- Wisconsin has made significant efforts to improve EV charging infrastructure and has received federal approval for its Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Plan, which aims to install EV charging stations along its Alternative Fuel Corridors.
- EV ownership in Wisconsin has grown sevenfold from 2016 to 2022, with registered EVs rising from 2,600 to 15,700 during that time.
- While EVs in Wisconsin have seen growth, they still only account for a small market share of 0.3%, compared to the national average of 0.9%.
- The most popular EVs in Wisconsin include the Tesla Model S, Ford Mustang Mach-E, Chevrolet Bolt EV, Nissan Leaf, and Ford F-150 Lightning.
Electric vehicles (EVs) have grown in popularity in the US in recent years, and Wisconsin is no exception. The Badger State has made significant steps towards environmental conservation, pushing for 100% carbon-free energy by 2050. One effective strategy has been to phase out public transit buses manufactured before 2009. The buses run on outdated internal combustion engines associated with air pollution. Wisconsin is also committed to improving EV charging infrastructure within the state to encourage the switch to electric cars.
So, which electric cars are Wisconsin residents buying, and are the EVs good value for your money? Read on to explore the five most popular EVs in Wisconsin.
Total Electric Vehicles Sold in Wisconsin
EV ownership in Wisconsin has grown tremendously in the last few years. This is in response to the state’s efforts to improve EV charging infrastructure. Wisconsin received federal approval for its Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Plan in 2022. The state hopes to receive up to $78.65 million in federal grants over five years.
The Badger State will use the grant to install EV charging stations along its Alternative Fuel Corridors (AFCs), which include five Interstates and seven US highways. This should help Wisconsin comply with the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure’s (NEVI) recommendations of installing EV charging points every 50 miles along AFCs. Currently, Wisconsin has about 566 charging stations and 1,334 charging ports. We expect these figures to change exponentially over the next five years.
The anticipated growth in Wisconsin’s EV infrastructure has enticed its residents to switch to electric cars. Statistics released by the Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC) show that only 2,600 EVs had been registered in Wisconsin as of 2016. This number had grown sevenfold as of 2022. Surprisingly, EV ownership rates grew the most during the COVID pandemic, with registered EVs rising from 6,300 in 2020 to 9,300 in 2021 and 15,700 in 2022.
Market Share of Electric Vehicles in Wisconsin
The Badger State has seen its registered EVs triple between 2019 and 2022. However, EVs still account for a small margin of Wisconsin’s car market. According to AFDC, EVs had a 0.0% market share in Wisconsin in 2016. The market share grew to 0.1% in 2017 and stagnated until 2020.
The high EV adoption rates during the pandemic saw its market share grow to 0.2% in 2021 and 0.3% in 2022. While we commend Wisconsin’s efforts to increase its EV ownership rates, the state still has a long way to go if it is to match the national average EV market share, which is currently at 0.9%.
The 5 Most Popular Electric Vehicles in Wisconsin
A review of Wisconsin’s EV market shows its residents are drawn to the most affordable models with long ranges. We can attribute the residents’ preference for long-range EVs to Wisconsin’s underdeveloped EV charging infrastructure. Wisconsin residents who want performance EVs buy used units, which are often more affordable than “zero mileage” cars. Below are the most popular EVs in Wisconsin.
Tesla Model S
The Tesla Model S is among the most popular EVs in Wisconsin. This is unsurprising, considering the Model S has remained critically acclaimed since its release in 2012. Many Wisconsin residents are drawn to the Model S because of its reliable battery pack. The EV covers up to 405 miles on a single charge, which is a huge relief for owners who do not own EV chargers or do not live near charging stations.
EV enthusiasts also love the Model S for its sports performance specs. The Model S Plaid has three high-performance motors that produce a combined 1,020 horsepower. The EV accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 1.99 seconds and achieves a top speed of 200mph. However, expect a shorter range (up to 396 miles) should you opt for the Plaid.
Wisconsin residents also buy the Model S because of its safety and driver assistance features. The EV has front-impact and side-impact protection features to ensure occupant safety during collisions. It also has Autopilot and Tesla Vision that help prevent accidents.
The Ford Mustang Mach-E is another popular EV in Wisconsin. It is available in four models: Select, Premium, California Route 1, and GT. However, Wisconsin residents seem only to like the Mach-E Premium and GT, and for good reasons.
Those who buy the Mustang Mach E Premium choose it for its affordability and range. A brand new 2023 Mach-E Premium has a starting MSRP of $46,995. Buyers looking for cheaper deals can get a 2022 or 2021 model for about $40,000. Mach-E Premium models with a standard-range battery cover 250 miles on a single charge. Models with an extended-range battery cover up to 270 miles.
Mustang lovers who want a performance EV buy the Mach-E GT. It has an eAWD powertrain and accelerates from 0 to 60mph in 3.8 seconds. The Mustang Mach-E GT has a range of 270 miles, which should be enough to handle daily commutes or round trips to neighboring cities.
Chevrolet Bolt EV
The Chevrolet Bolt EV remains one of the most affordable electric cars ever produced, which explains its popularity in the US and Wisconsin auto markets. The 2023 Bolt EV has an MRSP of $26,500. Chevrolet estimates the final price could drop to about $20,000 after deducting federal and state EV tax credits. The Bolt EV is a good buy for young professionals who want an affordable car to use for daily work commutes.
The Chevrolet Bolt EV has surprisingly good specs and features for its price. It has an EPA-estimated range of 250 miles, which should cover your commutes to work for at least a few days on a single charge. The Bolt EV also has an exciting infotainment system that supports Apple CarPlay and Alexa.
Like other Americans, Wisconsin residents cannot keep away from the Nissan Leaf. The simplest explanation is that it is a worthy alternative to the Chevrolet Bolt EV. The 2024 Nissan Leaf has a starting price of $28,140 — less than $2,000 above the Bolt EV. You can get a 2020 or 2021 Nissan Leaf for about $20,000.
Unlike most EVs in its price range, the Nissan Leaf boasts advanced safety and driver assistance features. Leaf owners can rest easy with the Intelligent Lane Intervention feature that triggers a warning chime when one departs from their lane unintentionally. Nissan also fitted the Leaf with additional airbags on the driver and front passenger seats to protect car occupants during high-impact accidents.
Ford F-150 Lightning
The Ford F-150 Lightning also makes it to the list of the most popular EVs in Wisconsin. We attribute its popularity to its diverse utility. The Ford F-150 is also fairly priced — the base model has an MSRP of $49,995.
Some people buy the F-150 for personal use. The F-150 seats up to five occupants and qualifies as a family car. On the other hand, some EV enthusiasts buy the F-150 for its performance, which makes it suitable for commercial use as well. The F-150 produces 580hp and tows up to 7,700 pounds when fully equipped. It also covers up to 320 miles on a single charge, which is impressive.
The F-150’s advanced power outlet system makes this EV a high-utility car. The power board comprises 11 power outlets, which include 120V and 240V outlets, USB-C, and USB-A ports. You can use up to 9.6kW to operate a few power tools, especially when working off-grid.
The Badger State has experienced exponential EV adoption rates in the past few years. This is thanks to federal EV incentives and Wisconsin’s commitment to improving its EV charging infrastructure. However, we must also acknowledge that Wisconsin still lags behind other states when comparing average EV market shares.
Wisconsin’s EV scene is expected to change in the coming years as the state continues to implement the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Plan. This is reason enough for Wisconsin residents to switch to EVs. So, if you reside in the Badger State and want to switch to electric cars or upgrade from your current EV, this article should help narrow down your options.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©buffaloboy/Shutterstock.com.