New vehicle sales in California increased during the fourth quarter, although the full year 2022 was slower than 2021 due to a variety of factors (mainly supply chain issues).

According to the California New Car Dealers Association (CNCDA)'s data and estimates, some 422,083 new light vehicles were registered in Q4 in California (up 13.6 percent year-over-year), while year-to-date the number is 1.67 million (down 10.2 percent). The good news is that perspectives for 2023 are cautiously positive.

The most important thing for us is that the plug-in electric car segment continues to expand, taking a record-high market share.

In Q4, some 102,279 plug-in electric cars were registered (56 percent more than a year ago), which is not only a new quarterly record but also the first six-digit result.

Also, the market share improved to a new record level of 24.2 percent. That's almost one in four new light vehicles. If we would add non-rechargeable hybrids, it would be almost 35 percent share for electrified vehicles.

All-electric vehicles simply amazed us with a new record of 88,371 units (up 66 percent year-over-year) and nearly 21 percent share.

Interestingly, even the plug-in hybrids noted a slight increase (by 13 percent year-over-year), after three negative quarters.

Plug-in electric car registrations in California (est.) - Q4 2022

  • BEVs: 88,371 (up 66%, market share of 20.9%)
  • PHEVs: 13,908 (up 13%, market share of 3.3%)
  • Total plug-ins: 102,279 (up 56%, market share of 24.2%)
  • HEVs: 43,937 (up 0.2%, market share of 10.4%)
  • Total xEVs: 146,216 (up 34%, market share of 34.6%)

Plug-in electric car registrations in California (est.) - Q1-Q4 2022

In 2022, more than 518,000 new plug-in electric cars were registered in California, while the number of all-electric cars exceeded 285,000. For reference, in the 12 months of 2021, the total number of plug-in electric car registrations was over 237,000.

All-electric cars were the main force of electrification, with a very strong 62 percent growth and 17.1 percent market share.

  • BEVs: 285,199 (up 62%, market share of 17.1%)
  • PHEVs: 50,035 (down 18%, market share of 3.0%)
  • Total plug-ins: 335,234 (up 41%, market share of 20.1%)
  • HEVs: 183,461 (down 7%, market share of 11.0%)
  • Total xEVs: 518,695 (up 19%, market share of 31.1%)

The trend is very good and we expect even better results in 2023. Who knows, maybe even one in three new cars will be rechargeable, compared to 20.1 percent in 2022.

Top models

The data reveals six stand-alone all-electric models among the top models in 2022, including three in the first positions of their subcategories.

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

The Tesla Model Y and the Tesla Model 3 were the two most popular new cars in California (no change here compared to previous quarters), extending their advantage over other models.

The top five models:

  1. Tesla Model Y - 87,257
  2. Tesla Model 3 - 78,934
  3. Toyota RAV4 - 59,794
  4. Toyota Camry - 55,967
  5. Ford F-Series - 40,232

Let's recall that a year ago, the Tesla Model Y was #2 (60,394), slightly behind the Toyota Camry (61,599).

Tesla brand sales

After four quarters, Tesla was the second most popular brand in California, with a share of 11.2 percent (behind Toyota with 17.3 percent share, but ahead of Ford with 8.4 percent share).

Tesla also remains the dominant player in the BEV segment with a 65 percent share. All non-Tesla BEV registrations combined were at 98,488.

Q1-Q4 2022 results in California:

  • Tesla Model Y - 87,257
  • Tesla Model 3 - 78,934
  • Tesla Model X - 11,273
  • Tesla Model S - 9,234
  • Tesla total: *186,711 (up 54.2%, 11.2% share)
    non-Tesla BEVs total: 98,488
    * we noticed a small difference between the total and the sum of the four individual models in data provided by CNCDA.

CNCDA shows also that Tesla has a 3.5% share in the US market. Compared to 13,865,892 units YTD, it would have to be some 485,000.

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 almost 300,000.

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