At least half of all new vehicle sales registrations in San Francisco were of electrified vehicles during March 2023, followed by 53.1 percent electrification among April registrations.
The vehicle sales figures reported by S&P Global Mobility include not only battery-electric vehicles (BEVs or EVs), but also hybrids (HEVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs).
Reaching 50 percent electrified vehicle sales sets a new record for U.S. cities, with San Francisco being the first to reach this tipping point. The nationwide level of electrified vehicles among new vehicle registrations was 16.6 percent for the same period.
Electrified vehicle sales are much more concentrated among high-income consumers in San Francisco than in the rest of the U.S. In Frisco, almost half of all electrified vehicle sales were to households with incomes of $200,000 or more at 46.6 percent. Meanwhile, only 15.7 percent of buyers had incomes of $75,000 or under.
For the rest of the U.S., electrified vehicle sales were spread across the income spectrum more evenly. Those making $75,000 or under registered 30.5 percent of new electric vehicles, while 22.6 percent were registered by those earning $200,000 or more.
Even within San Francisco itself, most of the EVs and other electrified vehicles are sold in the affluent neighborhoods rather than the main part of the city. Registrations are concentrated in Los Altos, Orinda, Piedmont, and Saratoga according to the report.
San Francisco’s electrified vehicle market also differs from the nationwide market in terms of the buyers’ ethnic background. Consumers with Asian and Western European background account for about a third each of electrified vehicle sales in the Golden Gate City, while in America as a whole, close to two thirds of purchasers have Western European ethnic origins and only about 7.9 percent are Asian.
Tesla is by far the most popular EV brand in San Francisco, accounting for 66.4 percent of EV sales and close to 25 percent of total vehicle registrations for the city. The Volkswagen ID.4 and the Chevy Bolt took distant second and third places in popularity. The study did not distinguish between the Chevy Bolt EV and the Chevy Bolt EUV.
Meanwhile, GM continues to pursue a strategy aiming at achieving annual EV sales of over 1 million units in North America and China by 2025. The General has also set 2025 as the deadline for introduction of 30 new electric vehicles worldwide, with EVs in one third of automotive segments, including the popular segments accounting for 70 percent of auto sales overall.
In pursuit of this goal, GM and its partner POSCO Future M recently announced a $1 billion investment in a joint North American Ultium CAM cathode active material plant. The new facility will be capable of supplying cathode materials for 360,000 EVs per year.