Most EV-Friendly States In The U.S.


The best spots for EV ownership have the most charging stations per capita and the lowest electricity rates (among other factors).

It’s well known that some parts of the nation are more friendly to electric vehicle ownership than others, and for a variety of reasons. Usually one thinks of California as the nation’s hotbed for EVs, and to a certain extent that’s correct, with the Garden State laying claim to having the highest volume of sales and ownership in the nation. No fewer than 400,000 of them have been sold in California since 2008, but that doesn’t necessarily make it the most hospitable state for EV owners.

At least not according to a recent study conducted by the auto repair website By their yardstick, Oklahoma edges out California as the best state in which to own an electric car. And that’s despite having a slim EV market share of just 0.10% of new-vehicle sales during 2017. How is that possible? The rankings are based on a combination of factors that include the local cost of electricity, the ratio of charging stations to the population, and the rate of year-over-year EV sales increases. Oklahoma residents enjoy low electricity rates, a high ratio of charging stations to residents, and the highest EV sales boost over the past year at 162.7% (though this is based on total deliveries of just 691 units last year).

Here’s the 10 states says are tops in the nation for EV ownership, based on the above aggregate of factors:

  1. Oklahoma
  2. California
  3. Washington
  4. South Dakota
  5. Colorado
  6. Oregon
  7. Vermont
  8. Maryland
  9. Iowa
  10. Maine

The worst states, overall, for EV ownership are Alaska, Alabama, Louisiana, New Jersey, and Wisconsin.

In terms of electric vehicle charging stations, California leads the nation (and by a wide margin) with 4,978 units up and running. It’s a large and heavily populated state, however, and that number translates into one station for every 7,942 residents. By comparison, while Vermont has just 165 charging spots statewide, that works out to one station for every 3,780 residents.

Here’s the 10 states that have the highest charger-to-population ratios:

  1. Vermont: 3,780 residents per station (165 total)
  2. Hawaii: 5,555 residents per station (257 total)
  3. Oregon: 6,939 residents per station (597 total)
  4. Colorado: 7,681 residents per station (730 total)
  5. California: 7,942 residents per station (4,978 total)
  6. South Dakota: 8,263 residents per station (105 total)
  7. Minnesota: 8,424 residents per station (662 total)
  8. Iowa: 8,502 residents per station (370 total)
  9. Washington: 8,923 residents per station (830 total)
  10. Maine: 9,611 residents per station (139 total)

The state having the lowest charger-to-population ratio is Alaska, with just nine EV charging stations situated within its borders. This translates into one EV outlet for every 82,199 Alaskans. That’s a considerably lower per capita rate than the next-lowest-ranked state, Mississippi, with 58 chargers and 51,450 residents theoretically sharing each of them.

Not coincidentally, the states having the most charging stations are also the states with the highest rates of EV ownership. California again leads the nation in this respect, with EVs accounting for 5.02% of all new vehicles sold during 2017. The state’s EV inventory includes a handful of so-called compliance cars that are offered only in California (and perhaps a couple of other ecologically like-minded states) to fulfill a requirement that major automakers sell at least one zero-emissions vehicle.

Here’s the states in which the most electric cars were sold or leased last year, with their respective market shares noted:

  1. California: 5.02%
  2. Washington: 2.51%
  3. Oregon: 2.36%
  4. Hawaii: 2.33%
  5. Vermont: 2.13%
  6. Colorado: 1.57%
  7. Connecticut: 1.39%
  8. Massachusetts: 1.35%
  9. Maryland: 1.05%
  10. New York: 1.03%

Again, not surprisingly, most of the above states offer special incentives to EV buyers on top of the federal tax credit of up to $7,500. Here’s the richest in the nation

  1. Colorado: $5,000 tax credit for purchase; $2,500 for lease
  2. California: $2,500-$4,500 rebate, depending on income
  3. Connecticut: $3,000 rebate
  4. Maryland: $3,000 excise tax credit
  5. Massachusetts: Up to $2,500 rebate
  6. Delaware: Up to $2,200 rebate
  7. New York: Up to $2,000 rebate
  8. Louisiana: Up to $1,500 income tax credit

Ironically, of the states where low electricity rates make it inherently the cheapest to keep an electric vehicle charged, most have paltry EV penetration. Here’s’s list of the 10 states having the lowest refueling costs per “eGallon,” which represents the cost of driving an EV the same distance as one could on a gallon of gasoline

  1. Louisiana: $0.87
  2. Washington: $0.88
  3. Arkansas: $0.90
  4. Oklahoma: $0.92
  5. Idaho: $0.96
  6. Kentucky: $0.97
  7. Utah: $0.98
  8. Tennessee: $0.99
  9. Oregon: $1.02
  10. North Dakota: $1.02

California, with the most EVs on the road, is ranked 44th in the nation with regard to electric rates, with an eGallon of electricity costing $1.72. Hawaii is the costliest state to keep an EV charged at $2.91 per eGallon, followed by Alaska ($2.02), Massachusetts ($1.97), Connecticut ($1.96), Rhode Island ($1.82), and New Hampshire ($1.80).

You can read the full study with the above aspects of EV ownership ranked for all 50 states here.


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22 Comments on "Most EV-Friendly States In The U.S."

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“Usually one thinks of California as the nation’s hotbed for EVs, and to a certain extent that’s correct, with the Garden State laying claim to having the highest volume of sales and ownership in the nation.”

Garden State = New Jersey = not on the list. You mean Golden State.

YOY % growth is not a metric of EV friendliness. That alone invalidates their results. If they wanted to use absolute growth in proportion to the population that might be legit. Even better would be units purchased as a percentage of new car purchases.

The other error that stands out is ranking them by egallon cost. That should be by $ delta between egallon and gallon of petrol.

Washington has the cheapest and greenest electricity in the country.

WA has too much Hydro which really is not the best souce. The way they buiilt some of those dams did have environmental, land use, and social repurcusions.

How about Norway? Doesn’t Norway get 98% of their energy from hydro?

ALL energy sources have an environmental impact. Think of it as the biological equivalent of the laws of thermodynamics. If you are worried about environmental footprint, use less. Someone who lives in a smaller house, closer to the city, and with a reasonably clean energy source is likely to be far better for the environment than the guy with a mansion, driving a 100kwh car with giant solar panels prominently displayed,, and making carbon offset donations.

Actually, states like Vermont has it PERFECT.
They have 72% nuclear, 16% hydro, and the rest is AE.
That is absolutely IDEAL.

Washington is fine as well. They cleaned up their hydro last decade (they removed a few dams and those remaining are doing a great job without harming their environment.
BUT, 6% of washington IS coal. Vermont is the only one without any fossil fuel. They are the right state.

Don’t know where they got the Washington electric rate, the cheapest is 0.974 at under 1000 kwh, haven’t see 0.88 for a decade or more.

The numbers are off by a penny from the department of energy web site.

Clark PUD is $0.08 / kWh. Cowlitz to the north is $0.07.

They missed Texas….$2500 rebate.


NJ has the best incentive for EVs. Not tax or new or used.

Beat me to it. I’m about to save $3,600 in sales taxes on my Model 3. That is a fantastic incentive.

This is a silly “study”. Two of the metrics are meaningless: Year over Year growth and Market Share. Chargers per capita is not really important since most people charge at home.

Agree this is not well known there is no sales tax on electric cars in NJ. Good for about $4k on a Tesla Model 3 and will help resale values in NJ as well. As far as chargers I can go to any point in the state and return to my home without charging so the number of chargers in NJ is not too relevant to anyone that lives in NJ.

Same with Washington state. No tax up to I think $35,000 which at 10% sales tax is $3500 savings at point of sale!

Brutal how this guy struggles with the frankenplug. /s

And Texas bans sales of the only majority US made EV…

Not saying Texas is best. I am saying (in the rebate portion of the article) they forgot to inform people that there is a $2500 Texas rebate for Most plugins and evs (minus Tesla). It would be nice to let people know so they can take that in to account when they buy their next car. There is a reason behind the dealership model. Anyone tried to get a Tesla repaired lately?

Yes. We have had service. Tesla is the best that we have seen vs MB, Audi, Honda, and Toyota.

The only negative I have with Tesla (colorado new service center), is that you can never get ahold of them by phone. We just drive in and set up appointment.

California has high electric rates for electric vehicles because of a tiered rate cost structure that results in a person in California paying high rates to charge their car than what is payed for their normal home uses. California does not give a discount on the teared rates if you add an electric car to your household. This actually results in a much higher rate than quoted in this article. The California PUC needs to change rate structures when an electric car is added to a household if they really want to change to electric cars for all.

My understanding is that in Hawaii, most owners have solar designed to lower their costs a great deal.
We also have 10 KW solar (solar city lease; waiting to convert to Tesla roof), that allows us to pay far far less for our electricity than Xcell really charges.