New light vehicle registrations in California during the first quarter of 2024 amounted to 431,638, 0.7% more than a year ago. This puts the bar low for plug-in electric to expand its market share.

However, according to the California New Car Dealers Association's (CNCDA) data and estimates, sales of plug-in electric cars weren't growing much faster than the overall market, which is worrying.

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California's plug-in car sales share sits at almost 25%

In 2023, more than 440,000 new plug-in electric cars were registered in California, which represents almost 25% of the total volume. More than one-fifth of all new cars (over 380,000) were all-electric.

During the first quarter of 2024, some 105,994 new plug-in cars were registered in California, 3.7% more than a year ago and representing 24.6% of the total market (compared to 23.8% a year ago).

Battery electric vehicle (EV) registrations amounted to 90,296 (up 3% year over year), taking 20.9% of the market. Plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHEV) registrations increased by 9% year over year to 15,698 (3.6% share).

The number of non-rechargeable hybrids continued to increase at a much higher rate (53% year-over-year), reaching 56,291 units in Q1 and a 13% share.

Below, we attached the latest quarterly and year-to-date numbers, with new graphs based on the latest data (revised compared to the previous quarters).

Plug-in electric car registrations in California (est.) in Q1'2024 (YOY change):

  • BEVs: 90,296 (up 3%) and 20.9% share
  • PHEVs: 15,698 (up 9%) and 3.6% share
  • Total plug-ins: 105,994 (up 4%) and 24.6% share
  • HEVs: 56,291 (up 53%) and 13% share
  • Total xEVs: 162,285 (up 17%) and 37.6% share

Plug-in electric car registrations in California (est.) - Q1 2024

* CNCDA revised some numbers; some numbers were estimated

For reference 2023, more than 440,000 plug-in cars were registered in California (45% more than in 2022), which was 24.8% of the total market. EVs noted over 380,000 units registered and a 21.4% share.

Plug-in electric car registrations in California (est.) in Q1-Q4'2023 (YOY change):

  • BEVs: 380,562 (up 46%) and 21.4% share
  • PHEVs: 59,674 (up 40%) and 3.4% share
  • Total plug-ins: 440,236 (up 45%) and 24.8% share
  • HEVs: 197,053 (up 36%) and 11.1% share
  • Total xEVs: 637,289 (up 42%) and 35.9% share

California's plug-in electric car sales are relatively high. The report says the all-electric car share of 20.9% in Q1 is almost three times higher than the U.S. average of 7.4%.

The main issue, for now, is the slowing growth rate, which indicates that 2024 might be mostly flat despite new model launches, multiple EV price cuts, and very attractive lease deals.

Top models

The number of stand-alone all-electric models—listed among the most registered in their subcategories—amounted to 11.

All-electric car registrations [select models] (Q1'2024):

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

The top plug-in hybrids are the Jeep Wrangler 4xe (2,288), Toyota RAV4 Prime (2,187), and Dodge Hornet (2,031).

Tesla Model Y retained the #1 spot in California

Like in previous quarters, the Tesla Model Y is the state's best-selling car overall. However, this time, the Tesla Model 3 weakened and is no longer second.

The top models overall (Q1'2024):

  1. Tesla Model Y - 33,467
  2. Toyota RAV4 - 17,873
  3. Toyota Camry - 14,062
  4. Honda Civic - 12,230
  5. Honda CR-V - 12,011
  6. Tesla Model 3 - 11,162

Tesla brand sales

In Q1, Tesla noted 50,027 new registrations, 7.8% less than a year ago. The brand's share decreased to 11.6% (from 12.7% a year ago). Tesla remains the second most popular brand after Toyota (71,832).

Tesla remains the dominant player in the EV segment, with a 55% share in Q1 2024. All non-Tesla BEV registrations combined were at about 150,302 in 2023.

BEV registration results in California:

  • Tesla Q1: 50,027 (down 7.8%, 11.6% share)
    non-Tesla BEVs total: 40,269

CNCDA shows that Tesla had a 3.9% share in the U.S. market in Q1 2024 (roughly in line with Tesla's report). Compared to the total number of 3,759,144 units sold, Tesla accounted for approximately 147,000 units.

The number of Teslas registered in states outside of California (calculated as the difference between the estimated total U.S. and California) was roughly 97,000.

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