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California Electric Vehicle Sales Continue to Increase, But Significant Disparity Among Regions

Contact: Jenny Dudikoff
Phone: 916-441-2599

SACRAMENTO, CA – The California green vehicle market continues to experience growth throughout the state, especially with increasing electric vehicle 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 even more significant in the Central Valley, where only 1.8 percent of new vehicles sold are electric.

“The disparity of electric vehicle sales in various regions of the state is significant, especially in the Central Valley. While California residents in Northern California seem to be adopting the idea of electric vehicles more rapidly, we have a long way to go in other regions of the state. It’s clear that consumers still prefer gasoline powered vehicles, while convenience, affordability, range and choice continue to be factors for consumers when selecting a new vehicle to purchase.” said California New Car Dealers Association Chairperson, Taz Harvey of Dublin Mazda. “While many manufacturers are getting on board with developing new electric vehicle options, they must continue to take all of these factors into consideration for consumer adoption to continue to increase.”

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.
The California Green Vehicle Report provides comprehensive information on the state’s green vehicle market. The report includes a segment watch, including top 20 best-selling alternative powertrain vehicles; best sellers in market segments including hybrid, plug in hybrid, electric and fuel cell; market trends by powertrain type and brand shares in alternative powertrain market. The complete report can be accessed on CNCDA’s website at:

California Green Vehicle Report is produced for CNCDA by Auto Outlook, Inc., an independent research company specializing in the analysis of statewide and regional automotive markets. When reporting these auto industry trends please acknowledge the Data Source: IHS Markit.

The California New Car Dealers Association is the country’s largest state association of franchised new car and truck dealers representing nearly 1,200 dealer members. Last year California’s franchised new car dealers sold more than 2.5 million new and used cars and trucks.

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