Apr 17, 2023 - Climate

San Antonio's EV registration rates lag behind most cities

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

Electric vehicles are gaining popularity across the U.S., but they're not sparking much interest locally.

Driving the news: EV registration rates in San Antonio were near last among 28 Axios Local cities in January 2023, per data analyzed by Axios' Joann Muller.

By the numbers: EVs accounted for only 3.4% of new vehicle registrations in San Antonio, up from 2.5% in January last year.

Meanwhile, Other cities saw significant year-over-year growth, with the most pronounced increases on the West Coast.

  • Seattle's registration rate climbed from 8.4% to 17.2% and Portland's from 5.5% to 13.1%.
  • Austin's rate rose from 7% to 9.3%.

Between the lines: EVs are gaining popularity as a cleaner alternative to gasoline-powered cars, but obstacles like charging access and high prices are still preventing buyers from going electric.

Zoom in: San Antonio's Office of Sustainability 2022 annual report, released in March, says 69 EVs, hybrids and battery electric vehicles were added to the city's fleet between 2021 and 2022.

  • Electric Vehicles San Antonio is in the process of upgrading charging stations at Pearsall Park, the Martinez parking lot downtown, the zoo and the Carver Community Cultural Center.

Flashback: In November, the City Council adopted a new building code that requires builders to install 240-volt outlets in new single-family homes to make it easier and cheaper for residents who want to charge EVs.

  • The code also requires that 5% of total parking structure/lot spaces be designated for EV charging.

Reality check: Less than 1% of the 279 million cars and light trucks on American roads are electric.

  • The Biden administration recently announced new restrictions on auto emissions, but it will still take decades for the slow transition from gas-powered to electric vehicles to be complete.
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