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Study Ranks Best, Worst States for EV Charging

How many chargers, how many people, how many roads, and how many EVs? They all go into the math to figure out the best and worst states for EV charging.

best state for EV chargingFord Lightning tows trailer; (photo/Ford)
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Is your state a great place to charge or are you likely to find pain when you look for a plug? A new study has looked at the number of EVs on the road, how many chargers each state has, and more. All to find out which states are the best for charging and which ones are the worst.

The research comes from Here Technologies and SBD Automotive. The two worked together to measure how ready states are for EVs in 2022, basing their method on how far you have to go to find a charger, as well as the average charge speed of chargers in the state. The share of the state’s fleet that is electric is one of the four metrics, and the last is the ratio of registered EVs to public chargers.

Connecticut Is the Best State for EV Charging

best state for EV charging

Connecticut is the best state for EV charging (with Washington, D.C., topping the list), according to the HERE-SBD Automotive EV Index. The state has the most public charge points per road length and is in the top half for charger power available with an average of 16.7 kW. With 10.3 electric vehicles per public charge point, the state scores well on that ratio as well.

Vermont, Massachusetts, Maryland, and Maine make up the rest of the top five. All have lots of chargers per mile of pavement, but they all have much higher ratios of EVs per public charger.

Alaska Leaving EV Buyers Cold

best state for EV charging
Alaska FLO Level 3 Charger; (photo/Flo)

The worst state for EV charging is Alaska, which probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise. It only has a 2.45 charging points points per road length ratio versus the 21.57 of Connecticut. However, if you do find one of those charge points, it will probably be empty. There are only 2.5 EVs in the state for every charge point.

Cali Has Most EVs, Most Chargers

best state for EV charging

In raw numbers, California has far and away the most EVs on the road — 903,600 according to the data collected from the federal government’s Alternative Fuels Data Center. North Dakota is at the bottom with 600 and Wyoming has just 800. Florida was in second place with 168,000, followed by Texas, Washington, and New Jersey.

The most EVs means it also has the most charging stations. There are 46,444 public charge points in California, according to HERE. New York has the second most with 11,288, and Florida is in third place with 7,902.

Dakotas Have Few Plugs, but at Least They’re Fast

best state for EV charging

With just 93 chargers, Alaska has the fewest public charge points. The Dakotas are not doing much better with 171 in South Dakota and 177 in North Dakota. Interestingly, Washington, D.C., has nearly the same number as all of Hawaii, with 855 versus 949.

It doesn’t have many, but at least half of South Dakota’s charge plugs are fast-charge Level 3 DC plugs, the highest ratio in the country. Montana, Wyoming, and Oklahoma are all around that 50% Level 3 ratio, so if you find a charge point, odds are it’ll be a quick visit.

Washington, D.C., Beats Every State, but Charges Slowly

Only 6.2% of Washington, D.C.’s charge plugs are DC, the lowest on the list. That makes the rest of the city’s charge points Level 2 plugs. This means a 5-10-hour full charge instead of a 30-minute to 1-hour charge on Level 3.

Massachusetts had the second lowest ratio at 10%, but that still gives it 708 Level 3 charge plugs. California has the most Level 3 DC connectors overall, with just over 19,000. The total is a bit more than five times what second-place Florida has.

What’s the Right Number of Chargers?

best state for EV charging
Tesla destination charging center; (photo/Tesla)

What is the ideal number of fast-charge stations? HERE-SBD says the number varies. California has the lowest ideal ratio, at around 12 EVs per charger. North Dakota’s large area and small EV fleet means it needs to aim for more like one charger for every two EVs. Thisfeels like extra-special service if you’re driving one of those two EVs.

California currently has 19.5 EVs on the road per public charge point, which puts it 10th highest on the list. New Jersey has the worst ratio with 29.7 EVs per point. North Dakota’s low EV adoption rate means it has just 3.39 EVs per charge point. The next best is Wyoming at 3.77.

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