Sales of new electric vehicles in California increased 63.7% to 51,750 units in the first half of this year, largely on the strength of the Tesla Model 3.
But this does not mean that the golden age of electric vehicles has waned. Pure electric cars still account for only 5.5% of California car sales. Consumers are, for the most part, shrinking EV offerings from car companies named Tesla. And Tesla may have topped sales.
“California is the largest green market in the country,” said Edmunds market analyst Jessica Caldwell. Nearly half of the country’s 105,472 net EVs were sold in the state. “But EVs are still a tough market, even in California.”
According to the California New Car Dealers Assn., Merchants sold approximately 950,000 new automobiles in the first six months of 2019. About 13% of them were “electrified” in some form – pure EV, hybrid or plug-in hybrid.
Practically all the rest runs on internal combustion engines, the vast majority on gasoline. Gasoline car sales have fallen 7.3% so far this year in California, partly due to electrified competition and partly because auto sales have entered a cyclical downturn of national and (internationally) as-yet-unknown severity .
Statewide sales of new hybrid cars, which run primarily on gasoline with an electric battery boost and do not need to be plugged in, grew by 22.1% to 48,861 vehicles in the first half. Plug-in hybrids, which can run up to a few dozen miles on battery power before switching to internal combustion, have reached 28.5%, up to 35,500 vehicles, analysts said, as the latest of consumer plugs The design iterates – in the hybrid leader, the Toyota Prius Prime.
Without Tesla, net EV sales would be lame. About 33,000 Model 3s went on sale in California in the first half. Chevrolet’s Bolt EV was the next best-selling 4,482 cars, followed by Tesla Model X (3,690) and Tesla Model S (3,390) selling 2,034 units of the Nissan Leaf.
Electric car buyers “are not fans of EVs, they seem to be fans of Tesla,” Caldwell said. “It’s really hard for any other company to crack the code of what people want in EVE.”
Still, driven by policymakers in Europe, China, California, and a dozen other US states, automakers around the world are finding themselves far behind to build and, they hope, sell millions of electric vehicles. Car companies talk of cutting air pollution and relieving global warming. But unless governments ban the sale of new internal combustion engine powered cars, consumer acceptance may be gradual.
One reason for slow transition is cost. Batteries are expensive, and EVs typically cost more. Base price of a gasoline-powered Hyundai corner The compact SUV, for example, is $ 18,740; The all-electric version is $ 36,950 before the government’s incentive. Other barriers: Range anxiety and lack of public charging options.
Partly due to their high costs, electric cars have so far proved unprofitable. Carmakers are selling them at a loss. Government subsidies on electric car purchases have proved necessary to keep consumers interested.
Personnel expect the level of production to reach a point where per-car costs fall, subsidies are no longer necessary and EVs can be sold at a profit. When that point will be reached, no one can say.
Tesla succeeded in becoming the world’s first mass-market EV manufacturer with the Model 3 with a base price of $ 39,000. But the 16-year-old company has yet to make an annual profit, and its car sales are only slightly above the 500,000 annual rate that Wall Street had expected so far. The company’s overall sales curve is flat.
The Trump administration is battling auto emissions and fuel economy regulations with California. If the White House is successful, EV sales may increase. California requires tougher emission standards than the federal government, and other states are allowed to follow California’s lead. Under the Obama administration, California and federal motor vehicle clean air regulations were created the same. The Trump administration wants to meet emissions and fuel requirements and forces California and other states to conform to weak federal regulations.
Four vehicle manufacturers – Ford, Honda, Volkswagen and BMW – have agreed to an agreement with California to keep most of the current requirements. Other companies, including General Motors, have not reached an agreement. The US Department of Justice has opened an investigation into whether the four automakers break the law with the agreement.
All carmakers have stated that they need consistent regulations to meet global regulatory targets towards cleaner vehicles. But those targets are out of sync with the market right now. A recent report by independent Europe auto analyst Matthias Schmidt said that to meet the ambitious EU air requirements, plug-in sales would more than double next year.
“One potential issue is that manufacturers may be forced to” meet losses to meet targets, and individual European governments have to buy incentives or other “fiscal instruments to boost sales and reduce automaker losses” “Is likely to support manufacturers.