California: Plug-In Sales Up 82% In Q1-Q3 2021, Tesla Dominates

During the first nine months of 2021, the overall light-vehicle registrations in California amounted to 1,484,862 units, which is 23.8% more than in the challenging year of 2020.

According to the California New Car Dealers Association (CNCDA)’s report, plug-in vehicle registrations during the period increased roughly 82% year-over-year to 172,244, which is 11.6% of the total market. That’s a new record.

The all-electric registrations increased by over 68% to 123,244 (8.3% share), but not as much as plug-in hybrids – up 127% to 49,000 and 3.3% share. Conventional hybrids have also expanded quickly, by about 90% year-over-year.

Plug-in electric car sales in California – Q1-Q3 2021

  • BEVs: 123,244 (market share of 8.3%)
  • PHEVs: 49,000 (market share of 3.3%)
  • Total plug-ins: 172,244 (market share of 11.6%)
  • HEVs: 152,941 (market share of 10.3%)
  • Total xEVs: 325,185 (market share of 21.9%)

Top models

Five all-electric cars were at the forefront of their subcategories, and three of them were #1:

  • Tesla Model Y (42,624, up 365%): #1 in Luxury Compact SUV (40.9% share)
  • Tesla Model 3 (34,995, up 11%): #1 in Near Luxury (43.8% share)
  • Chevrolet Bolt EV (9,945, up 93%): #1 in Subcompact (35.2% share)
  • Tesla Model S (2,231, down 36%): #4 in Luxury and High End Sports Cars (6.2% share)
  • BMW i3 (888): #5 in Entry Luxury (9.1% share)

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

Tesla Model Y – one of the best selling cars

This year, the Tesla Model Y is especially strong in California, taking the fifth spot year-to-date overall, including top passenger cars and SUV/pickups. See the list of models above 30,000 YTD:

  1. Toyota Camry – 51,111
  2. Honda Civic – 50,159
  3. Toyota RAV4 – 48,182
  4. Toyota Corolla – 43,832
  5. Tesla Model Y – 42,624
  6. Chevrolet Silverado – 36,494
  7. Honda Accord – 36,028
  8. Ford F-Series – 35,252
  9. Toyota Tacoma – 35,122
  10. Tesla Model 3 – 34,995
  11. Honda CR-V – 32,841
  12. Ram Pickup – 32,619

Tesla brand sales

According to the data, in Q3, Tesla registrations amounted to 32,165 (up 89% year-over-year), which is 7.2% of the market (compared to 17,017 and 4.1% a year ago).

In Q1-Q3, Tesla registrations stand at 82,040 (up 63.8% year-over-year), which is 5.5% of the market (compared to 50,100 and 4.2% share a year earlier).

Numbers for Tesla Model Y, Model 3 and Model S are shown in the table, which combined with the total, allows us to calculate the Model X result. Unfortunately, we doubt that everything is correct, as Model S volume is similar to Model X, while deliveries of the refreshed version have barely started in October.

  • Tesla Model Y – 42,624
  • Tesla Model 3 – 34,995
  • Tesla Model S – 2,231
  • Tesla Model X – 2,190

Anyway, regardless of the exact numbers, Tesla has a dominant position in the BEV segment with over 66% share in BEV segment. It was recently noted by CNBC:


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