The US Electric Vehicle Charging Point Report
There’s been a number of promises made around the world about the expansion in the electric vehicle (EV) market. With a shift in focus from the US government since last year’s election, it looks like there’s going to be a bigger push than ever to make the USA’s automobiles greener. But what’s the current state of play? How realistic is a push towards increases in the usage of electric vehicles?
The US is a vast country, with each state playing by its own rules to a certain extent and, with EVs relying heavily on a network of charging stations to operate effectively, there’s still a long way to go before the country is really ready for a large rollout of electric vehicles. We’ve crunched the numbers and looked at how well the different states are doing, which ones have the infrastructure and how EV take up currently compares to other vehicles.
The top three states with most charging points per number of electric vehicles
It’s important to look at the wider picture with charging points. It’s not necessarily as simple as just looking at the number of charging points against the number of EVs. To really spot progress you need to see how many there are compared to all the vehicles in a state, and there are some surprising figures.
#1 – Vermont
While Vermont is mainly known for its stunning forest landscapes, it’s also quietly been getting on with rolling out EVs. Often the more rural states are the ones that struggle with charging point coverage, but Vermont offers 768 across the state with 124 per 100,000 vehicles. The various EV incentive schemes will only improve the overall ownership in a state that’s already got a good infrastructure waiting.
#2 – California
Now, California leads the way in the sheer number of charging outlets, with a staggering 32,000 available, but the state is not only vast but has some of the country’s biggest cities. So, while the sheer number of charging points is a positive, there are still nearly 31,000,000 vehicles in the state and if you want all of those vehicles to shift to electric, there’s a long way to go. Overall it’s a state with a green conscience and incentives are in place, but more charging stations need to be added before it’s ready for more vehicles. A recent injection of funding for new charging points could make this a reality.
#3 – Utah & Massachusetts
Third place was actually tied between two states, Utah, and Massachusetts, which both had 66.9 charging points for every 100,000 vehicles in the state.
Home to the “Mighty 5” national parks, Utah is very popular with tourists, many of whom are road trippers, so this may explain the push for a charging network that goes beyond the needs of the 2.4 million registered vehicles in the state.
In Massachusetts, it was recently announced that all new vehicles sold would have to be electric by 2035, so it’s good to see that the state is already making efforts to put the necessary infrastructure in place.
The US states with the most EV charging points
The bottom three states with least charging points per number of electric vehicles
There’s a lot of positives to take from the report, but a number of states are struggling to keep up with the rollout of EVs and charging points.
#1 – Louisiana
Finding itself bottom of the list, Louisiana residents may feel a little hard done by. While they’ve actually been fairly willing to buy EVs, the infrastructure just hasn’t kept up. There are just 325 charging points compared to nearly 4,000,000 vehicles on the roads. While there has been investment in recent years, the state needs to do a lot before many of those vehicle owners can consider changing to electric.
#2 – Alaska
Joint bottom is the stunning state of Alaska, which is one of the more unusual cases. It’s a large state, but a little more sparsely populated. This means that journeys across the state are often long ones. With only 67 charging ports in the whole of the state, a country low, and over 800,000 vehicles, only 8.3 per 100,000 vehicles, it’s unlikely there’ll be a shift to EVs anytime soon. That being said, there’s been a real push in the south-east of the state to try and make the change.
#3 – Alabama
Alabama actually has a decent number of charging points compared to some other states at the bottom of this table, but that doesn’t tell the whole story as there are over 5,000,000 vehicles in the state. The Rebuild Alabama Act, which was introduced in 2019 is looking to tackle this though, with a plan in place to try and improve the infrastructure of EV charging outlets across the state. Hopefully, Alabama will be shooting up this table in the coming years.
The US states with the highest proportion of electric vehicles on the road
While the infrastructure is important, it’s essential to highlight that many states have a strong uptake in electric vehicles in comparison to the total number of vehicles on the road.
#1 – California
No surprise here – despite its staggering number of vehicles on the road, 30,795,000 to be exact, it also has by far the largest number of EVs. There are 834 Electric Vehicles for every 100,000 vehicles on the road and that number is only going to increase with the state’s incentives.
#2 – Hawaii
The island state of Hawaii may seem like a surprising place for an EV success story, but there are strong incentives, short driving distances and a climate that lends itself to EV performance. This means it’s no real surprise that the island is seeing a strong uptake in EVs, with 6,590 electric vehicles on the roads, meaning there are 111 EVs per 100,000 vehicles.
The best states for charging points per 1,000 electric vehicles
When you’re considering switching to an electric vehicle you need to consider the competition for charging points. It’s all well and good to go green and try and cut your emissions, but if you can’t charge your vehicle, you aren’t going to get very far.
#1 – West Virginia
West Virginia may seem like a surprising place to come out on top. Historically it hasn’t offered incentives for switching, but they have been rolling out charging points. This means that there are only 230 registered EVs in the state but a full 243 charging outlets. That’s right, West Virginia has more charging outlets than actual electric vehicles, the only state that can say that.
#2 – Wyoming
Wyoming has, historically, not been the most welcoming state for EVs. While that may seem like a negative, there has still been a slow rollout of charging point infrastructure. This means that while few have actually bought EVs there are plenty of charging points in comparison to the number of EVs on the road. There’s 168 charging points currently in existence to service the state’s 170 EVs.
The number of charging outlets in each state sourced from U.S. Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuel Station Counts by State report which was updated on February 18th, 2021. The number used was the overall number of ‘charging outlets’ and some stations will have several outlets.
The number of electric vehicles in each state was sourced from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Electric Vehicle Registrations by State and refers to the number of registered electric vehicles as of December 31, 2018.
The number of vehicles registered in each state was sourced from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s State Motor-Vehicle Registrations 2017 and refers to the total number of vehicles both privately and publicly owned.
Who is behind this study?
Zutobi is an online driver’s education company with the goal to make the roads a safer place. Instead of just helping students prepare for the permit test, our top priority is to teach about driving safety practices and driver safety to create better, and safer, drivers.
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