Electric vehicles (EVs) have seen a meteoric rise in popularity. Beyond consumer-driven demand, the Biden administration has set an aggressive target for EV sales: by 2030, half of all new cars sold in the United States must be EVs. The automotive industry has responded to this burgeoning market by developing vehicles that fit the unique needs of American drivers.
Today’s EVs offer a combination of gasoline-like range, modest cost, and an ever-growing portfolio of everything from ultra-quick sport sedans to tough pickup trucks. Upstart companies like Tesla, Lucid, and Rivian have led the way forward but large manufacturers like Ford are now investing billions in this new market.
Depending on where you live in the United States, the financial incentives of purchasing an EV and the practical consideration of daily EV usage vary greatly.
So which are the best states to be in if you own an electric vehicle or you’re thinking of buying one?
According to Bumper.com, the top 5 states to own an electric vehicle are:
Determining A Winner
In order to determine the best states to own an EV, a variety of pertinent factors need to be considered.
Bumper.com breaks these findings down into two categories:
- Financial Incentives
- Number of rebates and tax incentives found in each state
- Recharge cost
- The average price of gas
- Mean travel time to work
- State cost of an EV versus the cost of a gas-powered vehicle
- Charging Infrastructure
- Number of new charging stations since 2017
- Number of charging stations per 100,000 population
- Number of ports per 100 charging stations
- Number of ports per 100 EV vehicle registrations
- EV registrations as a percentage of all motor vehicles in the state
Washington leads the way
Across the board, the Emerald Jewel of the Northwest leads rankings for the best state to own an EV. From tax rebates that add up to $7,500 to a robust charging network that grows by the month, Washington's aggressive environmental policies and socially liberal population have contributed to a massive boom in EV popularity. Relatively short commute distances hampered by aggressive traffic in the Seattle area also help Washington score well. Washington’s wide availability of zero-emission electricity and aggressive push for 2020 EV registrations also contributed.
Coming in at second place, Utah’s recent pushes towards clean energy independence make it a great choice for owning an EV. Although there isn’t a large volume of EV’s on the road in Utah, those that do own an electric vehicle enjoy solid infrastructure, ample incentives and high charger growth rates. Utah has fewer EVs as a percentage of all vehicles compared to states like California, but that’s due to buyer preferences and vehicle diversity—a metric that is drastically shifting on a nearly monthly basis.
California is experiencing massive EV growth
California boasts the highest EV adoption rate in the Nation at 1.3%. What may surprise EV fans is that California could only muster enough points to land at number five on the list, mainly due to its lack of financial incentives, higher cost to charge and longer overall commuting times. Where California does positively trounce the competition is its massive statewide charging network and rapid installation of new chargers.
The boom is coming
Electric vehicle popularity has risen in the last decade due to a unique combination of realistic practicality, model diversity and attainable price points. Spurred by regulation, legacy automakers are dumping billions of dollars into state-of-the-art manufacturing plants that will not only employ thousands but generate additional supporting industries that work in sync with EV production. More consumers than ever consider EVs viable alternatives to gas-powered vehicles, and more states are seeing a robust EV plan as an incentive to draw in constituents and grow tax revenue.