Jun 16, 2023 - Climate

San Francisco Bay Area hits electrified vehicle milestone

Electric vehicles recharge at Crissy Field in San Francisco. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

New data shows that the San Francisco Bay Area recently hit an electrified vehicle milestone.

What's happening: Electric and hybrid vehicles accounted for 53.1% of new vehicle registrations in April, according to S&P Global Mobility.

  • In March, the Bay Area became the first major metropolitan area to reach a 50% electrification level, per S&P.

Why it matters: Fossil fuels from transportation are one of the biggest drivers of emissions in the city, accounting for 44% of San Francisco's greenhouse gas emissions, according to city data.

  • That's "why we need to make every trip a low-carbon trip," Tyrone Jue, acting director of San Francisco Environment, told Axios via email.
  • Meanwhile, climate change is contributing to a health crisis, in part due to extreme heat, air pollution and illnesses linked to severe storms.

By the numbers: In March, 34.2% of new vehicle registrations in the Bay Area were for all-electric cars and 15.8% were for hybrid vehicles, according to S&P.

  • Nationwide, excluding the San Francisco area, 7.3% of new vehicle registrations were electric and 9.3% were hybrid.

What they're saying: There are two main drivers of electrified vehicle adoption in the Bay Area, Tom Libby, associate director of industry analysis at S&P Global Mobility, said in a blog post.

  • The first is the "remarkable similarities" between the demographics of Bay Area residents and the typical electric vehicle consumer, he said.
  • Another driver, Libby said, is the appeal of EV brands besides Tesla.

State of play: San Francisco in July 2021 adopted the goal of being a net-zero emissions city by 2040.

Between the lines: San Francisco is working to improve its electric vehicle charging infrastructure to incentivize more people to make the switch from gasoline to electric.

  • In November, the city accepted $2.4 million in grant funding from the California Energy Commission to launch an e-bike food delivery pilot program, add three electric vehicle charging plazas in Bayview-Hunters Point and more.

What to watch: By 2030, the city wants at least 25% of all registered vehicles to be electric, per the climate action plan.

  • By 2040, the goal is for all registered vehicles in San Francisco to be electric.

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