Sales of Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) in California during the second quarter of 2019 were largely stable from the prior quarter with a slight increase to 26,754 units from 26,053, although with a slight drop in market share from 5.6% to 5.5%, according to an analysis of new vehicle sales data from California New Car Dealers Association (CNCDA) by the California Center for Jobs and the Economy (CCJE).
Tesla sales volume in this quarter for California dipped to 19,594 (17,200 of which were Model 3)—73% of all BEVs sold in the state—illustrating the extent to which fulfillment of the state’s policies remain heavily dependent on the sales performance of a single company if not a single car model. Chevy Bolt, generally in the same price range as Model 3, showed only 2,197 units for the quarter.
Plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) sales—including plug-in hybrids and BEVs—were up 8.1% from the same quarter a year ago from 35,446 to 38,332 units, and up 7.5% from the prior quarter (35,668 units) as PHEV sales regained some of their lost ground.
Cumulative PEV Sales at 11.9% of California 2030 goal, true ZEVs at 6.7%. California has a goal—set by Executive Order—of 5 million zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) on its roads by 2030. However, the numbers in the Executive Order and previous interpretations by the agencies indicate the goal is to be achieved by both BEVs and PHEVs that run on both electricity and motor fuels. Consequently, only a portion of the vehicles being counted to meet the zero emission goal—roughly half based on current sales volumes—will in fact produce zero emissions when driven, according to the CCJE. Additionally, FCEVs (fuel cell electric vehicles) also would count towards the ZEV total, but data show total market share for these vehicles to date at around 0.1%.
Including both true ZEVs and combustion PHEVs, total PEV sales since 2009 account for 11.9% of the 2030 goal. True ZEV sales, however, account for only 6.7%.
In addition to the distortion that comes from including combustion vehicles in the ZEV total, the Executive Orders also refer to ZEVs on California roads while the agency accountings rely on sales as the measure of progress. Using prior Energy Commission reviews to account for ZEVs no longer on the roads as a result of accidents, moves out of state, and other factors that over time remove vehicles from the active fleet, the actual progress rate consistent with the Executive Order language of “vehicles on California’s roads” would be 11.0% rather than the 11.9%.—“State’s Progress on 5 Million Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEV) by 2030: Q2 2019 Results”