Tesla cars hinder the march of hydrogen cars

California's best-selling vehicle.

The Model 3 beat every other California passenger car in 2022, to win the true electric car.

Last year, the Tesla Model 3 was the best-selling passenger vehicle in California, but does this milestone mean hydrogen cars have missed their chance and electric vehicles (EVs) are locked out?

Tesla cars hinder

  • The Tesla Model 3's top spot was a very symbolic one in EVs as the largest car market in the United States and its largest market for zero cars. Moreover, the gap the Model 3 had over last year's Toyota Camry was notable.

  • According to data from the California New Car Dealers Association (CNCDA), Tesla delivered 78,934 Model 3s in the state in 2022. That model bought 15 percent market share among passenger vehicles.

  • In second place was the Toyota Camry—which has held the top spot for years—with 55,967 models sold and a market share of 11 percent. In third place was the Toyota Corolla, of which 39,865 units were sold.

  • At the same time, the Model Y managed to hold on to first place among compact SUVs for the second year in a row, leaving the Toyota RAV4 in second place. The Tesla Model Y sold 87,257 units, while the Toyota RAV4 saw 59,794 units sold.

  • Toyota, however, took the lead as the most vehicles sold in all classes in California last, taking a 17 percent share of 289,304 vehicle registrations in 2022. Tesla, however, is moving higher, with 186,711. recording an 11 percent market share in the country.

  • This represents a doubling of market share from 2021 to 2022, which cannot be sniffed at.

  • Does this rapid trend of electric cars mean hydrogen cars don't have a shot?

  • Experts say that while this is an important milestone for EVs and for zero-emissions cars as a whole, it's too early to assume that battery electrics have completely claimed the zero-emissions market and that H2 has missed out.

  • This is especially true when you factor in what it takes to run the entire country's passenger vehicles—not to mention those around the world—on batteries.

  • Countries all over the world are experiencing energy crises. Some have been long drawn out, while others are more developmental, such as the energy crisis in Europe resulting from Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

  • Moreover, the materials required to produce that many batteries—lithium in particular—are expensive and difficult, and some experts aren't convinced there are enough of them to make all the batteries needed.

  • In addition, there are some drawbacks to electric cars — such as range and charging time, among others — that have yet to be overcome for certain types of vehicle use such as in cold weather regions.

  • It's becoming an increasingly popular belief that hydrogen cars will be one of at least two different types of zero-emissions vehicles that will be driving our roads in the not-too-distant future.

  • Some trends will be regional, while others will be based on usage requirements, among other factors.


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