Best and Worst States to Own an EV

Lakshmi Iyengar
Jan 20, 2022 · 5 min read

Louisiana, Kentucky, and Idaho are the Worst States to Own an EV, Massachusetts, Vermont, and California are the Best. 

Key Insights: 
  • Idaho, Kentucky, and Louisiana are the worst states to own an electric vehicle (EV) when ranked by number of EV charging stations per capita, gas cost savings, and federal or local financial incentives. Massachusetts, Vermont, and California are the best.
  • Louisiana, Kentucky, and Alaska have fewer than 10 EV charging ports per 100,000 people -- 10x less than Vermont. 
  • Washington, Oregon, and Rhode Island EV drivers save over $4,800 on gas costs over the length of car ownership. 
  • California, Massachusetts, and Maryland drivers can save $8,000 switching to EVs due to financial incentives offered by the local government. Kentucky, West Virginia, North Dakota, and Kansas drivers have no additional local incentives.
Many Americans dream of driving a Tesla, a Mustang Mach-E, or any one of the countless, cool electric vehicles that have entered the market in recent years. But individuals hesitate to purchase EVs because of sticker price, range anxiety, or charging port inaccessibility. New research by Jerry shows that purchasing and driving an EV can be a great financial and logistical decision but that’s highly dependent on where you live. Drivers in East or West Coast states like Massachusetts, Vermont, and California have numerous financial incentives to purchase EVs, and more access to charging ports. Drivers in Louisiana, Kentucky, and Idaho are not so lucky. 

10 Best States to Own an EV

RankState
1MA
2VT
3CA
4HI
5RI
6CT
7NY
8ME
9CO
10MD

10 Worst States to Own an EV

RankState
30AL
30OK
31WV
32NE
33MS
34ND
35AR
36ID
37KY
38LA
The study ranked states based on three factors: EV charging port density, gas savings, and government incentives. East and West Coast States comprise 9 of the 10 best states to own an EV; Southern and Midwest states cover 9 of the 10 worst states to own an EV.  
Region# of public EVSE PortsPopulationPorts per 100,000Cost per e gallonCost per gallonSavings per gallon# of incentives
AL45849031859.31.042.61.561
AK677315459.11.993.11.114
AZ1939727871726.61.113.11.993
AR410301780413.50.92.61.701
CA340013951222386.01.863.731.8715
CO32815,758,73656.91.12.81.706
CT12143,565,28734.11.852.760.916
DE261973,76426.81.142.91.765
FL559021,477,73726.01.082.831.755
GA372210,617,42335.10.982.721.744
HI7571,415,87253.52.653.10.452
ID2611,787,06514.60.92.841.943
IL224712,671,82117.71.122.761.644
IN8386,732,21912.41.152.761.613
IA5173,155,07016.41.032.761.734
KS9322,913,31432.01.112.761.650
KY4034,467,6739.00.962.761.800
LA3404,648,7947.30.872.61.733
ME5371,344,21239.91.52.761.262
MD27816,045,68046.01.162.91.7410
MA40726,892,50359.11.962.740.7812
MI16449,986,85716.51.52.761.264
MN12205,639,63221.61.172.751.588
MS2792,976,1499.41.022.61.581
MO20406,137,42833.20.852.761.912
MT2031,068,77819.012.841.842
NE3371,934,40817.40.922.761.844
NV12173,080,15639.51.023.12.083
NH3041,359,71122.41.72.761.061
NJ15748,882,19017.71.452.91.454
NM3872,096,82918.51.122.61.482
NY645419,453,56133.21.662.831.178
NC221210,488,08421.10.962.721.764
ND134762,06217.60.852.761.910
OH176511,689,10015.11.072.661.593
OK9723,956,97124.60.812.761.953
OR20944,217,73749.60.993.12.116
PA242312,801,98918.91.22.91.705
RI4971,059,36146.92.052.760.712
SC7445,148,71414.51.072.721.651
SD143884,65916.21.042.761.721
TN13696,829,17420.00.952.761.812
TX489528,995,88116.91.082.581.508
UT17483,205,95854.50.932.841.915
VT836623,989134.01.732.761.038
VA24978,535,51929.21.022.721.704
WA37747,614,89349.60.893.132.246
WV2541,792,14714.21.042.721.680
WI8675,822,43414.91.322.761.4410
WY169578,75929.20.972.841.871

Charging Station Availability

EV charging port distribution varies significantly across states. Vermont and California top the list at 133 and 89 EV charging ports per 100,000 people. But there’s a significant drop from there. Maryland has the third-most EV charging ports at 59 ports per 100,000 people, but that is less than half the amount Vermont has. The bottom three states -- Alaska, Kentucky, and Louisiana -- have 8-9 charging ports per 100,000 people (0.009% charging station density).
Map of EV Chargers

Cost of Gas

EVs are good for your environment and your wallet. Drivers in Washington, Oregon, and Nevada save over $2 per gallon with an EV. That’s 47% savings for Washington, 43% savings for Oregon, and 40% savings for Nevada. Considering that the average American uses over 300 gallons of gasoline per year, drivers in Washington, Oregon, and Nevada could be saving over $600 a year if they make the switch to EVs. This is $4,800 over the average lifetime of car ownership. Even drivers in states like Hawaii and Rhode Island, which each save under a dollar per gallon of gas, can save a couple hundred dollars a year from the switch. 

Incentives

State governments encourage EV adoption with various tax and subsidization incentives. And according to our study, California, Massachusetts, and Maryland have more than 10 local government incentives to support EV purchase and/or leasing. This includes EV purchase rebates of up to $7,500, charging port rebates, EV purchase income tax credits, electric charging cost rebates, and more. This is over 10 times the incentives that states like West Virginia, North Dakota, Kansas, Missouri, Wyoming, and more have -- which range from 0 to 1. 
Currently, 46 states and Washington D.C. incentivize EV adoption. Consumer incentives include HOV lane exemptions, EV purchase rebates, vehicle inspections/emissions test exemption, parking incentives, utility rate reductions, and more. For example, utility providers often reduce EV charging prices during off-peak hours. This can save drivers hundreds of dollars per year. Tax credits and rebates often offer several thousand dollars in savings the year a driver purchases their EV. States also have business-facing incentives. For example, California, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, and nine other states require manufacturers to sell a certain amount of zero-emission vehicles per year. 

EV Infrastructure Improving

EV infrastructure -- which refers to EV charging station accessibility and government incentives for EV adoption -- is getting better year after year. The Biden Infrastructure Bill wants to designate $7 billion to bettering EV infrastructure, and many states are upping investment in zero-emission vehicles with or without the extra aid. Car companies including  Volkswagen, Ford, and Chevrolet are releasing better EVs with longer ranges and more features like smart parking. 
So, is it finally time for you to get that EV you’ve been eyeing? If you consider the financial benefits of gas savings, rebates, and tax incentives, owning an EV is less expensive than most think. You could save $4,800 in gas costs over the length of car ownership (8 years on average). If you live in the right state, like California or Maryland, you could also save $5,000-8,000 on vehicle purchase price. Increased EV infrastructure investment means that more public charging ports will be available, and cities will offer more rebates and cost-lowering incentives to make EVs even more affordable. But before you make any decisions, check if your state or locality has financial incentives and check your gas prices -- you might be in for a pleasant surprise.

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