Arkansas may not appear top of your list for “eco-friendly” states. But when it comes to owning an EV in Arkansas, it’s not all bad. While the state is far from perfect, they are making inroads and hope to be an EV-friendly state someday. Here’s what you need to know.
Arkansas Charging Infrastructure
Arkansas’s current infrastructure is lacking, but they are slowly building it up. They also participate in the U.S. Department of Transportation’s NEVI Program, which will grant funds to increase charging infrastructure over the next five years.
How many charging stations does Arkansas have?
As of 2023, Arkansas only has a little over 400 charging stations, most of which are in 36 cities, with the majority being in the biggest cities and capital. However, the state has plans to continue building out stations.
Types of Charging Stations
Like any large purchase, knowing what you need is crucial before buying an electric vehicle in Arkansas. A critical aspect of owning an EV is knowing what type of charger it needs. Here are some common charging stations.
Home charging stations
Regardless of the model you select, a full EV battery can recharge overnight at a level 2 home charging station. However, the charging duration of an EV depends on some factors, including the size of your EV’s battery, maximum power output, the maximum power your EV’s onboard charger can tolerate, and environmental factors like heat and cold. However, this shouldn’t be too much of a problem if you’re charging your car while sleeping.
Many apps are available to direct you to free EV charging stations. With one of their level 1 or level 2 chargers, you can top out your car’s mileage, which is an excellent choice if you’re in a hurry.
CHAdeMO, or Charge de Move, is one of several quick charging connectors. Currently, it can provide the batteries of a car anywhere from 6 to 150 kW. The connector is prevalent in Japanese vehicles, including the Toyota Prius hybrid, the Mitsubishi Outlander hybrid, the Nissan Leaf, and the Kia Soul. CHAdeMO charging has its dedicated connector.
Using shared communications pins, CCS charging sockets integrate the inlets for both AC and DC. CCS communicates with the car via PLC, or Power Line Communication, a mechanism used for power grid communications to start and manage charging. This enables the car to interact with the grid simply as a “smart appliance,” like system. However, this prevents it from working with CHAdeMO charging systems as they require specialized adaptors.
J Plug chargers
Standard charging connectors for electric vehicles include J Plugs. In North America, all non-Tesla Level 1 and Level 2 charging stations use the J Plug, also known as the SAE J1772 connector. But with a Tesla connector adaptor, J Plugs can also be used by Tesla drivers. The pilot and proximity pins on the J1772 standard and connection enable the detection of the EVSE plug when connected (even if it is not live or charging). The EVSE uses the pilot tone to signal the maximum available current to the car.
Where are the charging stations located?
Most charging stations are Little Rock, Fayetteville, Hot Springs, Fort Smith, and Russellville.
Cost of Owning an EV in Arkansas
At this time, owning an EV in Arkansas may not be worth it. But if you choose to purchase one, here are some of our favorite options.
The Nissan Ariya is a new addition to Nissan’s fleet. It offers a longer driving range for drivers who don’t like to charge their cars constantly. Its starting price for the FWD is just $48,900 and boasts a 91.0 kWh lithium-ion battery. This gives the car a substantially greater driving range than some of the other vehicles in its pricing category, with an EPA rating of up to 370 miles per charge.
Arkansas has some of the lowest electrical costs, so home charging will only run you about $.12 per KWH or $10.92 for a full charge. However, public charging costs $.32 per KWH, or $29.12.
Hyundai Ioniq 5
The Hyundai Ioniq 5 is the least expensive vehicle on our list, with an introductory model price of about $40,000. However, it offers a single-motor rear-wheel drive or dual-motor all-wheel drive. The basic battery, or the 58.0 kWh option, only has a 220-mile range. If you want more mileage, you’ll need to upgrade to the EV’s 77.4-kWh battery pack, which has a base price of around $45,000. However, it gives a 303-mile driving range as a better reward.
The car will cost $.12 per KWH to charge at home, while public charging will be about $.30 per KWH. This puts the cost between $6.96 and $23.10.
The BMW iX is the most expensive and luxurious option on our list. Because of its battery-powered all-wheel drive system, the iX has two electric motors (one at each axle), providing 516 horsepower. This large SUV has an 86 MPGe combined rating contributing to its 324-mile EPA-rated range. But at a base price of $85,000, it won’t come cheap. However, it’s a great option if you need more storage, legroom, or drive time.
You’ll pay $.12 per KWH to charge the BMW iX home and around $.35 per KWH if you charge it in public. So, you’ll spend between $13.38 and $39.02 to juice up your car.
Arkansas Electric Vehicle Incentives
Currently, Arkansas doesn’t have any tax incentives for electric vehicles. EV owners must pay an additional $200 annually to keep their cars on the road. But you can get a refund on your charging station, and you still may qualify for the federal tax incentive.
Owning an EV in Arkansas Wrap Up
While Arkansas isn’t top on our list for EV ownership, it’s not the worst state either. Owning an EV in Arkansas may cost you a little more in fees, but it may even out if you can save money on gas and maintenance!
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Broooooooce (Bruce W. Stracener)., Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.