California: Plug-Ins Capture Over 8% Of The Market In 2020

Three all-electric car models are on the top of their categories in California.

In 2020, the overall light-vehicle sales in California amounted to 1,639,166 units, which is 21.7% less than in 2019. The decline is noticeably deeper than in the U.S. (by 14.4% to 14,645,049).

According to the California New Car Dealers Association (CNCDA), plug-in car sales also decreased, but not as much, which means higher market share.

In total, some 132,772 plug-ins were sold in California in 2020 (down 16.5% year-over-year). That’s about 8.1% share.

If we check the details, it turns out also that the plug-in hybrids are shrinking quickly. More than a 40% drop is huge, especially since there are more models available and often those are models with better specs.

Plug-in electric car sales in California – Q1-Q4 2020

  • BEVs: 101,628 (market share of 6.2%), down 4.8%
  • PHEVs: 31,144 (market share of 1.9%), down 40.5%
  • Total plug-ins: 132,772 (market share of 8.1%), down 16.5%
  • HEVs: 113,103 (market share of 6.9%), down 3.5%
  • Total xEVs: 245,875 (market share of 15.0%), down 11%

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

  • Tesla Model 3 (38,580, down 35.2%): #1 in Near Luxury (41.5% share)
  • Tesla Model Y (20,124, new): #1 in Luxury Compact SUV (22.8% share)
  • Chevrolet Bolt EV (8,230, no change): #1 in Subcompact (22.8% share)
  • Tesla Model X (7,452, up 3.1%): #4 in Luxury Mid Size SUV (8.8% share)
  • Tesla Model S (4,718, down 19.8%): #3 in Luxury and High End Sports Cars (10.6% share)

Tesla Model 3 – one of the best selling cars

Year-to-date, the Telsa Model 3 is among the top passenger cars, even including SUV/pickups.

  1. Honda Civic – 59,335
  2. Toyota RAV4 – 57,449
  3. Toyota Camry – 56,301
  4. Ford F-Series – 50,751
  5. Chevrolet Silverado – 44,141
  6. Toyota Corolla – 43,467
  7. Honda Accord – 42,653
  8. Toyota Tacoma – 39,572
  9. Ram Pickup – 38,636
  10. Tesla Model 3 – 38,580
  11. Honda CR-V – 33,948

Tesla brand sales

According to the data, in Q4, Tesla sales amounted to 21,290 (up 40.5%), which is 4.8% of the market (compared to 15,155 and 3.0% a year ago).

The 2020 result is 71,390 (down 4.6%). The market share is 4.4% (compared to 74,821 and  3.6% a year ago).

CNCDA shows also that Tesla has a 1.8% share in the total U.S. market, which suggests more than 263,600. However, this value might be burdened with great uncertainty. We guess the real value is much lower.

Source:California New Car Dealers Association – Auto Outlook: 2020 Q4

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