California hits 1.5 million EV sales years ahead of schedule

Exponential growth achieved through a collaborative approach to overcoming EV myths and breaking down barriers to consumer EV adoption

SACRAMENTO – California passed 1.5 million electric vehicle (EVs) sales nearly two years ahead of market predictions, according to the California Energy Commission, representing more than 21% of the total California new car market in the first quarter of 2023. For comparison, in 2022, more than 750,000 new EVs were registered in the U.S., just 5.6% of the total market. Veloz’s Quarterly EV Market Report examined the sales data, finding that traditional automakers are beginning to grow their market share. Click here to read more from Veloz’s quarterly EV Market Report.

Veloz’s report release coincides with a multi-agency public Earth Day event on April 20 where California Governor Gavin Newsom, alongside multiple state agencies and Veloz leadership, celebrated the sales milestone and what it means for California.

“This incredible EV milestone is a shared victory and we are thrilled to be celebrating it with the Governor’s Office, and many of our public and private sector board leaders,” said Josh D. Boone, executive director of Veloz, which has tracked EV sales data and infrastructure buildout in California for over 10 years. “California’s legislators, agencies, utilities, charging providers, automakers, rideshare companies, environmental nonprofits and others have come together to support this kind of exponential EV sales growth, which we expect to continue as we make EVs more accessible for all Californians.”

Last year, the California Air Resources Board adopted a new Advanced Clean Cars II program that set a 100% zero-emission vehicle sales target for 2035 which will deliver more EV options to dealerships across the state.

““With 115 different EV makes and models, Californians can choose from more options than ever,” said Caroline Choi, senior vice president of corporate affairs at Edison International and Southern California Edison and Veloz board of directors chair. “Electric utilities are continuing grid investments and building out infrastructure to facilitate EV charging networks and meet the growing consumer demand for clean transportation.”

The state legislature has approved more than $5 billion in investments for the EV transition. This includes a $2.9 billion state investment plan for EV charging and hydrogen refueling goals, a $2.6 billion state investment plan in EV projects — 70% of which will go to priority communities, and the state will receive $384 million of federal funding from the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Program to install charging stations throughout the state.

“For the last decade, California has had a goal to reach 1.5 million zero emission vehicles by 2025,” said David Hochschild, chair of the California Energy Commission and Veloz public policy board chair. “Now this goal has been surpassed nearly two years early, which is an important milestone on the journey to finally bringing clean electric transportation mainstream.”

Veloz’s ongoing Electric For All Myths Busting Myths education campaign was designed to increase EV consumer adoption by busting common “mythical” barriers. The campaign includes eight community partners and has already garnered nearly 25 million views online and almost 500,000 visits to, where consumers can take advantage of resources and tools to help them choose the right EV for them, identify incentives, research home-charging options and much more. The humorous video spots and digital advertisements that feature beloved myths such as Sasquatch, Martians, a unicorn and the Tooth Fairy were funded by a grant from the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development and Veloz members.


About Veloz

Veloz is a unique public-private nonprofit driving toward 100% zero-emission vehicles through strategic communications, unprecedented collaborations and purposeful convening. As the power behind the nation’s largest and most inventive multi-stakeholder public awareness campaign for electric vehicles, the architect of events and programming garnering both state and national attention, and the organization bringing together high-powered, diverse board and members from the public and private sectors, Veloz believes the future of transportation is electric for all.