What Are the Most Expensive and Inconvenient States to Own an Electric Car?

One of the main ways people fight climate change is by owning an EV, and companies are scrambling to meet that growing EV demand. That said, while people and companies are adopting EVs quickly, this hasn’t been the case for many state governments. Here’s a look at the worst states to own an electric car regarding charging infrastructure, weather, and other issues.

What makes a state bad for EVs

Someone pointing to a location on a map of the United States
A map of the United States | Andre Chung for The Washington Post via Getty Images

This is a complicated topic because of how different EVs are compared to regular cars. That’s why it’s a good idea to look at measurable things. Two significant categories make life terrible for an EV owner. The first is government, and the other is the environment. Governmental regulations can make owning an electric car more complicated or expensive due to fees, while environmental issues include the weather and charging infrastructure

For example, cold weather does cause EVs to lose range, so EVs are simply going to be less effective in colder states and more effective in warmer states. On top of that, a lot of states get money to fix their roads with gas taxes. However, since EVs don’t pay gas taxes, states have created new fees so that EV owners pay for their share of the road usage. However, some states will charge more than others on this front.

Some examples of bad states for electric car owners

One of the worst states for EV owners is Alaska. This is primarily because of two reasons. Off the bat, it’s Alaska, so it’ll be cold, which hurts range. However, there are simply not many public charging stations available, according to InsideEVs. Alaska only has 69 public chargers across the whole state. This is nice for folks who can find them but not so nice for anyone else.

In terms of governmental issues, though, Alaska does fine. However, according to Consumer Reports, Arkansas is one of the worst states for EV fees. To be fair to Arkansas, a lot of states, including California, have EV fees. In Arkansas, however, the current EV fee is 198% higher than the annual gas tax for a regular vehicle. 

This shouldn’t surprise many folks, as Arkansas is one of a few states that ban direct car sales, according to Ars Technica. This doesn’t ban electric cars, but it does make it very hard for folks to buy a Tesla. Overall, though, CleanTechnica said that Michigan is the most expensive state to own an EV in. After electricity, insurance, and other expenses are added up, it costs Michiganders about $4,276 a year to own an EV. 

Things are rapidly changing for EVs

Those states may be some of the worst states to own an electric car in right now, but things are changing every day. The Biden Administration is very friendly to EVs, and the government’s infrastructure plan includes a lot of money to build more charging infrastructure everywhere. This should make more states accessible to EVs, especially during road trips. 

That said, it’s unlikely that EV fees are going away anytime soon. States need money to fix roads, and EV owners will have to do their part, too. However, some states either have or will have extra incentives for EVs. For example, California customers can get a hefty rebate for buying an EV, and this rebate stacks on top of the $7,500 federal tax credit.

Additionally, a lot of automakers are making EVs now. Not only will future EVs be cheaper, but they’ll be more widely available in showrooms, too. This means that states that ban direct sales will be less relevant in the future. 

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