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

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

Named for the mighty river that divides much of America geographically and features prominently in the nation’s earlier history and culture, Mississippi is a hot, humid Gulf Coast state noted for catfish farms, farming, forestry, and manufacturing. The warm climate of Mississippi means electric vehicles (EVs) won’t experience many cold, battery-draining days.

But the state politicians haven’t made it the friendliest to EV ownership in terms of policies and incentives. The state transportation department plans to encourage charging station construction, but public chargers are few and far between for now.

Counterbalancing this, EV owners in Mississippi benefit from some of America’s cheapest charging, roughly 17% below the national average. The cost is $.134 per kilowatt hour (kWh), or roughly $13.40 for a 100 kWh battery.

Mississippi Charging Infrastructure

Mississippi has much less charging infrastructure than states like California or even Florida, which is second in American EV ownership. Support for public charging of electric vehicles is very weak in the state.

A commissioner for the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT), Willie Simmons, noted that EV drivers currently “have to bypass our state because of a lack of charging infrastructure which hurts tourism and economic activity.”

MDOT plans to create a program expanding the state’s number of available chargers. MDOT intends to accept $50 million in federal EV infrastructure funding to build public chargers along designated “alternative fuel corridors.”

Pending corridors, according to MDOT’s press release, include I-10, I-20, I-22, I-55, I-59, I-69, and I-269. The plan was approved in September 2022 so MDOT hasn’t yet had time to implement it.

How Many Charging Stations Does Mississippi Have?

Mississippi had a total of 503 EV charging stations as of early May 2023, PlugShare reports. This makes it one of the states with the fewest available stations throughout the USA.

Only Delaware (491 stations), Rhode Island (474 stations), Wyoming (409 stations), North Dakota (392 stations), and Alaska (217 stations) offer fewer active charging stations for electric vehicles.

Types of Charging Stations

With the low number of public chargers in Mississippi, EV owners may be challenged to find certain kinds of plug-ins for their vehicles. There are, however, multiple types that drivers can use even in the Magnolia State.

Free Stations

How to install Tesla Wall charger
Mississippi Power plans to have rates to benefit EV charging in the future.

©OlliverQueen/Shutterstock.com

The vast majority of public chargers available in Mississippi are Level 2 free stations. Typically found at locations like motels, shopping malls, and similar destinations, these stations offer the opportunity to charge while parked overnight, shopping, or enjoying local activities.

Groups of businesses (or the property management company renting space to businesses in a mall or business center) build and maintain these charging resources. Level 2 free stations offer no-cost charging but are slow and may be poorly maintained.

Fast Chargers

Level 3 DC fast chargers provide high-speed charging for a fee. EVs with the right battery architecture can get an 80% charge at these locations in 30 to 40 minutes.

There are very few public Level 3 chargers in Mississippi as of mid-2023. Various sources say the state has anywhere from one to 3-4 Level 3 chargers outside the Tesla Supercharger network.

Superchargers

Tesla’s currently proprietary Supercharger Network has a small presence in Mississippi, with eight total stations in the state. The cities with a Tesla Supercharger location include D’Iberville, Grenada, Hattiesburg, McComb, Meridian, Pearl, Tupelo, and Vicksburg. As of early February 2023, only Tesla EVs can recharge at Supercharger locations.

Where Are the Charging Stations Located?

EV drivers will find the biggest EV charging station concentration in the Gulfport-Biloxi-Pascagoula area, with 93 available in January 2023. Malls, casinos, and hotels offer most of these chargers.

The state capital, Jackson, boasts 69 charging stations, once again located at hotels and malls, along with a Whole Foods Market. Clarksdale has 56 charging stations and Hattiesburg comes in fourth at 35 stations. Oxford, Tupelo, and Vicksburg each have more than 20 stations.

Cost of Owning an EV in Mississippi

The Mississippi Department of Revenue imposes an annual tax on EVs in the state. Owners must pay $150 yearly for owning an EV and $75 for owning a hybrid. Mississippi imposed this tax in an effort to get EV owners to help pay for road infrastructure.

The Sierra Club protested the tax as amounting to far less than one percent of the $400 million in state shortfall on roads and bridges. The state government authorized the Mississippi Department of Revenue to increase the tax yearly after its July 2021 launch to offset inflation. It codified the tax in law as MS Code 27-19-23.

ev vs regular car insurance
Mississippi imposes an annual $150 tax on electric vehicles.

©BLACKWHITEPAILYN/Shutterstock.com

According to MotorBiscuit data, Mississippi has a very high yearly cost of ownership for EVs. This calculation includes maintenance, taxes, and other expenses. Owners of EVs pay an average of $3,280 in ownership costs in the state. This amount is only $296 less than an ICE vehicle’s typical yearly cost of ownership.

Mississippi Electric Vehicle Incentives

Both government and private enterprise offers a few EV incentives in Mississippi. The state provides revolving loans to schools and municipalities that want to change over to “alternative fuel vehicles.”

Municipalities and public schools can get $300,000 loans to buy EVs and other green vehicles or convert existing school buses and vehicles. The program also offers $500,000 loans for charging stations or other alternative fuel infrastructure.

Several private power companies offer rebates to Mississippi EV buyers, too. Mississippi Power provides a $1,250 rebate for new EVs registered in the state.

The company also offers a $1,000 rebate on leased EVs, $750 on used EVs, and $250 on Level 2 electric vehicle chargers. Finally, it gives a $2,000 rebate for commercial EV charger installations.

Entergy eTech pays cash incentives to commercial customers who buy electric forklifts, golf carts, Level 2 chargers, and more. The state government recently advanced a bill, House Bill 401, that could hinder EV adoption in Mississippi going forward.

While it still needs to pass the state Senate, the bill prevents direct-to-consumer sales of all vehicles, including EVs. The law calls for all vehicles to be sold through dealerships in an effort to protect economically important Mississippian dealers.

Companies such as Tesla, which bypass dealerships in favor of direct sales, could see their sales significantly affected by the House Bill 401. Some opponents of the bill, including Senator Jeremy England (R), point out it could prevent companies from building lucrative, job-creating battery plants and other EV facilities in Mississippi.

Federal Incentives

While state and private EV incentives remain sparse in Mississippi, EV buyers in the state can still potentially get federal tax credits. The 2022 Inflation Reduction Act makes some passenger EVs eligible for up to $7,500. Additionally, it offers tax credits of up to $40,000 for commercial EVs like the Tesla Semi.

The Inflation Reduction Act imposes stringent conditions for EVs to qualify for the Clean Vehicle Credit, however. Companies must complete the final assembly of their EVs in the U.S. for them to be eligible.

Battery materials must be USA-sourced or obtained from an allied country. The battery itself must be built in North America. These rules limit the number of currently available EV models that qualify for a federal tax credit.

Owning an EV in Mississippi: Conclusions

Owning an EV in Mississippi isn’t as easy or straightforward as in electric vehicle-friendly states like California. The state has a very low number of public chargers, making the most common charging option for EV owners a Level 2 home charger.

Incentives in the state mostly focus on providing small sums for installing a home charger. Political will toward the EV transition seems lukewarm at best.

However, Tesla offers a number of Supercharger network locations in the Magnolia State. Access to these chargers makes Tesla ownership somewhat more attractive in Mississippi than other options. The state government also has plans to expand the public charger network.

Though it will take the state some time to implement these plans, several chargers are getting added every month. Finally, the state’s warm climate means battery drain from cold winter weather usually won’t be a problem for EV owners.

Owning an EV in Mississippi presents more challenges than in some areas of the country. Only about 3 out of every 10,000 vehicle owners in Mississippi currently own an EV. However, an electric vehicle is still a viable option for the state, and public charging resources are slowly improving over time.

Owning an EV in Mississippi: Charging Cost, Incentives, and More FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What are the most common public chargers in Mississippi?

In May 2023, Level 2 free chargers and Tesla Supercharger stations are the most common recharging options available to Mississippi EV drivers.

How available are Level 3 public chargers in Mississippi?

Level 3 public chargers outside the Tesla Supercharger network are still extremely rare. Most sources give single-digit numbers for available Level 3 chargers in the state as of spring 2023.

Do residents need to pay taxes on EVs in Mississippi?

The Mississippi state government imposes a $75 yearly tax on hybrids and $150 on EVs. This tax is meant to help maintain the roads for vehicles whose owners will not be paying gasoline taxes.

What are the local incentives for EV ownership?

The most easily available incentives for EV owners are power company incentives and rebates from electric companies on home EV charger installation.

Where does Mississippi rank in charging cost per EV kWh?

Mississippi is 16th by charging cost, according to data collected by MotorTrend in January 2023. A Tesla Model 3 cost $5.48 to fully charge, $1.27 less than the U.S. average, while a Ford F-150 Lightning cost $11.96 to charge, $2.78 below the national average.

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