The U.S. electric vehicle (EV) market has shown substantial growth in recent years. This has been supported by the Biden administration, which is pushing for more efforts to combat climate change.
California is one of the leaders of EV adoption, accounting for around 25% of the country’s EVs. However, some states have lagged in the electric car movement, including North Dakota.
It’s not easy to own an electric vehicle in North Dakota
How many electric vehicles are there in North Dakota?
According to data from the U.S. Department of Energy, as of June, North Dakota only had 220 EVs registered. This is a drastic difference from California’s count of approximately 425,300 EV registrations.
According to Grand Forks Herald, North Dakota has had fewer EV registrations in the past 10 years than any other state. You might not be surprised about this data because North Dakota is America’s second-leading oil producer.
There are several other reasons for the low EV adoption rate in North Dakota.
The cold weather has a strong impact on EVs and can even make it dangerous to drive. It interferes with the performance of EV batteries, making them drop range. This means that you can’t drive as far, and you’ll need to charge it more often.
In the last year, there’s been a spike in the number of charging stations which have helped increase EV accessibility. However, the available chargers are significantly slower than propriety ones that can only be used by Tesla owners.
About three-quarters of the EVs registered in North Dakota are Teslas. The Department of Transportation says other manufacturers might not see much growth unless the state’s fast chargers can match Tesla’s recharge times.
Another big reason for the low EV adoptions is that there’s currently no electric pickup truck that’s available for consumers. The North Dakota vehicle market is dominated by trucks. The lack of pickup trucks makes EVs less appealing to drivers in the state.
How can the state improve EV adoption?
Electric vehicle owners and auto manufacturers asked North Dakota lawmakers Monday to nix a proposal that essentially would double the annual fee on electric and hybrid vehicles. https://t.co/c19GXGIMKL
Political tensions are also contributing to the low EV adoption in North Dakota. Some Republicans in North Dakota are wary of how electric cars could impact state tax revenue.
While gas sales are taxed, EV charging isn’t. There was an annual EV fee instituted in 2019 to make sure all drivers are paying for road maintenance. A proposal to bump up the fee this year was unsuccessful.
Dickinson Republican Rep. Vicky Steiner suggested that the entire tax system for vehicles needs an overhaul, so EVs and gas-powered vehicles are treated equally. Steiner wants to find ways to charge all vehicles by miles driven.
Advocates for EV adoption believe that higher fees will prevent North Dakota from keeping up with other states. Democrats are trying to push incentives and rebates for EV owners, as other states have done.
To increase adoption, it’ll be important for the state to continue to improve infrastructure and form a clear strategy on EV incentives. Manufacturers can focus on electrifying pickup trucks to try to capture that market.
If you’re looking to save money on car insurance for an EV, Jerry can help. It only takes 45 seconds to sign up, and the free app will help you compares rates from 50 top insurance companies. Use Jerry to save money without the hassle.