Owning an EV in Kentucky: Charging Cost, Incentives, and More

hilltop view of frankfort, kentucky

Owning an EV in Kentucky: Charging Cost, Incentives, and More

Kentucky is an economical place to live, and the rural setting is great for people who want to live on more land. But if you’re looking into owning an EV in Kentucky, you might want to reconsider your decision. Here’s why.

Kentucky Charging Infrastructure

Kentucky is one of 10 U.S. states with no infrastructure for electric vehicles. Although they submitted plans to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) NEVI Formula Program, nothing new has come out since August 1, 2022. As of now, there won’t be any additional funds going into charging infrastructure.

How many charging stations does Kentucky have?

At this time, Kentucky only has around 900 stations, many of which were built by businesses for their use, or their customers. However, there are a few free stations available to Kentucky residents.

Types of Charging Stations

If you want to buy an electric vehicle in Kentucky, you’ll want to know which charging plug and station to use. Here is all the information we know regarding the various kinds of charging stations.

Home charging stations

It’s possible to charge your EV at home in Kentucky. Your car’s manufacturer will specify which at-home charging station you should use. They are either level 1, level 2, or level 3 chargers. Most electric vehicle owners can use level 2 chargers.

Despite being the most affordable charger, Level 1 chargers charge super slowly. We’re talking about up to 24 hours to fully recharge a car’s batteries. So you’d need to keep your car on the charger almost always to ensure you don’t run out of miles.

If you want to charge your car quickly, use a level 2 charger. It can juice up your EV in 8 hours or less. A level 3 charger, commonly referred to as a Supercharger, is the fastest choice for charging a vehicle and may finish the job in as little as 30 minutes. On the flip side, they are expensive and can draw a lot of power.

Free stations

Although some stations and programs allow you to top off without paying, most Kentucky stations aren’t free. Less than 75 in the whole state are free. But essentially, free stations let you top off your car’s mileage with one of their level 1 or level 2 chargers. So if you’re in a pinch, they’re a great option.

CHAdeMO connectors

CHAdeMO connectors are the least frequently used chargers. While they charge fast (often charging electric cars in 30 minutes or less), they only work for two cars in the US — the Mitsubishi Outlander and Nissan Leaf.

CCS plugs

CCS charging sockets incorporate AC and DC inlets through shared communications pins. They are comparable to most fast chargers but do not require a connector like CHAdeMO plugs. CCS plugs are now used by or compatible with many electric vehicles, including newer models.

J1772 chargers

All electric vehicles in North America that need a Level 2 charger, except Tesla, plug into the J1772 outlet, which also has its connector (unlike other fast chargers). This is fast becoming one of the main connector types and may replace CCS and CHAdeMO in the near future.

Where are the charging stations located?

Currently, you can find most of the charging stations in Kentucky in Louisville, Lexington, Bowling Green, Fort Knox, and London. So if you’re outside these areas, it may be hard to find a charger outside of your home.

Cost of Owning an EV in Kentucky

While we don’t recommend owning an EV in Kentucky (more on that in a bit), if you choose to do so, here’s how much yours may cost you.

Volvo XC40 Recharge

2022 Volvo XC40 Recharge
The 2022 Volvo XC40 Recharge

©North Monaco/Shutterstock.com

If you’re looking for a car that feels luxurious and sporty at the same time, look no further than the Volvo XC40 Recharge. Volvo claims this 402-hp EV can go from zero to 60 mph in just 4.7 seconds. A 78.0 kWh battery pack powers its two electric motors, enabling the XC40 Recharge to go 223 miles on a single charge. The XC40 Recharge also offers more storage space than the gas-powered version due to the extra cargo trunk.

Even with the richer feel, the Volvo has a base model price of just $54,000. While that may seem more expensive than some vehicles, it’s less than Tesla’s and Rivian’s electric models.

Kentucky has low electric costs and only charges $.13 KWH. Public charging is only slightly more expensive at $.23 KWH. So on average, you’ll spend around $10.14 and $17.94 to charge your Volvo.

Nissan Ariya

The Nissan Ariya is the newest electric vehicle added to Nissan’s lineup, and it’s safe to say that it’s slightly better than the Leaf, because it offers more mileage for people who don’t like constant charging. With an EPA rating of up to 370 miles per charge, the Ariya has a significantly longer driving range than some of the other cars its price.

It has a 91.0 kWh lithium-ion battery, and the FWD starts at just $48,900.

Home charging will still be $.13 per KWH, but charging this SUV requires a specific charging station, which will run you about $.28 per KWH in public. That’s around $11.83 to $25.48 for a full charge, but that’s still cheaper than a full gas tank!

Hyundai Ioniq 5

Kia EV6 vs Hyundai Ioniq 5
The Hyundai Ioniq 5 is a fast-charging EV with a fantastic range.

©ako photography/Shutterstock.com

The Hyundai Ioniq 5 provides single-motor rear-wheel drive or dual-motor all-wheel drive as options for its vehicle, and the base model comes in at the cheapest on this list, a mere $40,000. However, the SE base model comes with the standard 58.0-kWh battery pack option, which only has a range of 220 miles.

If you want the most energy-efficient Ioniq 5, you’ll need to upgrade to the EV’s 77.4-kWh battery pack, which can increase the price by around $3,500-$5,000. But, it offers a better payoff — a 303-mile driving range.

Charging a Hyundai Ioniq at home typically costs $.13 per KWH, while public charging will run you roughly $.25 per KWH. This totals the cost to between $7.54 and $19.35.

Kentucky Electric Vehicle Incentives

Unfortunately, Kentucky doesn’t offer its residents any electric vehicle incentives. In fact, they only have one incentive for businesses to take part in adding charging stations, so this state isn’t very EV-friendly. However, if you still decide to purchase an electric car, you may still qualify for the federal tax incentive.

Owning an EV in Kentucky Wrap Up

Kentucky is not the best state to own an EV in. Owning an EV in Kentucky may cost you more money in the long run, starting with buying the vehicle, charging it, and maintaining it. So we suggest holding off and waiting for the infrastructure and state to catch up before making an investment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Kentucky have an EV tax credit?

No. Kentucky is one of 10 states that doesn’t offer any EV incentives.

How much is Kentucky EV fee?

To own an EV, you’ll pay a yearly fee of around $50 to $225, and the average is around $120.

How many electric cars are in Kentucky?

As of 2022, there were less than 4,000 EVs in the state of Kentucky.

Why can't Tesla sell cars in Kentucky?

Tesla uses company-owned stores, not independent dealerships, and that is outlawed in the state of Kentucky.
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