Fleet management and driver mobility company LeasePlan USA released the results of its first USA EV Readiness Index, a comprehensive analysis of the preparedness of all 50 states and the District of Columbia for electric vehicle transition. While LeasePlan has published an annual European version of the index since 2018, the USA index ranks states on a weighted scale based on five unique factors, including favorable state legislation and incentives, EV penetration, charger to vehicle ratio, public charger availability, and climate suitability.
LeasePlan USA assessed the balance of EVs and public chargers instead of evaluating cost of charging and cost parity between battery electric vehicles and internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. Forecasts for this cost equilibrium shorten yearly, and climate has proven to be an increasingly important factor in the EV transition. Also, this study clearly takes into consideration the driver experience as we have incorporated our learnings across many electric fleet drivers.
As part of the study, LeasePlan calculated a readiness score by state. In 2022, data showed that Nevada, Mississippi, and Hawaii are the best prepared states for electric vehicle transition. All three states have a welcoming climate for EVs, with Nevada and Mississippi also providing a reasonable amount of public charging stations, whereas Hawaii already has begun integrating EVs into its overall vehicle market.
“Although the states that rose to the top in this year’s index are surprising, it’s clear that individual states are making progress towards a greater adoption of electric vehicles,” said Matt Dyer, CEO of LeasePlan USA. “Public charging infrastructure and meaningful federal policies are critical to taking EV adoption from aspirational to attainable in the US.
“Although I’m excited to see so many new EVs in the pipeline, OEMs play a crucial role in developing electric models with sufficient battery ranges and adaptability for fleet customers, and they will need to ensure that production capacity and volume availability rises to the lifecycle requirements of our fleet customers. Furthermore, the onus lies with OEMs to develop efficient battery technology to fight the effects of colder climates.”
Key findings from the index include:
No state ranked as fully EV ready. No states are ranked in the top bracket for readiness, and the top three states crept into the second rating bracket of EV accepted. States that ranked highest are better prepared than others while in lower ranked states drivers might encounter more challenges. This study shows that there is ample room for improvement across the U.S. These rankings incorporate the fluidity of the transition to electric vehicles and growth of the market and will shift as the EV landscape evolves.
Climate suitability is crucial to EV readiness. Climate suitability plays a significant role in determining EV readiness. Cold environments are not yet ideal for EV operation due to the impact low temperatures have on driving range, charging speed, and duration. On average, states that experience colder weather need to take additional measures in their EV transition efforts to secure a successful transition. European countries like Norway have proven that cold climates are not impossible to overcome, but proactive measures must be taken to ensure EV readiness.
Public charging infrastructure lags. For the purpose of this index, only public charging was assessed. While it’s promising to see federal government commitments, such as the planned $7.5 billion to accelerate EV adoption from the Infrastructure Bill, developing this network of chargers will likely take years and make public-only charging solutions unfavorable in the near term.