Plug-in car sales up 37% in Q1 2022, two Teslas at the top

The California New Car Dealers Association (CNCDA) reports that during the first quarter of 2022, total light vehicle registrations in California were 425,216 (down 13.8% year over year). on the other).

The report begins with a list of issues: “Inflation has jumped, interest rates are rising, gas prices have risen and there is a war in Europe”but at the same time, he notes that it is not lack of demand, but rather limited production that is holding the market back.

The most important thing for us is that sales of plug-in electric cars remain strong with several monumental achievements.

Plug-in car registrations over the period increased by approximately 37% year after year for 73 138 (estimated), resulting in a record of 17.2% of the total market (compared to 10.8% a year ago and 12.8% on average in 2021).

Another thing is that, for the first time, all-electric vehicles have significantly outperformed conventional hybrids. In total, 62,082 BEV registrations (+55%) represent 14.6% of the total market (nearly 1 new vehicle out of 7).

Interestingly, plug-in hybrids and non-plug-in hybrids are down 17% and 2% year-over-year, respectively.

  • BEV: 62,082 (up 55%, market share of 14.6%)
  • PHEV: 11,056 (down 17%, market share of 2.6%)
  • Total plugins: 73,138 (up 37%, market share of 17.2%)
  • HEV: 47,198 (down 2%, market share 11.1%)
  • Total xEV: 120,336 (up 18%, market share 28.3%)

Three 100% electric cars topped their subcategories:

  • Tesla Model Y (21,812up 58%): #1 in luxury compact SUVs (55.5% share)
  • Tesla Model 3 (21,506up 121%): #1 in Near Luxury (65.2% share)
  • Tesla Model S (3,495up 293%): #1 in luxury and high-end sports cars (25.1% share)
  • Tesla Model X (1,225): #5 in luxury midsize SUVs (5.7% share)
  • Bmw i3 (5): #5 in Luxury Entry (0.2% share)
    (just a symbolic figure, because the model is retired)

Interestingly, the hydrogen fuel cell powered Toyota Mirai, probably for the first time, emerged in the subcompact class, as #1 with 470 units and a 25.1% share.


* red underline only for models that can be identified as plug-ins by name

The biggest achievement of the first quarter of 2022 is that two electric cars – the Tesla Model Y and the Tesla Model 3 – turned out to be the best-selling cars in California.

We knew this was coming, as the Tesla Model Y closed 2021 at No. 2, slightly behind the Toyota Camry, while the Model 3 was No. 5.

Now both Teslas are over 21,000 units, while the second most popular model, the Toyota RAV4, is under 16,000 (including some hybrids and plug-in hybrids). The Toyota Camry is fourth with more than 12,000 units.

This is an important step for electrification, which should gradually continue to expand.

The top models (more than 9,000 registrations):

  1. Tesla Model Y – 21 812
  2. Tesla Model 3 – 21 506
  3. Toyota RAV4 – 15,990
  4. Toyota Camry – 12,257
  5. Honda Civic – 11,057
  6. Ford F-Series – 10,279
  7. Toyota Tacoma – 9,616
  8. Chevy Silverado – 9,378
  9. Toyota Corolla – 9,318
  10. Ram Pickup – 9,137
  11. Honda Accord-9061

According to the report, in the first quarter, Tesla registrations amounted to 48,038 (up 83.7% year after year), which is 11.3% of the market (compared to 26,154 and 5.3% share a year ago). Tesla was the fastest growing auto brand in the state.

For reference, as of Q1-Q4 2021, Tesla registrations were at 121,080 (up 69.6% year after year), which is 6.5% of the market (compared to 71,390 and 4.4% share a year earlier).

In other words, Tesla has captured more than a tenth of the California auto market and the growth rate indicates it won’t stop there.

This is the dominance of the BEV segment – 77.4% of all BEVs. All non-Tesla BEV registrations combined were 14,044.

Results for the first quarter of 2022 in California:

  • Tesla Model Y – 21 812
  • Tesla Model 3 – 21 506
  • Tesla Model S – 3,495
  • Tesla Model X – 1225
  • Total Tesla: 48,038 (up 83.7%, 11.3% share)

The CNCDA also shows that Tesla has a 3.3% share in the US market. Compared to 3,318,789 YTD, it should be around 109,500. That’s not far off from Experian’s car registration data shared by Automotive News (113,882).

Having the numbers for the US and California allows us to estimate the difference, which is the number of Teslas registered in states outside of California. It’s north of 61,000.