The drop in registrations comes after the automaker stopped issuing a $7,500 U.S. tax credit to electric-vehicle (EV) buyers 2019, which was established in an effort to sell more environmentally conscious cars to U.S. residents.
Once the credit was no longer available to buyers, new Tesla car registrations in California fell by 46 percent from 25,402 in December 2019 to 13,584 in December 2019, according to the report that compiled data from the state's Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
Registrations for Tesla's Model 3 EV halved to 10,694, the report notes, according to Reuters.
Tesla did not immediately respond to FOX Business' request to comment on its registration expectations for 2020.
New or higher registration fees for EV owners went go into effect in at least eight states last month in an effort to make up for lost revenue by forgone gas taxes.
More and more U.S. states will be imposing special fees on gas-free cars, SUVs and trucks — a significant milestone as the trend toward green technology intersects with the mounting need to pay for upgrades and repairs to the nation's infrastructure.
"It’s kind of a blanket penalty for anyone who chooses to go electric," Neda Deylami, a Tesla owner who founded EV advocacy group Chicago for EVs, told the Associated Press in December.
Though electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles comprised less than 2 percent of new vehicle sales in 2018, their market share is projected to rise substantially in the coming decade. State officials hope the new fees will make up for at least part of the lost gas tax revenue that is essential to their road and bridge programs.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.