Apr 10, 2023 - News

Electric vehicles are gaining traction in Chicago

Data: S&P Global Mobility; Chart: Axios Visuals

Electric vehicles have gained traction in Chicago over the last year.

What's happening: EVs accounted for 7.6% of monthly new vehicle registrations in the Chicago area in January 2023 — up from fewer than 4.7% in January 2022, Axios' Joann Muller reports.

  • The Tesla Model Y and Tesla Model 3 were the most popular, followed by Chevy Volt, VW ID4 and Ford Mustang Mach-E.

Zoom out: Nationally, EVs accounted for 7% of new vehicle registrations in January, up from 4.1% in January 2022.

  • Though we outpace the national average, we're way behind San Francisco, where EVs make up nearly 33% of new vehicle registrations.
Change in share of new U.S. registrations for select electric light vehicles, by model
Data: S&P Global Chart: Tory Lysik/Axios Visuals

Why it matters: EVs aren't just for early adopters anymore.

  • With a broader selection and signs of moderating prices, mainstream car buyers increasingly are turning their EV curiosity into purchases.

Of note: While the EV pie is growing, Tesla's nationwide market share continues to shrink — from 72% in January 2022 to 54% a year later — as rivals introduce new models.

Axios has been tracking the historic shift away from gasoline using vehicle registration data from S&P Global Mobility.

  • In 2022, electric vehicles made up 5.6% of all new U.S. car registrations.
  • That's up from 3.1% in 2021 and 1.8% in 2020, but still way behind China and Europe.

Reality check: Fewer than 1% of the 279 million cars and light trucks on U.S. roads are electric.

  • It will take a couple of decades to complete the gradual transition from gasoline-powered to electric vehicles.

Driving the news: Existing consumer tax credits for EV purchases are being reworked— again — in part to bolster U.S. manufacturing and reduce reliance on China.

  • Changes to the existing $7,500 tax credit will probably affect the pace of adoption.
  • The U.S. Treasury Department on March 31 spelled out how new sourcing requirements for battery components and critical minerals under the Inflation Reduction Act will be implemented — rules that affect which vehicles will qualify for future tax credits.
  • A list of qualifying vehicles will be announced in mid-April, but few of today's EVs are expected to meet the new standards.

The intrigue: Anyone racing to snag the $7,500 tax break before the rules get stricter is likely to find EVs in short supply.

The bottom line: EV-curious consumers have more choice than ever.

  • There were 47 electric models available for sale in the U.S. at the end of January, up from 33 a year earlier.
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