California's Electric Vehicle Sales for Q1-Q3 2022 Show That Tesla is Facing Growing Competition
As the undisputed electric vehicle leader, it's no surprise that Tesla sold the most EVs in California in the third quarter of 2022. The state leads the U.S. in EV sales and Tesla sold the most battery-powered vehicles than any other global automaker by far in 2021.
But recent data from the California Energy Commission, which tracks sales of zero emissions electric vehicles and hybrid modes in the state, show that Tesla's market share is declining now that car buyers in California have more choices when shopping for an EV and the company's competitors gain market share.
These new Tesla rivals include automakers Rivian, Hyundai, BMW, Volkswagen, Ford Motor Co, Audi, Mercedes-Benz and General Motors, all of which have introduced fully-electric models over the past several years.
Out of Tesla global deliveries of 936,172 vehicles in 2021, roughly 15% of these sales were in California, so it remains an important market for Tesla.
The California Energy Commission reported sales of 209,702 zero emissions vehicles in Q1 through Q3 2022. This list does include fuel cell EVs or hybrid models. The top four EVs were Tesla models.
Tesla sold 152,835 zero emissions battery-powered vehicles in California in the first three quarters of 2022, with the Model 3 topping the list with 69,306 units sold. The Model Y came in second place with sales of 65,355 units. Model S sales for Q3 were 8,960 and Model X sales were 9,214, according to the data.
One third of California's EV sales in Q1-Q3 2022 were in Los Angeles County, with 57,011 vehicles sold.
Second place in California's EV sales through Sept 30 is Ford Motor Co. The automaker sold 9,074 EVs in Q1-Q3, with the Mustang Mach E topping the list with sales of 7,512 units. Ford's second best selling EV was the F-150 Lightning with 960 units sold, followed by the Ford E Transit electric cargo van with 602 units sold.
The third place spot for Q3 goes to Hyundai with 7,781 EVs sold, with sales of the IONIQ 5 SUV totaling 6,221 units.
The latest data for California's Energy Commission also highlights the 15 electric models that are the most popular with consumers in California. They are descending order, the Tesla Model 3, Model Y, Model X, Model S, Ford Mustang Mach E, Hyundai IONIQ 5, Chevy Bolt EUV, Kia EV6, Nissan LEAF, Rivian R1T, Volkswagen ID.4, Chevy Bolt EV, Polestar 2, Audi e tron and Kia NIRO EV.
Although Tesla is still the undisputed leader in California's EV sales, competition in the segment will only increase in the upcoming years as legacy automakers introduce new battery-powered models.
Tesla's biggest competitor in the next several years might very well be South Korea-based Hyundai, an automaker that is investing tens of billion dollars on its future.
In April, Hyundai unveiled a strategic roadmap that its says will accelerate its electrification ambition as it pursues sustainable progress for the company. The plans include an investment of $79.2 billion through 2030 to boost its annual EV sales to 1.87 million units and take a 7% global EV market share by decade end.
The IONIQ 5 SUV, for example, ranks sixth in California's EV sales so far in 2022, so Hyundai's presence in the EV segment has grown significantly. Although Tesla currently holds the top four spots in the state with the highest EV sales in the nation, it's unclear just how long the company will be able to hang onto its lead.
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