Owning an EV in Rhode Island: Charging Cost, Incentives, and More

a view of Providence skyline

Owning an EV in Rhode Island: Charging Cost, Incentives, and More

Even though Rhode Island locals embrace electric cars and green transportation solutions, progress is slow but steady. Little Rhody still has a long way to go in its quest to become environmentally friendly. But what it’s like owning an EV in Rhode Island?

For starters, Rhode Island has a good infrastructure. More and more people are riding the eco-friendly wave. The best part is you can purchase electric vehicles with the help of incentives. Keep reading for the inside scoop on owning an EV in Rhode Island, the pros and cons, and charging costs.

Rhode Island Charging Infrastructure

Charging infrastructure is super important because it can make or break people’s efforts to switch to electric vehicles. The best thing in Rhode Island is the expansion of the charging infrastructure. It has developed rapidly and investing in charging stations for locals with electric vehicles.

So if you buy an electric vehicle in Rhode Island today, you have a good infrastructure that is well-connected both within the state and on the edges of the state, so you can travel between states or across Rhode Island.

How Many Charging Stations are in Rhode Island?

Rhode Island has over 300 charging stations, which is impressive considering the state has an area of 1,214 square miles. Charging stations are both publicly and privately owned. They’re spread throughout the state, which is good for many people who move around the state. Tesla also has 8 charging stations with Superchargers and Destination Chargers.

Types of Charging Stations in Rhode Island

With around 300 charging stations, Rhode Island gives you options for charging your electric car. You would never have to drive far to charge your electric vehicle. Depending on your location, you may not even need to install a charger at home. Rhode Island’s charging infrastructure is well-developed. Below are the common types of charging stations.

Level 2 Stations

Level 2 is one of the most common charging stations you’ll find in Rhode Island. It’s a 240-volt charging plug with a range of 25 miles per hour. While not the fastest charging station, it’s reliable and will increase your mileage. You’ll have to turn to DCFC stations if you need a faster charging station.

DCFC Stations

DCFC stations are known as the fastest charging stations in Rhode Island. They can provide an estimated range of 250 miles in one hour. That’s twice as fast as a Level 2 station. You’ll need to plan your charging carefully if you want faster charging.

Free Stations

Charging stations in Rhode Island are either public or privately owned. You can charge for free at certain public stations. Rhode Island offers good incentives to locals who switch to electric vehicles, including zero charges at some charging stations. Two free charging stations in Rhode Island are located along I-95.

Home Charging Station

Because Rhode Island has many charging stations, charging your car at home or installing a charging station is not essential. Little Rhody supports the switch to electric vehicles by funding both the purchase of the vehicle and the installation of a charging station at home.

Where are the Charging Stations Located?

Most charging stations are located in inland Rhode Island. However, some are spread throughout the state, connecting Rhode Island with Massachusetts, New York, and Connecticut. So, anyone driving through Rhode Island or taking a trip outside the state can always rely on charging stations.

Cost of Owning an EV in Rhode Island

Chevrolet Bolt, the Hyundai Ioniq 5, the Tesla Model 3, and the Model Y are Rhode Island’s five most popular electric cars. If you buy any of them, you’ll likely get incentives. Here’s a breakdown of how much each car costs in Rhode Island.

Chevrolet Bolt

Chevy Bolt EV 2022
Bolt EVs can travel 100 miles with a 39 percent charge.

The Chevrolet Bolt is an all-electric car with an estimated range of 259 miles and a starting price of $26,500. It’s one of the most affordable American electric vehicles. It’s also subsidized by the state of Rhode Island, so you can get it cheaper. The Bolt has a 66-kWh battery and 11.5-kWh alternate capability.

Since the cost of electricity in Rhode Island is about $0.21/kWh, a full charge of the Chevrolet Bolt would cost you about $13.66. However, if you have solar or plan to install solar panels, a fully charged Chevrolet Bolt will only cost you $4.62.

Hyundai Ioniq 5

The Hyundai Ioniq 5 was named World Car of the Year at the 2022 World Car Awards. The standard model of the Ioniq 5 comes with a 58-kW battery pack. With the 350-kW charger from DC, the Ioniq 5 can charge up to 80% of its range (54.6 miles) in just 18 minutes. The standard model has an estimated range of 220 miles and costs nearly $40,000.

Considering that the charging rate in Rhode Island is about $0.21/kWh, it’ll cost you about $12.18 to fully charge the Ioniq 5 at home. It can get a little more expensive, though, as charging stations costs between $0.40 and $0.70 per kWh.

Tesla Model 3 and Model Y

a red tesla plugged into a fast charger
Tesla cars are fast-charged at the network within an hour.

Model 3 is the most popular Tesla car. It’s well-built, has a little bit of every Tesla model in it and is the cheapest. The base model costs $42,990 and has an estimated range of 272 miles (50 kW battery pack).

The Model Y, on the other hand, is a slightly more luxurious electric vehicle with a larger battery. The starting price is $54,990, and you can expect a range of 330 miles.

Charging the Model 3 in Rhode Island will cost you a little more than $12, while Model Y will cost around $15, but you’ll also get a much longer range.

Rhode Island Electric Vehicle Incentives

Rhode Island offers great incentives for buying Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEV), and you can get rebates of up to $2,500 for buying or leasing a new electric vehicle. However, you can still get rebates of up to $1,500 for buying or leasing used EVs.

If you don’t want to buy an all-electric vehicle, you can still get rebates of up to $1,500 for buying a new hybrid vehicle. Residents also get rebates of up to 100% of the installation costs for Level 2 and DCFC in the workplace or businesses. So you can pitch the idea to your company or install it yourself at your premises.

Owning an EV in Rhode Island Wrap Up

Although the sales tax for electric vehicles is 7%, you pay much less for charging than gasoline. Rhode Island has an estimated 4,000 electric vehicles at this time. With around 300 charging stations, that’s definitely more than enough to switch to an electric vehicle without worrying about range.

With a very good charging station infrastructure, fast charging stations, and incentives, Rhode Island makes the switch to an electric vehicle easy and helps you save in the long run. Electric vehicles are also very low maintenance, and registration is cheaper. So, owning an EV in Rhode Island is definitely a good and affordable idea.

Breaking EV News

June 8, 2023 — Today, General Motors’ (GM) CEO Mary Barra and Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, announced on Twitter Spaces that GM EVs will be able to use an adaptor to charge on 12,000 Tesla Superchargers at the start of 2024. Ford made a similar announcement on May 25, 2023. Starting in 2025, both GM and Ford EVs will feature Tesla’s North American Charging Standard connector.

In a statement, Barra said, “This collaboration is a key part of our strategy and an important next step in quickly expanding access to fast chargers for our customers. Not only will it help make the transition to electric vehicles more seamless for our customers, but it could help move the industry toward a single North American charging standard.”

Frequently Asked Questions

How long is an estimated lifespan of batteries in mentioned EVs?

Most of the electric vehicles and the ones mentioned in this article can keep their battery capacity for up to 8 years before replacement is needed.

Is hybrid a type of an electric vehicle?

Yes, a hybrid is considered a type of electric vehicle, and states like Rhode Island offers incentives for hybrid vehicles as well.

Are incentives still available in Rhode Island?

Yes, unlike in other states, incentives are still available in Rhodes Island but they’re slightly lowered than what they were previously.

What's the most affordable electric vehicle to get in Rhode Island?

The most affordable electric vehicle would be Chevrolet Bolt and if you manage to get it with the help of incentives, it’s the most affordable EV you can drive in Rhode Island.

Can you get rebut on the installation of an EV charger?

Yes, but only if you’re a business owner. Rebute for installation of an EV charger isn’t available to private people.

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