Electric vehicles (EVs) are taking to the roads in record numbers. Car manufacturers drive huge sums into innovating better solutions for range and battery recyclability. States in America are working on infrastructure in anticipation of the changing dynamics on the highways. The federal government is working towards massive tax advantages for those who make the change to electric vehicles too.
Bumper, an automotive site aimed at facilitating well-informed car sales and purchases, has put together a ranking of the financial and infrastructural aspects of owning an electric car in the U.S. Which state has the most readily-available charging stations? Where will you receive the largest kickback for your purchase of an electric vehicle?
The key takeaway is that Washington is the best overall state for owning an EV. Utah comes in at a close second, followed by Colorado, Massachusetts and California. The top 10 is rounded out, in order, with Maryland, Oregon, New York, Nevada and Hawaii. Alaska lacks infrastructure and ranks last.
There are many aspects to consider when evaluating the best places to own and operate an electric vehicle — from the initial purchase to the life of the vehicle. After all, it does require some special considerations in regards to range, benefits to the environment and the practical factors when it comes to charging availability and costs.
Financial incentives were rated with consideration for metrics, including rebates and tax incentives, recharging costs, the price of gas in the area, average travel distances and costs associated with an EV versus those of a gas-powered vehicle. Combining these factors, Washington and Illinois are the top states for financial incentives to own an EV. Utah, Colorado, Oregon and Maryland rank high as well. New Jersey, Hawaii, Ohio and Nevada round out the top ten with slightly lower financial advantages.
As for infrastructure, the research team looked at the number of charging stations that have been installed in the past four years and the number of charging stations per 100,000 populations. They also calculated number of EVSE ports per 100 charging stations as well as the number of EVSE ports per 100 EV vehicle registrations. EV registrations as a percentage of all motor vehicles in the state were the final consideration.
In all, Vermont and California top the list for best electric vehicle infrastructure. Maryland, Massachusetts and Rhode Island also ranked high. Colorado, Utah, Georgia, New York and Nevada also offer strong infrastructure for EV owners.
Interestingly, California ranks high in several individual categories, yet came in fifth overall in the state rankings. This is likely because they came in 11th for incentives, at least those available at the time of the study. However, California ranked first in new EV registrations as a percentage of total registrations, so it’s clear the population is adopting the EV option. In fact 425,300 registered EVs in the state. That’s an impressive 41.73% of all registrations nationwide, giving California a dominant lead in getting EVs on the road.
In return, the state is responding effectively to this growth with the number one spot for charging station growth and a second-place ranking for overall EV infrastructure. It also ranks second for the number of charging stations to serve the population, as a measure of stations per 100,000k. The problem areas came to light through this research too, with California ranking 36th in the country when it comes to rebates plus tax incentives. Federal changes may also facilitate change at the state level in the near future. The state came in even lower for recharge costs. This is a reflection of the cost of electricity and plummets California into the 44th position.
The comprehensive report breaks down the data for each state, offering a detailing of the financial and infrastructural benefits and disadvantages in each area. It’s a snapshot of where the adoption of EVs is strong and where it’s barely made the radar.
For example, by comparison to California, Alaska and Montana each registered 940 electric cars in 2020 and Mississippi logged 780 while North Dakota is late to the game with a paltry 220 new EVs on the road. Also on the lower end is South Dakota with 410 and West Virginia with 600.
Population has a big effect on the numbers when it comes to percentage of the total EV registrations across the nation. As mentioned, California registered a dominating 41.73%. The next closest was Florida with 5.71% and Texas with 5.12%. Washington breaks the mold with lower population from a smaller state, yet still coming to the table with 4.96% of national registrations. New York clocked 3.2%, New Jersey 2.98% and Arizona 2.82%. In addition to those mentioned on the lower end, Wyoming, Arkansas, Nebraska and Rhode Island rank in the bottom 10 states for new EV registrations.
Image via Nathaniel Blum