Are you looking into purchasing a new or used electric vehicle? Before you do that, you may want to look into your state and see if it would be worth it or not. Here are the top 10 worst states in which to own an EV, so you can see if it’s worth trying to purchase one anyway.
How We Measured the Worst States
According to recent research from the vehicle history website Bumper, Washington is the best state to buy a brand-new electric car. The worst state is regarded as Alaska.
Ten crucial metrics form the basis of these rankings. The number of incentives offered, recharge costs, average gas prices, mean commute times, and the average cost of an EV in comparison to the average cost of a gasoline-powered car are all examples of financial measures.
The infrastructure metrics include the number of new charging stations built since 2017, how many vehicle ports there are, the number of electric vehicle ports per 100 EV registrations, and EV registrations as a proportion of all passenger vehicle registrations.
For this post, we’re mainly looking at incentives from the state, EV infrastructure, and costs for charging both publicly and privately. Plus, will electric vehicle drivers be able to charge their vehicles easily? So, this will mean that our list will look a little different. For example, based on our own research, Alaska isn’t the worst state. Although it’s not the best either, you won’t see it on this list! However, we’re looking at different metrics. So keep that in mind as you go through our list!
Does This Mean I Can’t or Shouldn’t Own an EV in These States?
With all of the viewpoints about what makes a state “bad” or “good” when it comes to EV ownership, you may be wondering if it’s worth getting an EV if you live in one of the worst states.
Keep in mind that if your state is listed, this doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t get an EV in the state. It simply means it may be harder to manage due to a lack of incentives, infrastructure, or savings. However, if you want an electric vehicle, you can always find ways around that!
The 10 Worst States to Own an EV
All right, let’s go ahead and dive right into the 10 worst states in which to own an EV.
Let’s talk about number one on our list of the worst states to own an EV in — Mississippi. There are no government-sponsored incentives to assist or encourage residents to pick an EV over a conventionally powered car. Plus, the state has primarily rural roads that are among the deadliest in the nation. The single incentive in the state is offered by the state’s energy provider. It grants qualifying customers cash rewards ranging from $100 to $5,000 for selecting electrically powered office equipment. Mississippi also has the second-lowest number of EV chargers per mile traveled and the fewest EV registrations per mile traveled.
Also, in 2023, the state started work on a bill in the senate to keep out EV dealerships. The Mississippi Senate approved a bill that forbids the same electric vehicle producers who are now investing in neighboring states from setting up shop there.
You may view the original version of the bill, House Bill 401, on the Mississippi Legislature’s website. The change clarifies that EV manufacturers cannot circumvent Mississippi’s dealership requirements, an exception that some manufacturers that have never opened a licensed dealer previously have attempted to use.
This will prevent any physical locations from being opened in Mississippi by EV producers. The rule makes an exception for Tesla, which has a single location at the moment in Brandon, Mississippi.
The second worst state for EV ownership is South Carolina. Despite having the highest death rate per mile traveled in the US, the state has Mississippi beat in terms of electric vehicle registrations and charging stations per mile traveled. So that’s something at least. However, it’s still one of the worst states to own an EV in.
It has the highest rate of traffic fatalities in the country (1.99 deaths for every 100 million miles driven by vehicles). Regrettably, its household electricity prices are greater than those of Mississippi. Also, there are no government-sponsored incentives for people to buy EVs. However, its roads are fairly decent. And the state does seem to be doing its research into pushing toward more EV infrastructure, which is always a good sign.
First, Louisiana made it to our list because the state only offers about 8 charging ports per 100,000 people. This is a 0.009% charging station density. In other words, unless you have a private charger to keep your EV charged, you’ll be hard-pressed to find one in public. This means you risk it turning off or not being able to get around.
Also, only over 3,100 battery-powered vehicles, including fully electric automobiles and plug-in hybrids, were registered in the state by the end of 2020. However, that number has more than doubled, so maybe the state won’t be on our list forever!
According to the state’s Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Deployment plan, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) intends to start putting up charging stations along the interstate corridors this year.
Chargers should be placed along highway exits no more than 50 miles apart, according to DOTD. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will provide the state with $73 million to help pay for its plan. This will cover 80% of the expenses. This year, DOTD will issue a call for applications from developers. Over the following five years, the state intends to install at least 300 charging stations.
According to the center’s Electric Vehicle Accessibility Index, Alabama ranks low due to the state’s ban on direct-to-consumer sales and a license price for electric vehicles that is four times more than the fee for conventional vehicles.
The registration charge for an electric vehicle is $200 more than it would be for a typical passenger vehicle, which is the second significant problem. Due to a regulation that took effect in 2020, Alabamans who own electric vehicles must pay a $200 registration cost in addition to an additional $100 yearly tax. The levy, according to state legislators who backed the legislation, was required to make up for the revenue lost from the gas tax.
In New Mexico, the popularity of electric vehicles is rising as more residents try to lessen their carbon footprint. As well as providing a $300 tax credit for installing a home charging station, New Mexico also offers a $3,000 tax credit for the purchase of a new electric vehicle. Also, there are numerous free electric vehicle charging stations spread out across the state.
So why is New Mexico on this list? Simply put, there isn’t as much EV infrastructure to keep up with these purchases. New Mexico only has an EV charging station every 657 square miles, and one charger per 4,786 people. While this is sure to increase over time, especially with New Mexico’s focus on EV availability, as of right now, there aren’t a lot of options.
One of the criteria influencing Arkansas’s ranking is the state’s five charging stations per 10,000 automobiles. Also, their adoption rate for electric vehicles is 0.27%, which is incredibly low.
In Arkansas, the average cost of an electric vehicle’s annual insurance premium was also expensive, coming in at $2,833 (the state’s total average for car insurance is only $1,772 per year). Yet EV interest has increased 60% in Arkansas over the past year, outpacing the national increase of 48%. So we hope to see this state getting better!
First, only 0.26% of automobiles in Kentucky are electric. Plus, there is only one alternative fuel station and three EV charging stations for every 10,000 automobiles. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Kentucky is also one of just 10 states that do not provide any incentives for EV or hybrid ownership.
The high expense of insuring an electric vehicle is another factor contributing to Kentucky’s low ranking. Kentucky already has higher-than-average auto insurance rates, but the cost of covering an electric vehicle was a staggering $3,115 per year, making it the fourth-most costly state in the nation.
Just like Kentucky, West Virginia is another state that doesn’t provide incentives for EV owners. And with just 600 electric vehicles registered in the state (a whopping 0.04% of all vehicles), that most likely won’t change any time soon.
The state also ranks as one of the lowest when it comes to EV charging stations, only offering 111 in the entire state. And, Direct-to-consumer car sales are prohibited in West Virginia, which deliberately discriminates against EV producers and only drives up the price and accessibility of these vehicles. Last but not least, registering an EV in West Virginia will cost you around 4 times more than registering a gas vehicle.
South Dakota is one of the worst states due to its high average auto insurance costs, limited access to charging stations, and a tiny number of existing electric vehicle fleets. Incentives to promote EV ownership are not legal in South Dakota either. Unfortunately, owners of plug-in electric vehicles are required to pay an annual fee of $50 in addition to registration expenses.
South Dakota also has just 0.03% of EVs among all of the state’s registered vehicles. This adds up to 410 registrations. Nonetheless, South Dakota intends to take part in the NEVI program. This is a federal initiative that seeks to connect the state by constructing more charging stations. Owning an EV in South Dakota will be simpler with the construction of faster charging stations. So let’s hope they won’t be on the worst list for long.
Ah, good old Indiana. Even though this midwestern state has over 6.7 million residents, it only has 307 charging stations in the entire state. Indiana also charges an additional $150 annual fee for EVs and $50 for hybrids and PHEVs. That’s on top of the regular fees you’ll pay each year.
However, all is not lost. Just like South Dakota, Indiana plans to take part in the new NEVI program. The state has received $100 million dollars to upgrade its current EV infrastructure in the next five years. So we expect there to be much more to offer via EV help soon.
The 10 Worst States to Own an EV Wrap Up
It might not be the best moment for you to purchase an EV if you reside in one of the worst states on our list. However, keep in mind that several of the states on this list, like South Carolina, are attempting to improve their standings, so an EV might be in your near future!
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Nikola Spasenoski/Shutterstock.com.