Sales of new hydrogen fuel cell cars in California — the only US state where they are sold — fell by almost 20% year-on-year, according to new figures from the Hydrogen Fuel Cell Partnership (formerly the California Fuel Cell Partnership).

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Only 2,707 fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) were bought from California dealerships in 2022 — 2,094 units of the Toyota Mirai and 408 of the Hyundai Nexo — compared to 3,341 in 2021, which was an all-time high supported by massive discounts.

However, the 2,707 figure is still the second highest annual mark since FCEVs first went on sale in the state in 2012.

By comparison, 209,702 battery electric vehicles (BEVs) were sold in the state in the year up to 18 October (excluding electric hybrids), according to raw data from the Governor of California’s office, putting it on track for annual BEV sales of about 280,000.

This represents a 52% increase on 2021 BEV sales in California in 2021, which totalled 183,933 units, and a 164% increase on the 2020 figure of 105,946.

A total of 48 BEV models were sold in the Golden State in the first three quarters of 2022, compared to just two FCEV models.

Between 2012 and 2022, 14,979 new FCEVs were sold in the state, according to the Hydrogen Fuel Cell Partnership. Over the same period (up until the end of Q3 2022), 867,044 BEVs were bought from dealers.

According to the Hydrogen Fuel Cell Partnership, there were also 66 fuel-cell buses in operation in California at the end of 2022, along with 53 hydrogen filling stations that have been heavily subsidised by the state to the tune of $166m, according to one report.

According to the California governor’s office, there were 79,023 “shared electric vehicle chargers” installed in the state at the end of Q3 2022.