Tesla Models Accounted for 41.5% Of California EV Sales: 2008-2020

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With its popular selling four BEVs, Fremont, CA-based Tesla accounted for 41.5% of California EV registrations from 2008 through the end of 2020, according to data from the California DMV.

Tesla’s dominance in its home state — which also has the highest EV share of new vehicle sales of all states at 8.29% in 2020 — is no surprise to EV advocates. But at nearly 1 out of 4 EVs with a 23% share of EVs on the road, the dominance of the Model 3 is still impressive.

In second place in terms of total registrations during this time period is General Motors with the Chevrolet Volt PHEV and Bolt BEV models combining for 13.5% of registrations. In third place is Toyota at 10.2% for the combined registrations of the Prius Prime and PHV. While technically two different models, we’ve combined the sales of the early PHEV version of the Prius with the updated Prime model.

The Nissan LEAF, which along with the Chevrolet Volt arguably started the modern EV period, ranked only number 7 in California at 4.1% and 30,113 registrations. The LEAF was the number one all-time selling EV globally until the Model 3 surpassed it at some point in 2019.

We expect by the end of 2021 the Model Y will leapfrog from 9th position all time in California up to the number two slot with roughly 95,000 all-time registrations. And with Model Y sales significantly outpacing those of the Model 3 in California, the Model Y crossover could overtake all-time Model 3 sales in California by the end of 2022, or likely at the latest in Q1 of 2023.

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