Wisconsin is a budget-friendly state with expansive natural beauty and plenty of snow. But owning an EV in Wisconsin is currently an uphill battle. Many of the state’s EV experts don’t believe electric cars will be popular soon. So, does that mean you should hold on buying an EV if you live in Wisconsin? Maybe not! Here’s what you should know.
Wisconsin Charging Infrastructure
Wisconsin currently has a few public charging stations, but many aren’t federally approved. Because of this, Wisconsin hasn’t been able to secure federal funding or grants, but they recently applied for the NEVI program. While there hasn’t been an update since August 2022, we hope they can get more federal funds to continue updating their infrastructure.
Luckily, many cities in Wisconsin are taking charge and creating city-wide charging infrastructure. For example, the City of Eau Claire developed its EV Roadmap. They want 10% of all locally registered vehicles to be electric by 2030. St. Croix County has used public funds to buy new charging stations, and the City of Stevens Point plans to adopt a new ordinance that would mandate the installation of electric vehicle charging stations in parking lots. While these aren’t state-wide initiatives, they are beneficial to EV owners!
How many charging stations does Wisconsin have?
Surprisingly, even though Wisconsin doesn’t have much in place as far as infrastructure, the state still has over 2,000 public charging stations. Remember, this does not include stations in people’s homes but what is available to the public. Not bad!
Types of Charging Stations
If you need to charge your EV publicly, you’ll want to know the different types of charging stations so you can do it properly! Here’s what you need to know about the different connection types.
Type 1 Plugs
Single-phase Type 1 plugs are the norm for North America and Asia EVs. Depending on your car’s charging capacity and the grid’s capacity, you can charge your car at a pace of up to 7.4 kW. Some cars that use Type 1 plugs include the Kia Soul EV, Ford Focus Electric, and Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.
Type 2 Plugs
Type 2 plugs fall into the category of Triple-phase plugs because they include three extra wires that allow current to flow through. They may charge your automobile faster, of course. The maximum charging power available at home is 22 kW, and 42 kW at public charging stations, again depending on the charging capacity of your car and the grid. According to the IEC 62196-2 specification, Tesla is the only automaker offering both alternating current and direct current charging as of 2017.
Japanese engineers created this rapid charging technology, which supports bidirectional charging and high charging capabilities. At the moment, Asian automakers are setting the standard for CHAdeMO-compatible electric vehicle offerings. It supports charging at 100 kW maximum. These chargers work with Nissan and Toyota vehicles.
With two additional power contacts for rapid charging, the type 2 plug has been improved to become the CCS plug. Both AC and DC charging are supported. It permits charging at up to 350 kW per minute. Kia e-Niro, BMW i3, and Jaguar I-Pace are some EVs with CCS charging capabilities.
Where are the charging stations located?
Most charging stations are found in Milwaukee-Waukesha, Madison, Marinette, and Eau Claire. Smaller cities like Racine, Sheboygan, and Stevens Point also have a number of stations.
Cost of Owning an EV in Wisconsin
If you’re ready to jump in and become an electric vehicle owner, your next step is to look into the type of car you’d prefer. Here’s what you need to know about owning a specific EV in Washington.
Tesla Model X
Model X has the longest driving range at 348 miles per single charge. But with the base model starting at $120,000, it’s also the most expensive EV. If you want a premium car and the cash to splurge, this can be a good choice. Model X has a 100 kWh lithium-ion battery and last upward of 20 years with maintenance and care, much longer than the average car.
One of the least expensive states to own an EV is Wisconsin. Fortunately, charging at home will only cost you $.12 per KWH. On the other hand, public charging will cost you about $.27 per KWH. Expect to pay between $12.00 and $27.00 to charge your automobile fully.
Are you looking for a compact electric car to get you to work or for routine drives? Nissan Leaf is a fantastic option. The amazing Nissan Leaf has a 40kWh or 62kWh battery pack and a 212-mile maximum driving range, perfect for short commutes. Prices start at $27,000, making it the most affordable automobile on this list.
You will likely spend $.12 per KWH to charge at home, which works out to $4.80 in total. Public charging typically costs $.24 per KWH or up to $14.88 for a full charge.
Chevrolet Bolt EV
Bolt EV is another affordable option, starting at under $34,000. The 66.0 kWh lithium-ion battery powering this small but storage-packed car has a 259-mile range. But the battery is fairly small, so it doesn’t need long to charge. In fact, many users can use a Level 1 charger, which can still charge the battery in full in under 15 hours. These are the cheapest chargers at around $300 plus installation costs, making this Chevy affordable all around.
You can juice your Bolt EV at home for $0.12 per KWH. In public charging stations, you’ll pay $0.24 per KWH. Hence, the typical price range is $7.92 to $15.84.
Wisconsin Electric Vehicle Incentives
One of the drawbacks to owning an EV in Wisconsin is the state’s lack of incentives. In fact, the state actually charges an additional fee each year to own an electric vehicle. So you can expect to pay an added $100 every year you register the car.
However, check with your local gas and electric company to see if they offer any EV incentives. Some, like Madison Gas and Xcel energy, offer lower electric rates if you charge a vehicle.
Owning an EV in Wisconsin Wrap Up
So, do we recommend owning an EV in Wisconsin? Ultimately, that choice is up to you. However, we can say that the potential cons (like the lack of incentives) don’t outweigh the current pros (like saving money on gas and vehicle maintenance). So it may be worth it if you drive often!
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Dori, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.