Bolt EV helps boost electric car sales by 91% in California
Some good news for electric-car optimists: Sales of EVs in California rose 91% in the first quarter of 2017 from the same period last year.
Pessimists will focus on total units: Only 13,804 pure electrics were sold across California. Sales for all cars and light trucks totaled 506,745, according to the California New Car Dealers Assn.
For electrics, that’s a market share of 2.7%.
Tesla and Chevrolet get most of the credit for the electric-car sales gain.
The Bolt brings a “new element” to the electric car market, said Rebecca Lindblad, a Kelley Blue Book analyst, with its hatchback, mid-market price and range around 240 miles.
Over three months, Chevy sold 2,735 Bolt EVs in California.
By 2025, roughly 15% of the cars in the state are required to be zero-emission vehicles. “We’re a long way from getting anywhere close,” Lindblad said.
Sales of plug-in hybrids – grid-rechargeable cars with limited electric range until a gasoline engine takes over – were up 54% in the first quarter year-over-year in California, to 10,466 cars.
But regular, hybrids were down 9.2%, to 22,328. The new and improved Prius family of hybrids, with its controversial redesign, is off to a rough start. And analysts are watching to see whether the market expands as new electric models hit the market — or if large numbers of electric-car customers are trading in hybrids.
Nissan will introduce a new version of its Leaf all-electric car this fall, with an expected range of 200 miles. If most Leaf buyers are trading in older Leafs, it won’t do much for the zero-emission new-car market.
Tesla, whose Model S and Model X sales have flattened after a big Model X ramp-up in 2016, plans to slowly introduce a mid-priced mass-market car, the Model 3, beginning this summer.
“If they can actually deliver, that will be the best opportunity to draw in new buyers” to the pure-electric market, Lindblad said.
She noted that hundreds of thousands of potential customers have put down $1,000 deposits on a Model 3.
Your guide to our new economic reality.
Get our free business newsletter for insights and tips for getting by.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.