10 Best States to Own an Electric Vehicle (2021 Study)
The 10 best states to own an electric vehicle averaged 185 charging stations and 478 EV registrations (both per 100,000 residents) and 10 incentives for electric car buyers and manufacturers. California ranked the best in two of our study’s subcategories: EV registrations and incentives. And Vermont earned first for having the highest per capita number of EV charging stations.
UPDATED: Apr 28, 2021
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- State tax incentives for buying an electric vehicle go up to $7,000
- Federal tax incentives for buying an electric vehicle go up to $7,500
- Nine states in our ranking came from the West and Northeast
- Sparsely populated, rural states generally ranked lower in our study
It's 8:00 a.m., January 2035. You're sitting in your self-driving electric vehicle as it navigates the roads and highways towards your office, all while you catch an additional 30 minutes of sleep or read a book. Seems far-fetched?
For many, not at all.
Electric vehicles have gone from being non-existent, both in terms of technology and popularity, to a major player in today's automobile landscape in the past two decades.
Likely, you know the hype. And maybe you've thought about buying one. But you might live in an area where electric cars are pricey or tough to use. So, what are the best states to own an electric vehicle? The graphic above shows our top 10 states. But what's the story behind those statistics?
Let's jump right into our ranking and see which states are best-equipped for electric vehicles, where the culture is all about reducing carbon emissions, and electric vehicles are "cool" rather than a liberal conspiracy or a hipster trend.
In this article (and in the frequently asked questions section), we'll also cover the demographics of electric vehicle owners, what state has the most electric cars, and electric vehicles per capita by state.
If you're here, you might also have questions about auto insurance for electric vehicles. We include a couple of guides for specific models in the article but also have an auto insurance coverage options page for those looking to learn the fundamentals of auto insurance.
We know the subject can be confusing! That page will give you the basics to make informed decisions about auto insurance (and save some money as well).
Now, back to the ranking. Your electric vehicle is supercharged. Let's drive.
Best States for Electric Vehicle Owners
From infrastructure to registrations to incentives, these 10 states stand out and lead the charge against climate change caused by carbon emissions.
And, yes, there are certainly bragging rights. Is your state in the top 10? Let's get the party started with the fourth-most populous state in the country.
#10 – New York
- Electric Vehicle Incentives Offered: 10
- EV Registrations (Per 100K Residents): 145
- Charging Station Outlets (Per 100K Residents): 83
Ranking 10th in our list of the 10 best states to own an electric vehicle, New York has its best category in the number of incentives offered for those purchasing an electric vehicle (10) and its worst category in charging stations outlets per 100,000 residents (83).
One of the largest incentives offered is the Drive Clean Rebate for Electric Cars which offers new owners of electric cars a rebate of up to $2,000. There are additional rebates for those who are looking to install charging stations, which could increase EV adoption in the state.
One popular electric vehicle is the BMW i3. If you want a quick (or deep) glance at the insurance rates for this vehicle, check out our BMW i3 auto insurance rates page.
#9 – Connecticut
- Electric Vehicle Incentives Offered: 9
- EV Registrations (Per 100K Residents): 155
- Charging Station Outlets (Per 100K Residents): 97
Connecticut ranks No. 9 in our list of the 10 best states to own an electric vehicle with its best category in the number of incentives offered for the electric vehicle industry (nine) and its worst in charging stations outlets per 100,000 residents (97).
The Connecticut rebate program for purchasing or leasing a new clean vehicle is worth even more than New York's. Called The Connecticut Hydrogen and Electric Automobile Purchase Rebate (CHEAPR), consumers who purchase or lease a new clean vehicle are offered up to $5,000 in a tax rebate.
There are also rebates and incentives for building and installing new electric charging stations, both for the public and in residences. In addition, the actual EV chargers are also discounted and incentivized.
#8 – Utah
- Electric Vehicle Incentives Offered: 6
- EV Registrations (Per 100K Residents): 220
- Charging Station Outlets (Per 100K Residents): 98
Ranking 8th in our list of the 10 best states to own an electric vehicle, Utah has its best category in electric vehicle registrations per 100,000 residents (220) and its worst category in charging station outlets per 100,000 residents (98).
Utah's high ranking in EV adoption might be due to the state government's Master Plan (created in 2018) to increase the number of electric vehicle owners by creating a better electric vehicle infrastructure.
One of the key components of that Master Plan was to increase the proximity of electric charging stations and target base camps in recreational areas, from which Utah receives a great deal of tourism and revenue.
The Chevy Bolt EV is one of the most well-known electric vehicles and one of the best-selling EVs over the past decade. It helps that Chevrolet Bolt EV auto insurance rates can be cheap, as low as $64 per month.
#7 – Colorado
- Electric Vehicle Incentives Offered: 7
- EV Registrations (Per 100K Residents): 218
- Charging Station Outlets (Per 100K Residents): 128
Colorado ranks No. 7 on our list of the 10 best states to own an electric vehicle with a tie between the number of charging station outlets and electric vehicle registrations per 100,000 residents for its best category and the number of electric vehicle incentives offered for its worst category.
The big boom in those two best categories likely comes from Colorado's 2018 EV Plan, which set forth goals for fast-charging electric stations on specific corridors and a total of 940,000 electric vehicles on the road by 2030.
Colorado's goal in the 2020 plan is to move all light-duty vehicles to completely electric with medium-duty and heavy-duty vehicles to zero emissions.
While there aren't as many incentives for investors, companies, or customers in the EV industry in Colorado, there are opportunities for grants to build more charging stations as well as thousands of dollars available for turning those light-, medium-, and heavy-duty vehicles into electric or zero-emission as was said above.
#6 – Washington
- Electric Vehicle Incentives Offered: 6
- EV Registrations (Per 100K Residents): 397
- Charging Station Outlets (Per 100K Residents): 124
Ranking 6th in our list of the 10 best states to own an electric vehicle, Washington has its best category in the number of electric vehicle registrations per 100,000 residents (397) and its worst category in the number of incentives it offers for expanding the electric vehicle industry.
The boost in the number of electric vehicle registrations in Washington is likely due to a specific goal the governor of Washington set for having 50,000 electric vehicles on the roads by 2020.
There may not be many incentives for purchasing electric vehicles but residents are pointed to the federal tax credit of up to $7,500 as an incentive.
Also, specific dealerships might give rebates depending on buying an electric vehicle. Finally, the Washington government and different municipalities have partnerships with organizations designed to decrease the state's carbon footprint.
Auto insurance rates for electric vehicles change from state to state. Remain informed about auto insurance in Washington State to make sure you're getting the best deal on your rates.
#5 – Oregon
- Electric Vehicle Incentives Offered: 6
- EV Registrations (Per 100K Residents): 314
- Charging Station Outlets (Per 100K Residents): 127
Oregon is ranked No. 5 in our list of the 10 best states to own an electric vehicle. Its best category is the number of electric vehicle registrations per 100,000 residents (314), with its worst category being the number of incentives it offers to the electric vehicle industry (six).
The large number of electric vehicle registrations is likely due to the state government's emphasis on this part of the EV industry. Like Washington, Oregon wanted at least 50,000 electric vehicles on its roads by 2020. In addition, legislation passed in 2019 sets a goal that nine out of every 10 vehicles purchased in 2035 would be electric vehicles.
While the number of incentives it offers is its worst category, Oregon still has similar programs to what we have seen in New York and Connecticut. The Clean Vehicle and Charge Ahead rebate programs can save an electric car buyer or leaser up to $5,000 on qualifying vehicles.
#4 – Maryland
- Electric Vehicle Incentives Offered: 10
- EV Registrations (Per 100K Residents): 192
- Charging Station Outlets (Per 100K Residents): 140
Ranking 4th in our list of the 10 best states to own an electric car, Maryland sees its best categories in charging station outlets per 100,000 residents and number of incentives offered to the electric vehicle industry. Its worst category is its number of electric vehicle registrations per 100,000 residents.
When it comes to charging stations per 100,000 residents and the number of incentives offered to the electric vehicle industry, Maryland really meshes the two.
Maryland offers a rebate of up to 40% for the cost of electric vehicle equipment and installation. This is up to $700 for individuals, $4,000 for businesses, and $5,000 for retail service stations.
While EV adoption is Maryland's worst category, things are looking up: the state government has signed an agreement with nine other states to put 300,000 electric vehicles on the road by 2025.
#3 – Vermont
- Electric Vehicle Incentives Offered: 11
- EV Registrations (Per 100K Residents): 171
- Charging Station Outlets (Per 100K Residents): 318
Vermont is ranked No. 3 in our list of the 10 best states to own an electric vehicle. It has its best category in charging station outlets per 100,000 residents and its worst in the number of electric vehicle registrations per 100,000 residents.
Vermont's charging stations are spread throughout the state with even universities and bed and breakfasts adding them.
There have been barriers to more widespread EV adoption, including the rural demographic of Vermont and the hindrance of high costs for Vermont's lower-income residents.
To break those barriers, Vermont established the Drive Vermont Program, which gives subsidies to customers who purchase an electric vehicle, whether that vehicle is new or used. Since then, Vermont has seen annual increases of EV adoption of 90% or higher.
Trying to find auto insurance rates can be a challenge and they depend greatly on the state. Our Vermont auto insurance guide covers everything you need to know to make a decision about auto insurance rates, coverages, and companies in the Green Mountain State.
#2 – Massachusetts
- Electric Vehicle Incentives Offered: 16
- EV Registrations (Per 100K Residents): 193
- Charging Station Outlets (Per 100K Residents): 137
Ranking 2nd in our list of the 10 best states to own an electric vehicle, Massachusetts has its best category in the number of incentives it offers to the electric vehicle industry and its worst category in the number of EV registrations per 100,000 residents.
Massachusetts offers buyers of new, qualifying electric vehicles up to $2,500, with buyers of hybrid vehicles eligible to receive $1,500. These are in addition to the federal tax credits of up to $7,500 for the purchase of an electric car.
Some believe the lack of widespread EV adoption is due to the lack of leadership or even a government council with members appointed specifically for increasing the number of EVs on the road.
#1 – California
- Electric Vehicle Incentives Offered: 18
- EV Registrations (Per 100K Residents): 828
- Charging Station Outlets (Per 100K Residents): 308
California ranks No. 1 in our list of the 10 best states to own an electric vehicle with its best categories coming in the number of EV registrations per 100,000 residents and number of incentives it offers to the EV industry. Its worst category is its number of charging station outlets per 100,000 residents.
The truth is, this is no surprise. According to EVAdoption, one of our sources, California leads all states in EV sales, accounting for nearly 50%. It also leads the way in incentives, granting rebates up to $7,000 for those that purchase a new electric vehicle. This is in addition to the federal tax credit.
Charging stations continue to remain a concern, especially in less-developed areas of California, though the state offers rebates for residential and commercial locations to build them.
All that said, what is the most popular electric vehicle auto brand in California? This may not surprise you given the hype and location: Tesla, which owns upwards of 70% of the U.S. EV market share.
Its most popular model is the Tesla 3, but it's not necessarily cheap. The Tesla auto insurance rates for the Tesla 3 run around $444 per month in California. Telsa has flirted with creating its own auto insurance company given that most auto insurance companies charge higher premiums for Teslas because the parts are more expensive if someone has to repair their Tesla.
What the Best States for EVs Have in Common
Now that we've covered the best states to buy an electric car, let's take a look at what commonalities they share. And the answer is quite a bit.
When it comes to charging station outlets per 100,000 residents, the spread is between 83 (New York) and Vermont (318). That seems like a large gap, but the truth is when you remove the top two states for this category (Vermont at 318 and California at 308), you see a much more compact spread: 83 (New York) to 140 (Maryland).
It's just that in this category, Vermont and California are way ahead of the pack. Our second category — electric vehicle registrations per 100,000 residents — is a little more spread out.
Nine of the 10 states in our list are below 400 registrations per 100,000 residents with New York again with the lowest (145) and Washington State (397) at the highest.
The number of EV registrations per 100,000 residents jumps dramatically with California, where there are 828 EV registrations per 100,000 residents, more than double the nearest state (Washington at 397).
With incentives, there is also a wide spread. Oregon and Washington State offer the fewest incentives for customers looking to buy an electric car or the electric car industry in general (both with six incentives) while there are five states that offer 10 or more incentives: California (18), Massachusetts (16), Vermont (11), Maryland (10), and New York (10).
We found in our research is that nearly every state on our list has an appointed council, government mandate, or some type of official goal for more EV adoption.
These official government goals for more EV adoption often involve putting more EVs on the road, improving EV infrastructure (like charging stations), or transition state fleets to electric vehicles or zero-emission vehicles.
They are the leaders in this field for a reason, and some of them have been at the forefront for years. In the case of California, for more than a decade.
Part of the reason California has been at the helm of all states pushing for electric vehicle adoption is that the state sees incredibly harmful effects from global warming, including increasingly expensive and dangerous wildfires.
Unfortunately, this may spread to more and more states as time goes on. What can you do personally? In our article about the benefits of green commuting, we found that biking or walking to work significantly lowers a person's carbon footprint.
If that's not possible (and in many American cities or personal situations, it isn't), you can always make alterations to your vehicle like reducing its total weight to reduce its carbon footprint.
Electric Vehicle Trends Across America
While we've covered the best states for electric cars, you might be wondering where your state stands. The following graph shows each state ranked as well as our categories: charging station outlets per 100,000 residents, EV registrations per 100,000 residents, and the number of incentives to car buyers or the electric vehicle industry.
It is interactive. To see a state's specific stats, hold your cursor over the state if you're on a desktop or a laptop. If you're on mobile or a tablet, press down on the state with your finger.
If you look closely at the graph, you can see that the states in the bottom half of the ranking are mostly rural states with sparse and spread out populations.
There might be a lack of leadership to promote widespread EV adoption in these states or just a lack of interest, as electric vehicles may seem like a progressive venture to some and turn off conservatives who might not believe in concepts like global warming.
A true, functional reason why these states have not fared as well adopting electric vehicles could be due to the work styles of the residents in those states and the limited EV models offered in the market currently.
Most electric cars we see on the market today are just that: cars. While Audi has introduced a full-size completely electric SUV, there are no real electric trucks out there on the market, as of this writing.
Telsa has unveiled its truck but plans to release it in late 2021 and it's likely going to have an expensive price tag. In rural areas, where trucks are more popular than cars, having more electric vehicle options is crucial for electric vehicle adoption.
Some believe the technology is there but one of the faults of the EV industry at this point is the lack of options to drag in more customers.
Electric Vehicles: The Future of Automobiles
As the world continues to heat up, more and more countries are looking for energy solutions that are clean and zero-emission. This includes the new Biden administration, which has put a focus on electric vehicles and alternative, clean solutions to energy.
The 10 best states to own an electric vehicle have many things in common:
- Good leadership
- Solid infrastructure
- Many incentives
But there are still hurdles. Many consumers cite the lack of electric vehicle charging station infrastructure as a reason for not purchasing, while others still feel like they are priced out of the electric vehicle market even with the incentives.
There is still a lack of heavy-duty electric vehicles like trucks or full-size SUVs that suit rural populations or families even as electric vehicle designs have gone from "nerdy" to "cool."
Fortunately, with technology improving and more funding being poured into the electric vehicle industry, progress will be made. For the Earth and its inhabitants, much of it is timing.
How fast can we transition to clean energy before we pass that individual line and things spin out of control?
Time will tell.
Insights From Auto Pros and EV Owners
We asked and they answered: Electric vehicle thought leaders opined on the best states to own an electric vehicle, where the automotive industry is heading, and what their state can do better to increase EV adoption.
In this section, you'll hear from an automotive journalist, a chief adventure officer, and an energy consultant about why they chose to go electric, the barriers to EV adoption, and much more.
Prepare to be electrified (in a good way, and, yes, pun intended).
Where do you believe the automotive industry is heading regarding EV adoption?
“There is no doubt that the automotive industry is heading towards a future that is electrified, but how this will play out is still reliant on factors ranging from the affordability of EVs to the regulatory environment governing automobiles.
Currently, the industry is at an interesting crossroads: many automakers are throwing serious weight behind EV research and development, but consumers aren't yet ready to abandon combustion engine vehicles en masse. Until electric cars are as convenient, practical, affordable, and usable as gas-powered cars, electric vehicles will remain novelties
That's where the regulatory environment comes into play. For electric vehicles to enjoy widespread adoption by consumers, there needs to be some sort of carrot dangled in front of consumers.
The carrot for more EV adoption will inevitably be financial in nature, perhaps similar to the $7,500 tax credit that the government currently extends to buyers of certain electric vehicles.
However, more needs to be done, especially as this tax credit begins to phase out for manufacturers as they reach certain electric-vehicle production milestones.
The big question being asked right now is: what will prompt consumers to readily abandon gas-powered cars? Will it be high taxes on gasoline or combustion engines? Will it be severe production limitations and high asking prices? Will there be other methods of curtailing demand?
Regardless of the answer, there is no doubt the future of the automotive industry will be electric. What remains to be seen is how soon the market catches up to the bold, audacious plans being put forth by manufacturers.”
What would you like to see from brands in making EVs more accessible?
“Most EVS currently available are low-volume products built on bespoke platforms and architecture and employing state-of-the-art technology. These are not the ingredients for affordability and accessibility.
To let this technology trickle down to more affordable models, there needs to be more commonality and a bigger focus on economies of scale.
The electric vehicle industry would benefit from EV partnerships akin to Ford and GM's collaboration on their 10-speed automatic transmission.
In this case, sharing costs to developing pricey components that can be further tweaked and tuned to the specifications of individual automakers.
Until large-scale production begins, this is the most effective way to reduce EV manufacturing costs. Economies of scale will be critical to allow automakers to affordably market and manufacture entry-level electrics for less than $30,000 or even $20,000.”
Anthony Sophinos is an automotive journalist.
He writes for CarsDirect and New Car Test Drive.
“Our motorhome is a 37-foot diesel pusher that gets notoriously poor fuel economy. We prefer to park our motorhome in one location and explore further in our towed vehicle.
When purchasing our towed vehicle, we considered several options. We settled on an electric plug-in hybrid Ford Fusion sedan.
We installed a solar array on our motorhome roof which provides for our daily electric needs. Oftentimes, we have surplus power production and knew an electric vehicle could be charged from our RV solar.
We regularly plug our EV into our motorhome and charge our Ford Fusion using solar power.
We love being able to drive on solar power without having to use fossil fuels. Recently we arrived at Sequoia National Park with less than a quarter of a tank of fuel and four upcoming days of exploration. Thankfully we had no concerns because we knew we could charge our car at the end of the day and didn’t need to use gasoline.
When driving in the mountains we find that regenerative charging allows us to rely primarily on electricity. The flexibility and fuel savings provided by our EV is our favorite feature.
Our Ford Fusion plug-in hybrid only has an electric range of 20 miles. When I was commuting to an office job, the 20-mile range covered most of my commute and during this time our fuel mileage was close to 90mpg.
Now we tend to drive further than 20 miles on most trips so we find the 20-mile range to be insufficient. We wish the range was closer to 50 miles.
Government incentives had no impact on our decision as we purchased a pre-owned vehicle that was not eligible. We didn’t consider the infrastructure of charging stations when making our purchase because we knew we’d be moving across North America.
In the past year and a half, we have visited 10 states. Based on our experiences, the availability of chargers varies wildly between towns within the same states. It would be great to see EV chargers as widely available as fuel pumps. Until then, we are lucky enough to travel with our own solar array and functionality to charge at home.”
Kara Metcalf is a travel writer with TryingToUnwind.com.
She and her husband love traveling in their motorhome, Pippi.
“Climate change and other environmental issues have increased electric vehicle sales and were one of the primary reasons behind my buying one. Besides this, the financial advantages to owning an electric vehicle include the fact that I save money that would be used up by gas, maintenance, registration fees, and other automotive expenses.
There are several incentives to owning an EV, such as tax breaks and rebates from the government.
It would be nice to see some improvement in terms of speed and charging time, as well as a better charging network.
Governmental financial incentives can be a push for some, but not most, and could have influenced a bit of the market share of EVs.
Besides the financial incentive, there are also time-saving offers that make EVs more profitable, such as ones where you get access to carpool lanes. These incentives, however, fall short, considering EVs make up only 2% of the market share. The reason for this mismatch is that EVs are still more expensive than gas-powered vehicles even with all the incentives.
Some reasons why EVs can be more expensive despite their financial benefits include a lack of options and availability and the fact that service centers are very hard to find. State government intervention might ease some of these problems.
In my case, owning an EV was not influenced by the actions of the state government; it was more of a personal choice due to environmental reasons. The automotive industry is heading towards a cleaner method of commuting, and EVs will certainly play a bigger role in the future.
However, they need to undergo significant changes before they are widely adopted and become major players. The automobile industry has to start investing in R&D sales and create support services for the users of such vehicles.”
Colin Barker is the CEO & Co-Founder of FilterSmart.
FilterSmart is an eco-friendly water filter company.
“I own an EV and I love it! We got a used Nissan Leaf (2017) which was super affordable but what you give up for that is range. Ours is a little less than 100 miles per charge but I still love it.
My primary motivation was financial. It costs only a fraction of what it costs to have a gas car. There's far less maintenance and the cost of electricity is so much less than gas, it's amazing. I was able to get a much newer vehicle than I could otherwise afford with lower mileage.
The only thing I would change about my electric vehicle is the range, but I know that's changing fast and newer EVs have much more range.
The biggest change governments could do that would help would be improving the infrastructure of charging stations. The way I describe it is that it's just like driving a gas car, except that the gas stations are further apart and there aren't as many of them and sometimes they're broken. I don't go anywhere out of range without at least two potential places to charge because there's often some kind of problem.
These problems with charging station infrastructure make charging away from home a hassle. Even though it's still worth it for the money I save, being able to do that more easily (or having longer range) would be a huge upgrade.
I also believe in the power of EVs to lessen climate change, but honestly I wouldn't have been able to afford to make the decision based on that alone.
I'm super excited that EVs seem to be catching on more broadly with more options every year!”
Jennie Flaming is the Chief Adventure Officer of Ordinary Adventures.
Jennie writes about hiking, camping, global travel, and road trips.
Factors at Play
“Although market share may reflect the amount of EV sales within a given state, there are other factors at play when deciding which area is most accommodating to EV owners.
To be more specific, there are two driving factors that render an area more or less friendly to the newest revolution in car technology. Obviously, domains with lower electricity rates and a higher number of charging stations are more convenient for EV drivers.
The heroes of EV are California, Vermont, Colorado, and Washington. Oklahoma has made a recent name for itself in EV accommodations as well with dirt-cheap electricity prices and plentiful charging stations.
As a general rule of thumb, states which flaunt cheaper electricity and more charging stations are the best spots for EV owners to save both money and time throughout their day-to-day commutes. Financial incentives play a part as well since drivers are more willing to adopt electric transportation when given a possible monetary benefit.
Keep the Rates Low
Instead of denting their wallets with destructive gas prices, EV owners pride themselves on paying less for every mile. However, cars still need fuel, and electric vehicles need their electricity to charge up. This is why EV drivers love states with electricity rates below the national average; their wallets see a massive benefit in reference to fuel savings.
The states with the lowest-priced power rates include Idaho, Louisiana, Washington, and Tennessee, though not all of these places have the matching ratio of charging stations to render them the most EV-friendly.
Are There Enough Stations?
Without a convenient amount of charging stations in the given area, EV owners can experience some frustration. Charging up a vehicle at a Costco station over 20 miles away isn’t exactly ideal, so those states with an ample range of reachable stations will come out on top.
Vermont, Hawaii, and Oregon take the top three ranks among the states with the highest ratios of chargers to populace. Vermont has 3,780 citizens per power station, Hawaii clocks in at 5,555 per charging station, and Oregon follows with a 6,939:1 ratio.
On the other hand, Alaska is the worst state in terms of station availability: there’s only one outlet for every 80,000 people, give or take. In terms of total charging stations, larger states like California, New York, and Texas are among the winners, though their per capita statistics aren’t as impressive.
The Current Outlook
- The lowest charging rates are in Idaho, Louisiana, Washington, and Tennessee
- Vermont, Hawaii, and Oregon have the most charging stations per resident
- California, New York, and Texas have the highest number of charging stations outright
- The most EV purchase incentives are offered in California, New York, and Washington
- The most EV adoptions are taking place in California, Colorado, and Washington
- The lowest-priced adoption rates for EV’s are in Arkansas, Alabama, and Mississippi
Look for Incentives
Adopting an EV can be an expensive initial investment, though incentives can nix that limiting presumption with states such as California, New York, and Washington offering cold hard cash for a simple EV purchase.
California is the king of EV incentives with 150 offerings, followed by New York and Washington. Many of these come in the form of rebates, such as California’s $2,500 rebate offering in return for purchasing or even leasing either a full EV or a plug-in hybrid.”
Evan White is a writer for Dellacooks.com.
His content covers, food, home, wellness, and travel.
Do you own an electric vehicle, and if so why did you decide to purchase one?
“I own a 2017 Chevrolet Bolt. We decided to make the switch to EV for a few reasons. We wanted to reduce our personal carbon footprint.
Seeing as the single largest contributor for a family is having an internal combustion engine vehicle, we down-sized from two gas-powered vehicles to a single all-electric vehicle. This has also saved us a lot of money with insurance and re-fueling and has greatly improved our peace of mind knowing that we are helping do our part in helping to combat climate change.”
What are the qualities you love about your electric vehicle and what improvements would you like to see?
“I really love the long range our vehicle offers. My family lives about 200 miles away, so we can drive to visit them without needing to re-charge along the way. However, I would like to see these ranges improve.
Gradually, range is improving on EVs, and I am very excited about the more moderately priced EVs starting to come out in the United States market with these extended ranges. The other improvement I would like to see is more electric charging infrastructure for drivers.”
How have the government financial incentives influenced your decision to buy an electric vehicle or prepare to buy an electric vehicle?
“Government financial incentives have been a double-edged sword. On one hand, we in Washington State did not have to pay sales tax on the first $32,000 on our vehicle. However, shortly after we purchased our vehicles, a special ‘EV Car Tabs’ measure passed that now requires me to pay more in my yearly tabs.
Paying more for an EV car tab seems counter-intuitive to me given the State’s mission to reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions and the fact that gas-powered vehicles comprise the vast majority of those emissions.
However, since the Washington State Department of Transportation funds are collected through the sale of gasoline, the State finds itself in a difficult situation.
We did receive a federal $7,500 tax rebate as well, but we didn’t owe enough in taxes to receive the full incentive. This was a pretty good incentive; however, I do believe with stronger incentives from both local, State and Federal governments, we could vastly reduce the amount of Greenhouse Gas emissions from our largest contributor in short order."
Why have some states seen increased electric vehicle adoption and others haven't?
“It can be easily summed up by looking at the Consumer Adoption bell curve. Many states, particularly states with large Information technologies businesses within them, seem to have the fastest adoption rates. This makes sense as newer technology is generally adopted near these centers faster.
However, there are still issues of infrastructure availability. If you solely rely upon your home charging to ‘fuel up’ your vehicle, you will be limited in your overall range.
Though 86% of the typical American commuting is less than 25 miles per day, the idea of not being able to go somewhere is frustrating to many. If there were as many EV Charging stations as there are gas stations, this limitation would be radically reduced.
You won’t see as many EVs simply due to the lack of all-electric pickups on the market currently as in many states the pickup truck is heavily utilized for work or as a status symbol. However, this is due to change with the launch of many models of pickup in the near future.
Lastly, States with a greener energy grid have the greatest impact on the overall ‘cleanliness’ of a vehicle. If you live in a state where the primary source of electrical energy is coal, your EV won’t be as clean as one using electricity from Hydroelectric power like Washington State.
In 2018, The Union of Concerned Scientists put together an MPG equivalent map which shows what a gas-powered vehicle would need to achieve to be cleaner than an EV.
Thanks to hydroelectric power in the Pacific Northwest, a gas-powered vehicle would need to achieve 102 MPG to have fewer emissions than an EV. Since there is no such type of vehicle commercially available, EVs are the clear choice in the reduction of emissions. The greener the grid, the greener your EV will become.”
How has electric vehicle infrastructure (like charging stations) affected your decision to purchase or not purchase an electric vehicle?
“The longest trip I take in my EV is roughly 200 miles. Since my vehicle gets an EPA estimated 235 miles per charge, I have more than enough battery life to get me to my destination.
However, I have installed an EV charger at my Dad’s house to charge up once I get there. This was the single largest factor on whether I was going to be able to justify making the switch to EV. I had considered a Nissan Leaf earlier, however, the limited range of the first-generation Leaf would require me to stop mid-trip and re-charge.
Once the longer-ranged Chevy Bolt came out, it was the first EV to have 200+ miles of range that was not over $50,000. I am generally an extremely early adopter of new technology, so once the price and range were right, I made the switch.
Given that charging stations are designed to make use of existing electrical infrastructure, adding more charging stations is simply a matter of will. The more charging locations that start to pop up, the more EVs you will see on the road.”
What would you like to see from your state government to make it easier to purchase EVs?
“I would like to see as many incentives from the State as possible to help growing families and daily commuters make the switch to EV. Removing the regressive EV tab fee would be a good start. Perhaps switching to a per-mile tax instead.
Most EVs already have onboard reporting systems to make reporting of mileage extremely easy. I automatically get a report from my vehicle telling me how many times I break hard or rapidly increase speed. I forward this information to my insurance provider to receive a safe driver discount.
Another inexpensive option for the State to improve incentives for EV is to allow EVs with only a single passenger to access the HOV lanes. California has had large success with their program and it wouldn’t cost a thing.”
What factors in your state have influenced you to purchase or not purchase an electric vehicle?
“When I purchased my EV in 2017, incentives were better than they currently are. I paid almost no sales tax and I was able to (at least in part) make use of the Federal EV tax rebate.
Helping middle to lower-income families with their first purchase of an EV would help increase the overall numbers of EVs on the road. Given that the State currently has an active disincentive in the form of EV Car tabs, electric vehicle purchase can be out of the realm of affordability for many families.
Also, Washington States needs to rapidly deploy more EV charging locations around the State in high traffic areas and commute locations. They should at least make it easier for private industry to permit and install charging locations.”
Where do you believe the automotive industry is heading when it comes to EV adoption and personally what would you like to see from auto brands in making EVs more accessible?
“I believe that the future of the automotive industry is all electric. Many manufacturers have already said the same.
However, the longer-term future of all-electric vehicles will likely move into autonomous driving. Many people fear the prospect of fully automatic vehicles, however, a vast majority of vehicle accidents are human error and by fully removing the human element from transportation, we will all but eliminate drunk driving. This will make our commutes safer, faster, and more efficient.
Perhaps we could have freeway driving be fully autonomous with a ‘switch to manual control’ for rural areas or unclearly marked streets. Furthermore, once more all-terrain vehicles like the Tesla Cybertruck, Rivian R1T, and F-150EV are available, you will start to see more and more people make the switch in rural areas as well as in construction and agricultural industries.
Personally, I would like to see greater ranges from EVs. Instead of more power and speed, I’d like to see less emphasis on speed and performance and greater emphasis on getting as many miles from a single charge as possible.”
Ryan Palmateer, EV guru, is an energy consultant for VisitSanJuans.com.
They provide EV drivers a map of the vehicle charging stations in San Juan.
All States Ranked by Electric Vehicle Perks
At long last, here is the moment you've been waiting for: Where does your state rank for electric vehicle-friendliness? The table below incorporates our methodology (charging stations outlets per 100,000 residents, electric vehicle registrations per 100,000 residents, and tax incentives per state) to show you why your state ended up where it did.
|Rank||State||Charging Stations||EV Registrations||EV Incentives|
The West Coast the Northeast dominate the list. Why aren't there more Southern, Midwestern, and Western non-coastal cities on the list? It comes down to the electric vehicle models offered.
In these areas, trucks are both a status symbol and necessary for work. There are currently no electric trucks on the market, with the first one (Tesla's) scheduled to be rolled out in late 2021. When more electric trucks hit the dealerships, we may see a shift in those states and more EV adoption.
Frequently Asked Questions: Electric Vehicles
Now that we've covered the 10 best states to own an electric vehicle, let's get to your frequently asked questions. They include:
- What is the best electric car company to invest in?
- Are electric cars in demand?
- What percent of cars will be electric by 2025?
And four questions about the top dog electric car company: Tesla. Scroll down for the answers to those questions and more.
#1 – What is the best electric car company to invest in?
While many of the best electric car companies to invest in are based outside of the United States, according to Nasdaq.com one of the best EV companies to invest in is an American legend: Ford. With its new Mustang Mach-E, it has eaten into some of Tesla's market share and could serve as a turning point for the American company best known for pick-up trucks and fossil-fuel burning cars.
#2 – What age group is buying electric cars?
Around 46% of electric car buyers are between 25 and 54 years of age, according to Ask Wonder, with the smallest age group being younger than 24, which accounts for less than 1% of electric vehicle sales in the U.S. This may change in the future as electric cars become more affordable or the used EV market grows, allowing for a lower market entry point into EVs for that age group.
#3 – Are electric cars in demand?
Electric cars had their best year in 2020, in spite of the pandemic, with more than 1 in 10 EV registrations per all registrations. Given government incentives, both at the state level and federal level, and in the increase in electric vehicle infrastructure through charging stations, the demand for electric cars will continue to grow.
Especially as auto brands create more and different types of electric vehicles to give customers more options in terms of aesthetics.
#4 – What percent of cars will be electric by 2025?
According to Bloomberg's Electric Vehicle Outlook, 10% of all vehicle sales by 2025 will be for electric vehicles. Driving this change will be the number of electric vehicle models available and competitive pricing.
#5 – What is the average price of an electric car?
According to The Personal, the average price of an electric car is between $30,000 and $40,000; however, many models are available for less than that, with some having sticker prices around $20,000.
#6 – Which state has the most Tesla owners?
Although it is difficult to get state data about the sales of different auto brands, 5.2% of all tweets in 2016 contained the word "Tesla," which is astounding. Of course, Tesla is based in California, and California, as we saw through our study, is the No. 1 state to own an electric vehicle, with the most electric vehicle registrations per 100,000 residents.
#7 – Is Tesla overvalued?
According to many stock experts and publications, Tesla's stock is overvalued and considered a bubble. This may be due to the speculative nature of Tesla and the sheer amount of hype surrounding the company and its owner Elon Musk.
#8 – Are Tesla owners rich?
Although for years, Tesla owners were rich (not all of them, however), the Model 3 and its reduced price point has let a whole new group of people purchase a Tesla vehicle who would not have been able to due to the price points of the other vehicles.
#9 – Why are Tesla cars banned in some states?
Tesla, as of this writing, is only available for purchase in 34 states. The reason is the other states have passed laws protecting individual car dealerships, forcing individuals to buy cars at dealerships rather than purchasing directly from the company (which is Tesla's method of selling). There are ways around this, so it isn't impossible to purchase a Tesla if you live in a particular state, but it is more difficult.
Methodology: Finding the Best States for EVs
For our study of the 10 best states to own an electric vehicle, our researchers looked into four sources for information about three topics:
- Charging station outlets per 100,000 residents
- EV registrations per 100,000 residents
- The number of tax incentives for consumers and the electric vehicle industry
From EVAdoption, our researchers found how many charging stations and the average number of outlets at each station in each state. The numbers represented in the graphics for electric charging stations are the number of charging stations multiplied by the average number of outlets.
From the U.S. Department of Energy, the number of EV registrations. From the NCSL, the number of incentives. And from the U.S. Census Bureau, the state populations for the corresponding data year.
All data sources were from the end of 2018. Our experts took this data and created a three-tiered methodology: Each state was ranked ordinally in each of the three categories. Our experts then summed up the sub-rankings to create an overall ranking.