California EV sales continue to rise, but significant disparity among regions

Brand share still heavily dominated by Toyota

Sacramento, Calif.—The California green vehicle market continues to experience growth throughout the state, especially with increasing electric vehicles sales, which now make up 3.1 percent of total new vehicle sales year to date, an increase from 2.4 percent this time last year. However, according to the California Green Vehicle Report, the overall California vehicle market is still overwhelmingly dominated by gasoline-powered vehicles, making up 83 percent of new vehicles sold so far in 2018.

While the San Francisco Bay Area is experiencing the most growth in electric vehicle sales, at 7.7 percent year to date, other regions of the state are lagging. LA and Orange Counties, along with San Diego County, are seeing nearly 50 percent less electric vehicle sales than the north, at 3.3 percent and 3.9 percent year to date. The difference is more significant in the Central Valley, where only 1.8 percent of new vehicles sold are electric.

Additionally, brand share in the alternative powertrain market is still heavily dominated by Toyota, making up nearly 27 percent of green vehicle sales year to date. Tesla comes in second, bumping Chevrolet to third, at 21.1 percent and 10.2 percent year to date. Rounding out the top five selling brands in California for hybrid, plug in hybrid, electric and fuel cell vehicles are Ford and BMW.


New vehicle sales on track to exceed two million in 2018

The California new vehicle market is behaving as expected for the first half of 2018. With new vehicle registrations exceeding one million in the first two quarters of the year, vehicle sales are expected to be around two million for the year, as initially predicted after quarter one sales.

According to the California Auto Outlook Second Quarter 2018, California light truck registrations continue to increase, by 5.6 percent from 2017, while passenger car registrations continue to fall, 10.1 percent below this time last year. While this is on trend with national behavior, the numbers differ slightly, with U.S. light truck sales increasing by 7.7 percent and U.S. passenger car sales falling by 12.1 percent.

That trend is also reflected on the regional level, in both the northern and southern parts of the state. However, more so in Southern California, with light truck sales seeing an increase of more than 6 percent and passenger car sales experiencing a decrease of more than 11 percent.  Alternatively, Northern California light truck sales are up by 3.7 percent and passenger car sales are down 10 percent.

Parts & People

Parts & People is published monthly by Automotive Counseling and Publishing Company, Inc., a Colorado corporation, P.O. Box 18731 Denver, CO 80203, 303-765-4664. President-Lance Buchner. Founded by Lance Buchner and Dave Lucia.