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Many car brands are pledging to offer only EVs by a certain date in the future. While none of them claim to have done that currently, there’s one city in the U.S. that reached a major milestone when it comes to electric vehicles. Which city is it and how many EVs have been sold there? Let’s take a look at some data surrounding this. 

What city reached its 50% electric vehicle goal?

You would think that the entire United States collectively would’ve reached such a huge goal as 50% electric vehicles sold by now, but instead, it’s just one city, San Francisco. This Californian hotspot reached the achievement back in March of 2023, according to S&P Global Mobility

We know this because the new vehicle registry for San Francisco shows that half of the registrations for that month were for electric vehicles. Making up the majority of this is 34.2% battery-electric cars along with 15.8% hybrid vehicles. The other half is gasoline-powered cars. 

It’s not exactly surprising that the first city to hit this milestone is in California since the state has plans to ban the sale of new vehicles powered by gasoline only by 2035. San Francisco appears to be trying to get ahead of the game. It also wouldn’t be surprising if the next couple of cities that go that same route happen to also be in California. 

We also know that it wasn’t just an off month, because, in April of this year, that figure increased to 53.1%, which is about three times more than the total sales for all of the U.S. 

Who’s buying all these EVs in San Francisco?

According to the demographic data, most of those buying the vehicles fall within the 18-44-year-old range, which equates to about 38.6% of the city’s population. The second largest group appears to be 65 years and older, which accounts for 18.5% of EV sales. 

When it comes to ethnicity, the ones that are buying most of these EVs seem to fall within the Asian-American group, which accounts for 36.6% of the sales. The next largest group is among the Western Europeans, which 31.7% of them bought some type of electric vehicle. The last group is those of Hispanic descent, which accounts for 20.4% of sales in San Francisco. 

The last area to look at is household income guidelines. The data shows that those buying electric vehicles in the city are households making over $200,000. Approximately 46.6% of the sales were from this group. The households making less than $75,000 only make up 15.7% of the sales. 

What brands of EVs are people buying?

Toyota is the most popular hybrid vehicle sold in San Francisco with 1,618 sales. The second most popular is Honda, which sold 684 units. Lexus is also up there with 379 sales of its hybrid vehicles. For the rest of the country, Toyota is still the most popular with 32,836 sales.

When it comes to battery-electric cars, Tesla takes the prize with a total of 5,633 sold that month or 22.7% of total sales. Behind that brand is Volkswagen with 355 units sold. The third top seller is Chevy with 298 sales. Looking at the rest of U.S. sales, Tesla still takes the prize in this category with 49,805 units sold. 

If you compare those sales with gasoline-powered vehicles, you’ll find that Toyota sold 1,171 gas vehicles in San Francisco. The rest of the U.S. shows the top seller is Chevrolet, which had 87,533 units sold. 

When it comes to transferring transportation vehicles to be powered by an electric source, San Francisco has paved the way for the state of California. Being the first one to reach 50% of its sales in the sale, it’s likely other California cities will follow suit soon. 


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