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California Electric Vehicle Sales Up in 2017 but Gas Powered Vehicles Still Primary Consumer Choice

SACRAMENTO, CA – The California green vehicle market continues to experience increases year over year, particularly in the electric vehicle space where sales increased more than 30 percent in 2017 from 2016, making up 2.5 percent of total new vehicle sales for the year. However, according to the California Green Vehicle Report, this is only a drop in the bucket as the new vehicle market is still overwhelmingly controlled by gasoline powered vehicles, which made up more than 83 percent of total new car registrations for 2017.

“While an increase in green vehicle sales is positive for California and our environmental goals, the reality is consumers still largely prefer gasoline powered vehicles. Issues like convenience, affordability, range and choice are all significant factors when consumers make decisions about vehicle purchases,” said California New Car Dealers Association Chairperson, Taz Harvey of Dublin Mazda. “These numbers demonstrate that consumers have not yet made the mass shift to green vehicles and until some of these issues are addressed, they will continue to choose what is affordable and meets their day to day transportation needs.”

Additionally, brand share in the alternative powertrain market is heavily dominated by Toyota, making up nearly 32 percent of green vehicle sales in 2017, followed by Chevrolet, Tesla, Ford and Lexus rounding out the top five selling brands in California for hybrid, plug in hybrid, electric and fuel cell vehicles. However, as manufacturers continue to increase the vehicle options they have to offer consumers in the green vehicle market space, we expect to see further fluctuations in in brand shares in alterative powertrain vehicle sales.

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.

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