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Electric vehicle sales rise in California

Sales of new cars and trucks in California inched forward in the first three months of the year, and the electric vehicle market made some healthy improvement.

"It's a credit to all the various factors that are making California's economy continue to grow," said Brian Maas, president of the California New Car Dealers Assn., the Sacramento trade group that released its quarterly report this week.

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While new-vehicle registrations fell 1.4% nationally in January through March, California dealers experienced a 0.7% increase in registrations, putting the state on the path for another year of sales exceeding 2 million vehicles.

In the same time frame, 4.8% of new vehicles registered in the Golden State were zero-emission vehicles and plug-in hybrids, the highest share ever recorded.

Nearly 14,000 electric vehicles, or EVs, were bought in the state, raising their market share to 2.7%, up from 2.2% in the previous quarter and from 1.4% in the year-earlier quarter.

Part of the boost in EV registrations is attributed to the debut of the Chevrolet Bolt, an all-electric car that can go about 200 miles between charges. With a list price of $30,000, not including government tax credits and rebates, the Bolt has been promoted as an EV for the masses.

15 5 8 805 N 125 163 52 54 56 67 75 76 78 79 905 94 Source: Xxxxxx ARTIST NAME U-T Two column plus headline 14 on 15.5 Chatter is BentonSansCond Regular 9.5 on 11 pt. leading California electric vehicle registrations National capitol State capitol Primary city Secondary city Geo feature Geo feature COUNTRY/STATE/CITY SAN DIEGO CO. N’HOOD/TOWN COUNTRY Parks/forests Body of water S13 S5 95 101 ALT 395 ALT 95 XX XXXX XX XXX XX XX XXX NAMED ST. 1 6 7 2 8 3 9 4 5 10 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 Research and analysis by NAME HERE ; graphic by ARTIST NAME U-T Percentages do not equal 100 because of rounding. Percentages might not equal 100 because of rounding. F o o tn o t e 1 1: Footnote explainer Margin of error: +/- 4.3 percentage points Source: U-T wire services Chart circle U-T @sdutgraphics LOS ANGELES TIMES NYT AP Annually Quarterly Daily closes Source: @sdutgraphics Test Graphic File name: sd-xx-g-xxxxx-xxxxx Section: XXXXXX Run date: XX-XX-2016 Artist: Name Here x00000 Size: X col. x X.X inches Reporter approved: _________ Editor approved: ___________ P2P slug: XXXXXX Keywords: XXXXXX © The San Diego Union-Tribune Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Donec vel faucibus leo. Etiam id finibus nunc. Donec convallis accumsan justo eget tincidunt. Pellentesque dignissim rutrum malesuada. Integer quis lacus eu tortor varius hendrerit nec efficitur diam. Fusce tempus hendrerit venenatis. Sed hendrerit nulla nec ex dapibus pharetra vel sed tellus. In vitae tortor eu orci imperdiet commodo. Donec aliquam ante nec erat rhoncus hendrerit. Ut dignissim felis quis viverra pulvinar. Sed imperdiet elementum eros, nec efficitur magna venenatis eu. Integer quis orci eu magna dapibus consequat. Nulla ornare metus neque, ac ultrices nisl placerat vel. Duis pulvinar enim sit amet elit tristique, at accumsan sem condimentum. STORY HEADLINE STYLE N North symbol Mountain Airport Quake Hurricanes: Categories 3, 4, and 5 Tropical storms Hurricanes: Categories 1 and 2 Picnic area Gate Campground Detailed Greys Sand Local blue Business green Sports red Entertainment plum Dialog grape Travel orange Zones aqua 1 2 3 4 5 Highlight UT Blue Cherry Sun name.last@sduniontribune.com Data watch Data watch Headline style Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Donec vel faucibus leo. Etiam id finibus nunc. Donec convallis accumsan justo eget tincidunt. Pellentesque dignissim rutrum malesuada. Integer quis lacus eu tortor varius hendrerit nec efficitur diam. Fusce tempus hendrerit venenatis. Sed hendrerit nulla nec ex dapibus pharetra vel sed tellus. In vitae tortor eu orci imperdiet commodo. Donec aliquam ante nec erat rhoncus hendrerit. Ut dignissim felis quis viverra pulvinar. Sed imperdiet elementum eros, nec efficitur magna venenatis eu. Integer quis orci eu magna dapibus consequat. Nulla ornare metus neque, ac ultrices nisl placerat vel. Duis pulvinar enim sit amet elit tristique, at accumsan sem condimentum. Duis id mauris et nibh mollis eleifend non vitae justo. Donec eu facilisis felis. Pellen - tesque mattis risus dolor, a suscipit leo mattis et. Donec massa sapien, semper vel iaculis pretium, venenatis posuere orci. Integer metus tortor, hendrerit eu elementum id, bibendum ac eros. Integer odio leo, molestie eu quam a, tempus maximus sem. Aliquam at augue vel mi rhoncus ultricies eu id nisl. Duis faucibus tortor tellus, at iaculis ipsum rutrum et. Nulla rhoncus dui est, ac volutpat purus hendrerit bibendum. magna bibendum, nec ultricies libero fermentum. Proin tincidunt ligula ut est eleifend facilisis. Suspendisse a vulputate elit, eget aliquam sem. Pellentesque lacinia in elit et viverra. Sed vitae convallis eros. Donec sed neque vitae lectus hendrerit posuere. Vivamus hendrerit et enim sed pharetra. Integer sit amet porttitor mauris, non porta justo. viverra. Sed vitae convallis eros. Donec sed neque vitae lectus hendrerit po amet porttitor mauris, non porta justo. BENTONSANSCOND 42 ON 42 BentonModernThree Roman 11 on 13 12 Large number callout with type For story galleries, twitter and facebook ONLINE TEMPLATE XX miles Market share Registrations Source: Bloomberg ARTIST NAME U-T 12,000 11,500 11,000 10,500 10,000 9,500 March April May June March 5 10,444.14 Daily closes Benton Gothic Bold 10 on 11 Friday 9,931.97 Source: Bloomberg ARTIST NAME U-T Benton Gothic Bold 10 on 11 BentonGothic regular ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 FY 0 500 1,000 1,500 2,000 520 Source: Bloomberg ARTIST NAME U-T 12,000 11,500 11,000 10,500 10,000 9,500 March April May June March 5 10,444.14 Daily closes Benton Gothic Bold 10 on 11 Friday 9,931.97 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’13 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017* 21,912 1.3% 1.6% 1.7% 1.9% 2.7% 29,536 34,477 40,347 13,804 Source: IHS Markit * Year-to-date DANIEL WHEATON U-T

In its first quarter in the dealers association rankings, the Bolt recorded 2,735 registrations in California, good enough for fourth place in the subcompact division, finishing behind the Nissan Versa, the Kia Soul and the Toyota Yaris.

"Having a product like the Chevy Bolt available, I think that helps broaden the type of consumer that is interested in purchasing a plug-in or a zero-emission vehicle," Maas said.

Jeremy Acevedo, pricing and industry analyst for Edmunds.com, also pointed to a rise in deliveries from Tesla, whose Model X was beset by production delays in the first quarter of 2016.

"When you look at those two vehicles [the Bolt and the Model X], they're definitely impactful releases in a segment that is drawing a lot more customers here in California," Acevedo said.

Registrations of Telsa vehicles in the state leaped 61.7% compared with the first quarter of last year.

The bestselling vehicle overall in California in the first quarter was the Honda Civic, followed by the Honda Accord and the Toyota Camry.

As a point of reference, the Civic alone (21,141 registrations) nearly equaled the total across every brand for all new EVs and plug-ins (24,270).

Tuesday's report also underscored a trend in which sales of light trucks and sport utility vehicles keep improving.

Statewide, registrations of new vehicles overall — excluding fleets — were up 1.6% from the same quarter last year; they were down 9.1% for cars and up 14.8% for light trucks. In Los Angeles and Orange counties, registrations were down 1.1% overall, down 11.5% for cars and up 14.5% for trucks.

Maas attributed the trend to multiple factors. "People like riding a little bit higher. I think they like the utility of an SUV; you can put more stuff in the back," he said. "And when gas prices are relatively low, your No. 1 criterion probably is not [miles per gallon] and then you'll take a closer look at the SUV class opposed to passenger sedans."

Last year, auto sales nationally hit a new high — totaling more than 17.5 million — but most industry analysts expect the numbers to plateau.

Acevedo said the numbers for the U.S. and California should remain stable, however.

"It has been seven years of continued growth for the industry, coming out of the recession," Acevedo said. "The industry is leveling off at these relative highs. We're not expecting a dramatic falloff or heading over a cliff."

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