November 2nd, 2023

The EV era: decoding trends and triumphs
in America’s auto industry

In a groundbreaking milestone for the automotive industry, the San Francisco Designated Market Area (DMA) has emerged as a trailblazer, setting a remarkable record. According to data from the Urban Science DataHub™, our industry-exclusive source for near-real-time automotive sales* and forecast data, San Francisco became the first DMA in the United States to achieve over 50% of all new retail vehicle sales as electric vehicles (EV). This achievement, marked by an electrification rate nearly three times higher than the national average, showcases the city’s pioneering spirit in embracing sustainable transportation solutions.

At Urban Science, we are a leading authority in automotive market analysis, and we accurately forecasted this surge in EV adoption, including Battery-Electric Vehicle (BEV), all Hybrid-Electric Vehicles (HEV) and Fuel Cell vehicles (FC). Our Q4 2022 Urban Science EV Forecast anticipated San Francisco’s ascent with a prediction of 53% EV new retail sales market share, and the actual calendar year-to-date sales are coming in at 51%. This impressive accomplishment validates our expertise and insight into the evolving landscape of the automotive industry.

*Sales refers to vehicle unit sales and does not represent vehicle price or revenue.

Urban Science forecast vs. San Francisco actual EV sales

A national trend: EV sales
surge across the USA

San Francisco’s success story is not an isolated incident. While San Francisco’s market share growth (7.4 percentage-point increase) is substantially stronger year-over-year than the U.S. average (4.7 percentage points), the city’s achievement is part of a larger trend sweeping across the United States.

Research reveals that EV sales are soaring nationwide, with every DMA across the country increasing in EV market share this year – except for Ottumwa-Kirksville in rural northeast Missouri. San Diego, California, for instance, has experienced substantial growth, with its retail EV market share increasing by 8.9 percentage points. Similarly, the Seattle-Tacoma market leads all non-California markets with an 8.3 percentage-point increase in EV share.

However, it’s not just the coastal regions that are embracing electric vehicles. Surprisingly, traditionally conservative states (those that have not adopted the CARB ZEV regulations) like North Carolina and Texas are witnessing substantial EV share growth. In fact, markets such as Charlotte, Dallas and Houston are showing the highest growth percentages, with over 50% EV share growth this year. This unexpected trend emphasizes the expanding appeal of EVs, transcending political boundaries and resonating with diverse demographics. By monitoring electric vehicle adoption rates in traditionally conservative states, Urban Science uncovers new avenues for growth. This nuanced approach enables automakers to adapt their strategies according to shifting consumer preferences and market dynamics.

Strategic choices for an EV future

As the automotive landscape undergoes a profound transformation, strategic planning for your distribution network becomes paramount for automakers. Identifying specific types and quantities of EVs, along with related services, is essential to meet evolving consumer demands effectively. Urban Science stands at the forefront of this evolution, providing unparalleled accuracy in forecasting. Our forecasting system incorporates a myriad of factors, including brand preferences, demographics, regulatory changes and psychographics, ensuring a comprehensive understanding of each market.

Urban Science: your trusted partner in the EV revolution

For automakers navigating this transformative era, Urban Science offers invaluable insights, trends and forecasts. With a remarkable 98% forecast accuracy (as measured by R-squared), we deliver dependable forecasts crucial for planning a sustainable future in the automotive industry. By leveraging a wealth of data and expertise, Urban Science empowers automakers to make informed decisions, ensuring we remain ahead of the curve in the fast-paced world of electric vehicles.

To learn more about the future of EVs and gain access to cutting-edge insights, contact me today.

Tom Kondrat
Global Lead, Advanced Analytics

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