Almost half of the Model 3s registered in the US during the first 10 months of 2018 came from California, but experts say it won't hurt Tesla's future

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Tesla Model 3Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

  • Nearly half of the US' Tesla Model 3 registrations during the first 10 months of 2018 came from California, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday, citing data from IHS Markit.
  • The high percentage of Model 3 registrations from California does not hold any negative implications for Tesla in the short or long term, said Gene Munster, a managing partner at Loup Ventures.
  • The disparity between California and other states results from the factors that make California residents more receptive to electric vehicles, like their tech-savviness and concern for the environment, rather than any weaknesses on Tesla's part, Munster said.
  • There are other, more tangible factors that make California a strong market for electric vehicles, like a robust charging infrastructure and generous incentives for electric vehicle buyers, said Michael Ramsey, an automotive analyst at Gartner.

Nearly half of the US' Tesla Model 3 registrations during the first 10 months of 2018 came from California, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday, citing data from IHS Markit. (Full data was only available through October, Bloomberg said.)

Read more: Tesla is ending its popular referral program that rewarded owners with a load of free perks because it's getting too expensive

At 49.3%, California's share of US Model 3 registrations between January and October 2018 is nearly 10 times that of Florida, which at 5.1%, had the second-highest share of Model 3 registrations. At first glance, those statistics could indicate that the Model 3 is not a car for the masses, as Tesla CEO Elon Musk has billed it, but a vehicle with limited, regional appeal.

But the high percentage of Model 3 registrations from California does not hold any negative implications for Tesla in the short or long term, said Gene Munster, a managing partner at Loup Ventures.

"I don't think it has any impact on Tesla's ability to hit their numbers in the next year," he said.

The disparity between California and other states results from the factors that make California residents more receptive to electric vehicles, like their tech-savviness and concern for the environment, rather than any weaknesses on Tesla's part, Munster said. Those factors create a positive cycle for electric vehicle sales, as a higher number of electric vehicles on the road leads to greater awareness by California residents, which then leads to more electric vehicle sales.

There are other, more tangible factors that make California a strong market for electric vehicles, like a robust charging infrastructure and generous incentives for electric vehicle buyers, Michael Ramsey, an automotive analyst at Gartner, said in an email.

California has over 19,000 publicly available electric-vehicle charging stations, according to the Alternative Fuels Data Center. No other state has even 5,000 publicly available stations. California also offers either a $2,500 or $4,500 rebate for electric vehicle purchases, depending on the customer's income.

While Ramsey said he expects the percentage of Tesla sales coming from California to decrease, he said he wouldn't be surprised if the state still accounted for over a quarter of Tesla's sales in the long term.

Have a Tesla news tip? Contact this reporter at mmatousek@businessinsider.com.

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