrogen stations has increased by two compared to the end of 2020 - from 45 to 47, which is still a relatively small number.


The U.S. sales are estimated at 131,240 units in Q1 2021, which means that California holds some 45% share.

The total number of plug-ins this year might reach 1 million in California and over 2 million in the U.S.

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