According to the California New Car Dealers Association, two Tesla models became the best selling cars in California during the first half of 2022, with Tesla becoming the second most bought car brand behind Toyota.
During the first half of 2022, 42,320 Tesla Model Ys were bought in the Golden State, followed by 38,993 Tesla Model 3s. In total, Tesla sold 90,985 new cars, all electric, from January to June, 82.2% more than the same time last year when only 49,875 were sold. For 2022 so far, Tesla holds a 10.7% of new car sales in California, second place behind Toyota with 152,838 new car sales, or 17.9%.
While Tesla CEO Elon Musk moved Tesla’s headquarters to Texas last year due to multiple business and tax reasons, Tesla has remained a large force in California. This is in large part due to the extensive electric vehicle charging station system being built throughout the state as well as Tesla having the only car factory in California in Fremont. The Fremont plant, which remains the most efficient auto plant in North America, produces cars quickly and only has to ship them short distances to reach customers in California.
However, the drastic rise in sales is due in large to gas prices in California going up and other car dealers failing to meet the demand for electric and hybrid car options. Tesla’s quickly filled in the niche in 2022, filling in many back orders made during the pandemic as well. Auto experts note that one cited reason isn’t true though.
“It isn’t because of California’s 2035 date of ending new gas powered car sales,” explained Michigan-based Automotive sales expert Charles Rice to the Globe on Tuesday. “That was never going to do anything. California electric incentives, yes, may have played a role, as could have a lot of people just plain needing new cars during this time, as so many put off getting new ones due to the pandemic and parts issues in making new ones.”
“The big thing is gas prices. That was the thing that pushed people into getting more electric and hybrid cars. We’re going to be mostly electric in the future, and oil and gas problems just mare making it happen naturally. The 2035 order, no, people would go around that if gas stayed cheap. But it isn’t. Even if California managed to lower gas by a dollar a gallon, people would still be flocking for electric and hybrid cars.”
“Plus, remember, California is the most prepared for electric cars too. They have chargers everywhere, state incentives, and pollution standards that have already been pushing in this direction. And there is another piece people forget. These are made in California. Not just America, but California. Tesla’s bring pride to some people because of that fact alone. Everyone else pulled out decades ago, but here comes this start up in the early 2000’s refusing to leave, and it has paid off, despite California really making it hard not to. I mean, yeah, they moved out of state for their headquarters, but they kept the factory and keep building new ones here. There are people who hate the idea of an electric car who will only consider Tesla because it is an American company building here in the US in California of all states. That’s something you don’t hear of today too much.”
“So it’s not really a surprise that Tesla is quickly becoming the top car brand in California. You can bet Honda and Toyota are taking notice.”
Tesla is expected to keep up sales in California throughout the rest of 2022.
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