The latest iSeeCars study revealed which US cities and states are the most and least EV-friendly, both for Tesla and non-Tesla EV operators.
iSeeCars analyzed the national EV charging infrastructure to determine which cities and states offer the best and worst electric vehicle charging support for EV owners looking to plug into public chargers, according to iSeeCars' news release.
The analysis looked at both Level 2 and Level 3 chargers (also known as DC fast chargers), and also evaluates the Tesla and non-Tesla networks separately, to see where cities and states rank based on how many residents each EV charging station must potentially serve.
In the study, the numbers reflect how many plugs (or charging ports) are available.
Over the past two years, the electric vehicle market share has grown from 2.7% to 6.4%. That means more than 300,000 new EV drivers on U.S. roads today, with tens of thousands more joining them every month. And while Tesla’s Supercharger Network is considered superior to the non-Tesla EV networks setup by ChargePoint, Electrify America, EVgo, and others, all EV owners are facing an electric vehicle charging infrastructure that simply can’t keep pace with this rate of growth, according to iSeeCars.
“Many drivers are on the verge of making their first EV purchase,” said Karl Brauer, executive analyst at iSeeCars. “Consumers looking to switch from gasoline to electric power should consider their local charging equipment options to understand how many potential electric vehicle owners they may be competing with, both today and in the near future.”
Overall Electric Vehicle Charging Support
Texas has three of the top 10 least EV-friendly cities in the nation, though St. Louis ranks the worst, Birmingham, Alabama, is the second worst, and Indianapolis lands at number three.
“Five of the top 10 EV-friendly cities are located in California, which isn’t really surprising, but who knew Denver was the most EV-friendly city outside California?” said Brauer. “It’s also interesting to see that the 10th ranked most EV-friendly market, Seattle-Tacoma, has nearly three times as many residents competing for each EV charger as the top-ranked market, San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose.”
The national average is one EV charger for every 2,280 residents, or less than half the number of residents per charger compared to the worst city, St. Louis, Missouri, at 5,787 residents per charger. These numbers include the Tesla Supercharger Network along with the ChargePoint, EVgo, and Electrify America EV charging networks. While Tesla uses its own charging plug, most of the rest use the Combined Charging System, or CCS, connector.
Most and Least EV-Friendly Cities
Vermont is the most EV-friendly city with only 703 residents per charger. California comes in at number two, with 881 residents per charger. Massachusetts, Colorado, and Rhode Island round out the top five states.
Mississippi is the least EV-friendly state, with 9,275 residents per charger – more than 10 times the residents per charger compared to number one Vermont.
Best and Worst Cities for Level 3 Fast Charging
While any EV charger can save an electric vehicle limping along on its last few miles of range, only Level 3 fast charging locations provide a useful charging experience and the functionality needed for midday errand running or road trip charging, offering a charge rate comparable to fueling a gasoline vehicle.
Level 3 charging solutions (also known as DC fast charging) feature heavy-duty cables and require a 480-volt high power source, allowing them to restore 80% of an EV’s battery level in less than 30 minutes. Compared to the 12-20 miles of range added during an hour of charging on a 240-volt, 50-amp home wall box, charging EVs at a Level 3 charger adds 200+ miles in one hour.
California once again offers the best EV infrastructure for fast charging needs, with the top five cities all located in the Golden State. Louisville, Kentucky, is the worst city for Level 3 chargers, averaging just one charger for every 35,648 residents.
“We’re living in the most disruptive era in the 140-year history of the automobile,” said Brauer. “Nobody knows exactly what the next 10 years will look like in terms of electrification, but everyone can agree on this point – it won’t be boring.”
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