Easy EV living: Washington, Oregon head list of best states for electric vehicle owners

ELGIN, Ill. — Thinking about buying an electric vehicle? A new survey finds your decision for “EV living” should come down to one simple factor: location, location, location.

A team of researchers at The FABRICATOR says the West Coast of the United States is the best place to be if you’re in the market for an electric vehicle. At the top of the list sits Washington, which researchers name the most EV-friendly state in the nation. The Evergreen State received a score of 96 out of 100 for its e-car friendliness.

Specifically, Washington state is home to more than 8,000 public charging stations! That’s a ratio of eight EV chargers for every electric car registered in the state. Drivers who buy an electric car in Washington are also eligible for eight different tax incentives. Moreover, Washington has some of the cheapest electricity prices in the U.S., at just over 8.3 cents per kilowatt-hour.

Rounding out the top five electric vehicle-friendly states are Oregon, California, Arizona, and Nevada. Oregon finished with a score of 86, thanks to over 4,000 public chargers, 30,000 electric cars registered in the state, and cheap electricity.

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As for California, the state leads the pack with a staggering 563,070 registered electric cars. Although electricity is incredibly expensive in California (18 cents per kilowatt-hour), the state also has the highest number of tax incentives for residents (45).

No EV? No problem

While the West Coast and Northeast ranked high on the list for e-car friendliness, there are plenty of places throughout the U.S. where gasoline is still king. Rhode Island residents should think twice before buying an electric vehicle. There are only two public charging stations for every vehicle in the state and electricity is quite expensive, at 18.54 cents per kilowatt-hour. That’s 122 percent more than it is in Washington!

Rounding out the list of states unfriendly to electric cars are Kansas (2nd), Mississippi (3rd), Arkansas (4th), and South Dakota (5th). Up north, North Dakota (6th) and South Dakota are at the bottom of the list in terms of public charging stations, at 322 and 326 respectively. There are also just 380 electric vehicles registered in North Dakota, the fewest in the nation.

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When it comes to your wallet, it might also be smarter to stick with a gas-powered car in Arkansas, where gas is the second-cheapest in the country at $3.53 per gallon. Only Texas has cheaper gasoline, at $3.49.

Regardless of where you live, you’re likely to see more electric cars rolling down the road soon. There are nearly 1.5 million electric vehicles on the road in the U.S. right now.

Most EV-Friendly States

Methodology:

Researchers compared all 50 U.S. states across five key metrics: the number of registered electric vehicles per 100,000 people, the ratio of public electric vehicle chargers to registered electric vehicles, the number of state tax incentives for electric vehicle owners, average gas prices in August 2022, and average electricity prices from 2020 (most recent at the time of publication). To determine an overall score, The FABRICATOR team graded each metric on a 20-point scale, then combined the scores to find a total out of 100.