The most recent data reveals that California is playing a crucial role in the emerging electric vehicle market of the United States. According to the California New Car Dealers Association, electric vehicles accounted for 21.5% of car sales in the state during the first nine months of 2023.

This is the first time in history that EVs have made up more than 20% of the California auto market. During the first nine months of 2022, only 16.4% of cars sold in California were EVs. In 2021, the corresponding figure was just 9.1%.

Although Tesla continues to be the dominant player in the EV sector, its overall market share has slightly declined from 71.8% in 2022 to 62.9% in 2023. However, the Tesla Model Y remains the top-selling electric vehicle in the state.

Other brands like Chrysler, Jeep, and Toyota have gained popularity in the plug-in hybrid category.

When considering both EVs and gasoline cars, Toyota is the leading auto brand in California. Toyota holds the largest market share with 15%, closely followed by Tesla with a 13.5% share. Toyota surpassed Tesla in the first quarter, but Tesla regained its position in the second quarter.

California’s EV revolution has been progressing at a faster pace compared to the rest of the nation, thanks to Governor Gavin Newsom’s mandate requiring all new car sales to be zero-emissions by 2035. More than a dozen states have adopted similar regulations since their introduction last year.

The latest report indicates a decline in the presence of vehicles with internal combustion engines (ICEs). ICE cars only accounted for 62.3% of new vehicle registrations in California, down from 71.6% in 2022.

As EVs surpass 20% of California’s car sales, the rest of the US is lagging far behind. Battery-powered cars only constitute 7.4% of the overall US auto market, as reported by the Washington Examiner. 

Nonetheless, it’s looking increasingly likely that other states will soon experience EV growth as dramatic as California’s. Even Texas, long known for its hostility to EVs, recently announced a $2,500 EV rebate.