Washington has higher gas prices than many states, so many wouldn’t mind switching to electric vehicles. Is owning an EV in Washington state economical? Here’s what you need to know before making a move.
Washington Charging Infrastructure
Washington received around $71 million from the recent NEVI Formula Program for its EV infrastructure. But they were already installing infrastructure before the funding, providing fast-charge stations every 40 to 60 miles along the major highway.
How many charging stations does Washington have?
As of 2023, Washington has a little over 5,200 charging stations. Of course, with the NEVI funding, this will increase over the next five years, so expect charging stations to grow exponentially.
Types of Charging Stations
When it comes to charging your EV, you’ll need a specific charger and station. Here are the different types of chargers in Washington.
Free stations offer Level 1, level 2, or level 3 charging, depending on your location. While most are level 1 or level 2, which are slower than level 3, you can top off 5-20 miles on your car if you’re in a hurry.
You’ll likely need a CHAdeMO connector if you choose a Nissan, Mitsubishi, or Toyota vehicle. Similar to CCS connections, CHAdeMO supports quick DC charging. It’s the only charger outside of a supercharger that Tesla owners can use without an adapter.
These charging plugs also provide rapid DC charging, similar to all other connectors. However, they are compatible with more vehicles than CHAdeMO connectors. Most EVs from Polestar, Renault, Rivian, Ford, Jaguar, General Motors, BMW, Hyundai, Kia, Mazda, and VW work with CCS chargers.
SAE J1772 Chargers
Also known as J Plugs in the US, these fast chargers utilize regular household outlets to charge your vehicle in 8 hours or less. However, these plugs are slowly falling out of favor, with newer cars needing adapters to connect to them.
Where are the charging stations located?
EV charging stations in Washington are spread across Seattle, Spokane, Olympia, Wenatchee, Bellingham, Bremerton, Ellensburg, Kennewick, and Port Angeles. More stations are being rolled out over the next five years. No matter where you go, you should be able to find a charging station for your car.
Cost of Owning an EV in Washington
If you’re ready to join the EV frenzy and become an electric vehicle owner, your next step is to find the right car. Here’s what you need to know about owning a specific EV in Washington.
Tesla Model Y
Costing roughly $52,000, the Tesla Model Y offers a 75 kWh battery with a 300-mile range on a single charge. And it has a dual-motor all-wheel drive setup, making it easy to drive around Washington state.
Due to low charging costs, Washington is the cheapest state to own an EV. You’ll pay just $.10 per KWH to charge at home and around $.16 (the national average) per KWH for public charging. To juice up your car, you’ll spend anywhere from $7.50 to $12.00.
Rivian’s R1S provides a three-seater SUV for almost $30k less than Tesla SUV’s starting price. However, this vehicle will still cost you about $80,000 more than basic EV models. The 135.0 kWh lithium-ion battery pack allows it to go 321 miles on a single charge, making it a great choice for long commutes or state-to-state travel.
At just $.10 per KWH for charging at home and $.22 for public charging, this vehicle will run you (on average) $13.50 to $29.70 for a full charge.
The incredible Nissan Leaf has a 212-mile maximum driving range and a 40kWh or 62kWh battery pack option. It’s also the cheapest car on this list, starting at just $27,000. So this is the perfect car for city dwellers or those who want a budget EV.
Another huge perk of the Nissan Leaf is how little you’ll spend to charge it. At-home charging costs $.10 per KWH, which works out to $4.00 for a full charge. Public charging is $.14 per KWH or up to $8.68.
If you have the cash, you can also get the popular Mustang Mach-E sports car. This dual-motor vehicle offers two lithium-ion battery sizes of 70 and 91 kWh, with the base model offering up to 312 miles of drive time on a single charge. While this is an EV, you’ll pay the “sports car” tax on insurance premiums and charging.
Charging the Mach-E at home costs $0.10 per KWH, while public charging costs $0.25. So the typical price range is between $7.00 and $22.75.
Washington Electric Vehicle Incentives
As of 2023, you can get a $2,000 rebate for purchasing an EV in the state until 2025. So act fast if you want to take advantage of this! Washington charges slightly more for registering an EV, usually around $165 a year.
Most electric vehicle owners in large cities like Tacoma will also get rebates for installing home charging stations, earning upwards of $250 depending on their city’s electric company.
Owning an EV in Washington Wrap Up
Washington is among the few states with great infrastructure and irresistible EV incentives for potential EV car owners. We expect things to improve as the state pumps more money into its EV transportation and charging infrastructure!