New light vehicle registrations in California increased during the first half of 2023 by 11.6 percent year-over-year to 905,752 units.

According to the California New Car Dealers Association (CNCDA)'s data and estimates collected from various partners, the growth of plug-in electric car sales (specifically, all-electric car sales) far outpaced the general market.

During the first half of the year, some 220,624 new plug-in cars were registered in California, which is over 24 percent of the total market. The year-over-year growth is estimated at more than 40 percent (although we noted that CNCDA updated its numbers for previous years downward, which does not allow us to calculate the exact progress).

The H1 2023 data reveals 191,041 battery-electric vehicle (BEV) registrations (21.1 percent of the market) and 29,583 plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHEV) registrations (3.3 percent of the market).

Using the year-to-date numbers and Q1 2023 results, we calculated the registrations in Q2, which are pretty solid - including more than 100,000 BEVs in a single quarter for the very first time.

On the other hand, the non-rechargeable hybrids noted a substantial decrease in registrations (by a quarter or so year-over-year) to 38,629 units. This might be a sign of the times.

Plug-in electric car registrations in California (est.) - Q2 2023

  • BEVs: 103,516 and 22.7% share 
  • PHEVs: 13,113 and 2.9% share 
  • Total plug-ins: 116,629 and 25.6% share 
  • HEVs: 38,629 and 8.5% share 
  • Total xEVs: 155,258 and 34.1% share 

* 2019-2023 Q1 numbers in line with previous reports (without revision)

So far this year, more than 300,000 electrified vehicles were registered in California (34 percent of the total volume), including more than 220,000 rechargeable ones (24 percent of the total volume):

  • BEVs: 191,041 and 21.1% share
  • PHEVs: 29,583 and 3.3% share
  • Total plug-ins: 220,624 and 24.4% share
  • HEVs: 88,309 and 9.8% share
  • Total xEVs: 308,933 and 34.1% share

As we can see, the trend for rechargeable cars (specifically, all-electric) is positive and we can expect more records later this year.

* 2019-2023 Q1 numbers in line with previous reports (without revision)

Top models

A record number of stand-alone all-electric models were listed among the most-registered ones in their subcategories.

All-electric car registrations (Jan-Jun 2023):

* 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

Just like in the previous periods, two all-electric cars - Tesla Model Y and Tesla Model 3 - happen to be the most popular new cars in California, with a pretty big advantage over the rest.

The top five models (Jan-Jun 2023):

  1. Tesla Model Y - 74,765
  2. Tesla Model 3 - 41,718
  3. Toyota Camry - 27,169
  4. Toyota RAV4 - 26,032
  5. Ford F-Series - 21,288

Tesla brand sales

In Q2, Tesla for the first time noted more new registrations than Toyota (69,212 versus 67,482) which is a monumental achievement (Toyota is still at the top year-to-date though, with an advantage of about 10,000 units).

Tesla also remains the dominant player in the BEV segment with almost 67 percent share. All non-Tesla BEV registrations combined were at about 34,304.

BEV registration results in California:

  • Tesla Q2: 69,212 (up 62.3%, 14.6% share)
    non-Tesla BEVs total: 34,304
  • Tesla Jan-Jun: 123,482 (up 36.7%, 13.6% share)
    non-Tesla BEVs total: 67,559

CNCDA shows that Tesla has a 4.3% share in the US market in the first half of the year. Compared to 7,436,260 units, it would have to be some 320,000 units.

The number of Teslas registered in states outside of California (calculated as the difference between the estimated total US and California) is roughly 196,000.

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