Thinking About Buying an Electric Car as Gas Prices Rise? These Are the Best and Worst States for EVs

Coventry, UK - February 23, 2019: Owner of Nissan Leaf electric car plugged the charger of the car in City Centre of Coventry.
nrqemi / Getty Images

American consumers scrambling to buy electric vehicles so they never have to pay high gas prices again might want to consider relocating to Massachusetts, Vermont or California — and leaving Louisiana, Kentucky and Idaho.

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The first three states are ranked as the best to own an EV, according to a recent report from Jerry, a car insurance app. The latter three states are among the worst.

Jerry researched states based on three different factors: EV charging port density, gas savings after switching to an electric vehicle and government incentives. What the researchers learned was that purchasing and driving an EV can be a great financial and logistical decision — depending on where you live.

Drivers who live in certain Northeast or West Coast states — such as the aforementioned Massachusetts, Vermont and California — have numerous financial incentives to purchase EVs, as well as more access to charging ports. But that’s not the case for drivers in Louisiana, Kentucky and Idaho.

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Here are some of the key findings from the study:

  • Louisiana, Kentucky and Alaska all have fewer than 10 EV charging ports per 100,000 people, which is 10 times less than Vermont. 
  • Washington, Oregon and Rhode Island EV drivers save more than $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 various government bodies. Kansas, Kentucky, North Dakota and West Virginia drivers have no such incentives.

Nine of the 10 best states to own an EV are located either on the East Coast or West Coast. Here’s how they rank, according to Jerry:

Rank State
1 Massachusetts
2 Vermont
3 California
4 Hawaii
5 Rhode Island
6 Connecticut
7 New York
8 Maine
9 Colorado
10 Maryland

Nine of the 10 worst states to own an EV are in the South or Midwest:

Rank State
41 Alabama
42 Oklahoma
43 West Virginia
44 Nebraska
45 Mississippi
46 North Dakota
47 Arkansas
48 Idaho
49 Kentucky
50 Louisiana

Before deciding whether an EV is right for you, Jerry recommends weighing government incentives and gas prices against the cost of the vehicle and availability of charging ports.

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About the Author

Vance Cariaga is a London-based writer, editor and journalist who previously held staff positions at Investor’s Business Daily, The Charlotte Business Journal and The Charlotte Observer. His work also appeared in Charlotte Magazine, Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal and Business North Carolina magazine. He holds a B.A. in English from Appalachian State University and studied journalism at the University of South Carolina. His reporting earned awards from the North Carolina Press Association, the Green Eyeshade Awards and AlterNet. In addition to journalism, he has worked in banking, accounting and restaurant management. A native of North Carolina who also writes fiction, Vance’s short story, “Saint Christopher,” placed second in the 2019 Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition. Two of his short stories appear in With One Eye on the Cows, an anthology published by Ad Hoc Fiction in 2019. His debut novel, Voodoo Hideaway, was published in 2021 by Atmosphere Press.

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