California’s Plug-In Car Sales Continued To Increase In Q1 2024

By automotive-mag.com 6 Min Read

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.

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

* 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
plug-in-electric-car-registrations-in-california-est-2024q1-source-cncda

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.

plug-in-electric-car-registrations-in-california-est-q1-2024-b

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):

  • Tesla Model Y (33,467): #1 in Luxury Compact SUV (64.4% share)
  • Tesla Model 3 (11,162): #1 in Near Luxury Cars (41.1% share)
  • Tesla Model X (3,704): #2 in Luxury Mid-Size SUV (13.0% share)
  • Chevrolet Bolt EV/Bolt EUV (2,904)
  • Volkswagen ID.4 (2,437)
  • Ford Mustang Mach-E (2,248): #3 in 2 Row Mid-Size SUV (13.0% share)
  • Rivian R1S (2,228): #1 in Luxury Large SUV (22.7% share)
  • Hyundai Ioniq 5 (2,200)
  • Ford F-150 Lightning (1,761)
  • Mercedes-Benz EQB (1,636): #1 in Luxury Subcompact SUV (21.9% share)
  • BMW i4 (1,625): #5 in Near Luxury Cars (6.0% share)
  • BMW iX (1,589): #5 in Luxury Mid-Size SUV (5.6% share)
  • Tesla Model S (1,120): #1 in Luxury and High-End Sports Cars (10.3% share)
  • Audi Q4 e-tron (1,020): #4 in Luxury Subcompact SUV (13.7% share)
  • BMW i5 (768): #4 in Luxury and High-End Sports Cars (7.0% share)
plug-in-electric-car-registrations-in-california-est-2024q1-source-cncda-b

* 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).

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

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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