The 7 Most Popular EVs in Washington

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The 7 Most Popular EVs in Washington

Key Points

  • Washington ranks in the top 10 states for EV infrastructure, with over 2,100 charging stations and 5,600 charging ports.
  • The state has seen exponential growth in EV ownership, reaching 104,100 registered electric cars in 2022.
  • Tesla is the most popular EV brand in Washington, accounting for 46% of all registered EVs.
  • The Tesla Model Y is the most popular electric car in Washington, followed by the Tesla Model 3 and Nissan Leaf.
  • Washington offers tax credits and incentives for EV owners, including tax exemptions on up to $15,000 of the sales price for new EVs.

Washington is one of the best states to own an electric car when accounting for EV infrastructure. It ranks in the top 10 states with the most EV charging stations and ports. However, this was not always the case. The Evergreen State has made significant strides towards reducing its carbon footprint.

The most notable effort was in 2019 when the Washington State Governor signed the Advancing Green Transportation Adoption (E2SHB 2042) Bill into law. The new law incentivized private car owners and commercial entities to switch to alternative fuels. It also incentivized utility companies to install EV charging points to improve the state’s EV charging infrastructure.

The Evergreen State’s commitment to adopting renewable energy sources has encouraged its residents to switch to electric cars. We have compiled a list of the seven most popular EVs in Washington. Keep reading to find out which EVs made it to the list!

Total Electric Vehicles Sold in Washington

The number of registered EVs in the Evergreen State has more than tripled since 2018. We attribute this to the state’s commitment to installing more charging stations and providing tax credits and incentives to people and entities embracing renewable energy.

According to the Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC), Washington has about 2,111 charging stations and 5,605 charging ports — it ranks seventh when comparing EV infrastructures by state. Of these charging stations, 1,959 are public, while 152 are privately owned. Though Washington has one of the largest EV charging infrastructures, it has yet to comply with the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) guidelines.

Still, the Evergreen State has seen exponential EV ownership growth rates in the past few years. According to AFDC, Washington had only 14,900 registered electric cars in 2016. However, the registered EVs had almost tripled to 40,400 units by 2019.

Following the enactment of the E2SHB 2042 Bill in 2019, more Washington residents were expected to switch to electric cars. Registered EVs rose to 50,500 the following year and 66,800 in 2021. Washington finally reached the 100,000th-mark milestone in 2022, with 104,100 registered cars. Washington has one of the highest EV ownership rates, only behind California, Texas, and Florida.

Market Share of Electric Vehicles in Washington

The Evergreen State has among the highest EV market shares in the US. AFDC estimates that EVs account for at least 1.5% of the registered cars in Washington. The state’s EV market share is above the national average, currently at 0.9%. Surprisingly, Washington also has a better EV market share than Texas (0.6%) and Florida (0.9%). It only ranks behind California, which has a 2.5% EV market share. This shows that Washington’s EV adoption strategies have been effective.

The Evergreen State has at least 104,100 registered EVs. This statistic provides an objective basis for analyzing the most popular EVs in Washington. The state also tracks the number of registered EVs by manufacturer and model. Currently, Tesla accounts for 46% of all EVs in Washington State. It is followed by Nissan (9%), Chevrolet (8%), and Ford (5%).

According to data published by Washington State, the most popular EV models include:

  • Tesla Model Y
  • Tesla Model 3
  • Nissan Leaf
  • Tesla Model S
  • Chevrolet Bolt EV
  • Model X
  • Volkswagen ID.4

So, why are these the most popular EVs in Washington? Let’s discuss them in detail below.

Tesla Model Y

VinFast VF7 vs Tesla Model Y
Tesla Model Y with its decent range and competitive price, is the most popular EV in Washington.

The Tesla Model Y is the most popular electric car in Washington. It accounts for 19% of all registered EVs in the Evergreen state, and it is easy to see why. The Model Y has a decent range. The Long Range AWD covers 330 miles when fully charged. The Model Y is also competitively priced, with an MSRP of $43,990. However, Tesla estimates the price could go as low as $32,890 after deducting federal tax credits.

One reason Washington residents love the Model Y is its utility. The Model Y can seat up to seven passengers. It also has 76 cubic feet of cargo space, which makes it suitable for a family car.

The Model Y is one of the safest cars you can drive today. Tesla claims the Model Y received NHTSA 5-star ratings in all safety categories. It also received an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award for its front impact protection and crashworthiness.

Tesla Model 3

Tesla Model 3 hood and front
A Tesla Model 3 has a great resale value.

The Tesla Model 3 is the go-to EV for Washington residents, who account for resale value when comparing cars. A new car costs $40,240, which could drop to $33,000 after federal and state tax credits. The Model 3 depreciates 10.3% in the first three years and 35.6% after five years. You could resell it for $30,000 after owning it for three years, with proper maintenance.

Some people also buy the Model 3 because of its handling, which guarantees performance and safety. For example, Tesla positioned the Model 3’s battery pack underneath its floor. This was deliberate to lower the EV’s center of gravity, reducing rollover risk. The Model 3’s low center of gravity makes driving comfortable even when cruising at top speed (162 mph).

EV enthusiasts in Washington are often endeared to the Model 3 because of its reliable range and fast charging. The RWD version has a range of 272 miles, while the AWD trim covers 333 miles. You can also boost the battery by up to 147 miles in 15 minutes, which is convenient during long trips.

Nissan Leaf

nissan leaf vs. sony afeela
Nissan Leaf was the world’s all-time top-selling plug-in electric before being overtaken by Tesla Model 3 in early 2020.

The Nissan Leaf is the third most popular EV in Washington State by sales volume. It accounts for 9% of registered EVs in the Evergreen State. The Leaf’s affordability and reliability remain its biggest selling points in the US and Washington EV markets. For example, the 2024 Nissan Leaf has an MSRP of $28,140, which is more affordable than a 2021 Tesla Model Y or Model 3.

The Nissan Leaf has been in production for more than a decade. Nissan celebrated the milestone in 2020. The manufacturers also celebrated selling 500,000 Leafs globally, of which at least 148,000 were sold in the US. This is a testament to the car’s reliability.

The Leaf’s range may disappoint some prospective buyers. The base model has a standard 40 kWh battery and covers 149 miles when fully charged. The SV PLUS has a larger 60 kWh battery and has a range of 212 miles. However, given Washington’s EV charging infrastructure, the Nissan Leaf’s range should not be a limiting factor.

Tesla Model S

Popular EVs in Virginia
Tesla Model S is one of the best electric saloon cars out there.

Unsurprisingly, another Tesla model makes it to our list of the most popular EVs in Washington. The Model S is arguably the best electric saloon you can buy today. Most EV owners often compromise on some features when buying electric cars. Some forego performance models in favor of EVs with longer ranges and vice versa. Well, the Model S excels in both areas.

The base Model S has a dual-motor AWD powertrain that produces a peak power of 670 hp. This EV can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 3.1 seconds. The Model S Plaid is the ultimate workhorse. Its tri-motor AWD produces 1,020 hp and accelerates the car from 0 to 60 mph in 1.9 seconds. The Model S also has an impressive range. The base model covers 405 miles, while the Plaid trim covers 396 miles on a single charge.

However, the Model S does not come cheap. It starts at $74,990 before adding taxes and other applicable fees. It is also not eligible for federal tax credit based on the latest Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy data. Here is a government site you can use to confirm other EVs’ eligibility for the federal tax credit.

Chevrolet Bolt EV

EVs qualify for tax credit
The Chevrolet Bolt was listed in Time magazine’s Best 25 Inventions of 2016.

The Bolt EV is the go-to option for Washington residents looking for a budget-friendly electric car. Its popularity in the US proves that most consumers will readily forego sports performance and luxury features in favor of a more affordable ‘basic’ car. The 2023 Bolt EV costs $26,500 without additions. The final cost may be lower, considering the Bolt EV qualifies for federal tax credits of up to $7,500.

The Bolt EV’s specs and features suit daily work commutes. It has a 259-mile range, which can serve you for a few days without charging. Some Washington residents buy the Bolt EV as a family car. It seats five passengers and has 57 cubic feet of cargo space. This should be enough to hold your luggage and equipment when going for short trips.

Model X

EV cars trucks and SUVs
The Tesla Model X Crossover is one of the safest electric SUV’s out there and performs really well in rollover tests.

The Model X is the sixth most popular EV in Washington. It shares many features with the Model S, which explains their similar MSRPs. For example, the standard Model X produces 670 hp, while the Plaid trim produces 1,020 hp, similar to the Model S trims. They also have similar powertrains, with the standard trim using a dual-motor AWD and the Plaid trim using a tri-motor AWD.

So, what differentiates these Tesla models, and why do some people choose the Model X over the Model S? It comes down to design and utility. The Model X has Falcon wing rear doors, its biggest standout feature. It also has a bigger seating capacity. The standard Model S seats seven passengers, while the Plaid seats six. The Model X has 88 cubic feet of cargo space. This is at least three times the available cargo space in the Model S.

However, choosing the Model X over the Model S means you must compromise on the expected range. The standard trim covers 348 miles, while the Plaid covers 333 miles on a full charge.

Volkswagen ID.4

Volkswagen ID.4 vs Chevy Bolt EUV
Although the VW ID.4 is an SUV, it is competitively priced compared to saloon cars.

The Volkswagen ID.4 is the only electric SUV on our list. It is competitively priced to compete with electric saloon cars. The standard ID.4 trim costs $38,995, excluding taxes and other additions. It will save you a few thousand dollars compared to buying the Tesla Model Y or Model 3.

The ID.4 has a range of up to 275 miles on a full charge. This is quite low compared to most EVs on this list. However, the ID.4 supports fast charging when using a level 2 charger. You can recharge its battery from 10 to 80% in about 35 minutes.

Many Washington residents are also drawn to the ID.4 because of its advanced driver assistance technology. The ID.4 has Volkswagen’s IQ.Drive technology, which has the following features:

  • The Adaptive Cruise Control helps drivers maintain a safe distance from the cars ahead. 
  • The Active Blind Spot Monitor warns drivers when there are ‘objects’ in their blind spots.
  • The Rear Traffic Alert detects and warns drivers of oncoming traffic when backing out of a parking spot.
  • The Lane Assist feature alerts drivers and counter-steers during involuntary lane departure.

The Volkswagen ID.4 is also a good option for a family car. It seats up to five occupants and has enough legroom even for rear passengers. Legroom determines comfort and fatigue levels during long trips. Finally, the ID.4 has 30.3 cubic feet of cargo space — 64.2 cubic feet when you fold the rear seats.

Wrapping Up

Washington State is among the best places to own an EV in the US. Its expansive charging infrastructure means you must not drive for tens of miles just to charge your EV. The Evergreen State also has some of the most inclusive EV-related incentives and tax credits. This explains why Washington has the second-highest EV market share in the US.

Individuals, businesses, and organizations that reduce the state’s carbon footprint are eligible for different benefits. For example, Washington residents who buy new EVs (priced below $45,000) starting August 1, 2023, are eligible for tax exemptions on up to $15,000 of the sales price. For context, suppose an EV’s fair market value is $45,000. You will only pay tax on $30,000 ($45,000-$15,000).

Washington residents should take advantage of the tax exemptions and switch to electric cars, considering the program runs until July 31, 2025. There is no guarantee that the state government will extend the incentive period.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many EVs are registered in Washington?

AFDC reported that about 104,100 electric cars had been registered in the Evergreen State as of 2022. The number is expected to rise yearly as more Washington residents switch to EVs because of the high gasoline prices.

What is the cost of charging an EV in Washington?

Two factors influence the cost of charging an electric car in Washington: your EV’s battery capacity and whether you charge it at home or in a public charging station. It will cost you $.10 per kWh if you use a home charger and about $.16 if you use a public charger.

Which are the most popular EVs in Washington?

The most popular EVs in Washington include the Nissan Leaf, Bolt EV, Volkswagen ID.4, and the Tesla Model Y, Model 3, and Model S.

Is it a good idea to own an EV in the Evergreen State?

Yes. Washington residents should switch to electric cars. The state has one of the best EV charging infrastructures. It also offers state tax exemptions and other incentives, which reduce your EV buying price.

Should I buy a new or used EV?

There is no straightforward answer, as it depends on individual preferences. Each option also has its pros and cons. For example, used EVs are often more affordable than new units. Buying a two-year-old model could save you at least $5,000. However, old models often come with the risk of underlying issues you may not know when purchasing. We recommend buying used electric cars from authorized dealers.

Which is the most popular electric SUV in Washington?

The Volkswagen ID.4 is the most popular electric SUV. We attribute its popularity to its affordable price.

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