New vehicle sales in California (and in the US) continue to decrease, although all-electric car sales note consistent growth and reached a new record market share.

According to the California New Car Dealers Association (CNCDA)'s data and estimates, some 392,401 new light vehicles were registered in Q3 in California (down 12% year-over-year), while year-to-date the number is 1.245 million (down 16%). Those results prompted CNCDA to forecast that the year 2022 would be almost as weak as 2020, which was affected by lockdowns.

"The weakened economy, supply chain issues, labor availability, and chip shortages all lead us to predict that new vehicle registrations in 2022 will only hit 1.68 million by the end of the year (lower than we anticipated last quarter)."

Meanwhile, plug-in car registrations are expanding thanks to the quick growth of all-electric car sales (hybrids and plug-in hybrids are down).

In Q3, some 80,206 plug-in electric cars were registered (up 39% year-over-year), which is not only a new quarterly record (slightly above Q2) but also a new record market share of over 20.4%. It means that already more than one in five new cars sold are rechargeable.

More importantly, all-electric car sales reached a new record of nearly 68,000 (up 61% year-over-year) and a record market share of 17.3%.

Plug-in hybrids, on the other hand, are becoming a smaller and smaller part of the market. Interestingly, non-rechargeable hybrids are also down quite noticeably - by 19% year-over-year.

Plug-in electric car registrations in California (est.) - Q3 2022

  • BEVs: 67,973 (up 61%, market share of 17.3%)
  • PHEVs: 12,233 (down 22%, market share of 3.1%)
  • Total plug-ins: 80,206 (up 39%, market share of 20.4%)
  • HEVs: 39,682 (down 19%, market share of 10.1%)
  • Total xEVs: 119,888 (up 12%, market share of 30.6%)

Plug-in electric car registrations in California (est.) - Q1-Q3 2022

So far this year, more than 232,000 new plug-in electric cars were registered in California, while the number of all-electric cars approached 200,000.

  • BEVs: 196,828 (up 60%, market share of 15.8%)
  • PHEVs: 36,127 (down 26%, market share of 2.9%)
  • Total plug-ins: 232,955 (up 35%, market share of 18.7%)
  • HEVs: 139,524 (down 9%, market share of 11.2%)
  • Total xEVs: 372,479 (up 15%, market share of 29.9%)

For reference, in the 12 months of 2021, the total number of plug-in electric car registrations was over 237,000.

Top models

The data reveals five all-electric models among the top models year-to-date, including four Teslas and one Ford.

Three all-electric cars were at the top of their subcategories:

* red underline only for models that can be identified as plug-ins by their name

Tesla Model Y and Model 3 - retain #1 and #2 spots in California

After three quarters, the Tesla Model Y and the Tesla Model 3 are still the two most popular new cars in California (just like after the first half and after the first quarter).

The top five models:

  1. Tesla Model Y - 61,544
  2. Tesla Model 3 - 56,851
  3. Toyota RAV4 - 44,738
  4. Toyota Camry - 40,358
  5. Toyota Corolla - 32,216

Tesla brand sales

After three quarters, Tesla is the second most popular brand in California - behind Toyota, but ahead of Ford - with a big chance for #1 at some point in the future.

Tesla is also dominant in the BEV segment with a 67.8% share. All non-Tesla BEV registrations combined were at 63,283. It's worth noting that Tesla's registrations slightly outpaced the all-electric segment's average.

Q1-Q3 2022 results in California:

  • Tesla Model Y - 61,544
  • Tesla Model 3 - 56,851
  • Tesla Model S - 7,683
  • Tesla Model X - 7,467
  • Tesla total: 133,545 (up 62.8%, 10.7% share)
    non-Tesla BEVs total: 63,283

CNCDA shows also that Tesla has a 3.3% share in the US market. Compared to 10,236,245 units YTD, it would have to be some 337,800.

Having the numbers for the US and California enables us to estimate the difference, which is the number of Teslas registered in states outside of California. It's north of 204,000.

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