The United States is one of the countries that are leading the way in EV adoption. From general consumer grade electric vehicles (like Hyundai Ioniq EV’s, Chevy Bolt EV’s) to more commercial-oriented vehicles, including the Rivian delivery vans and many more in the works. The adoption is well under way and getting around today is far easier than ever before. The problem however lies with the charging infrastructure.
Despite federal tax credit incentives, some states lack charging infrastructure to make electric vehicle more realistic, unless of course you own a plug-in hybrid that can work primarily on gasoline.
I compiled a list of the 7 BEST and 7 WORST states to own an electric vehicle, primarily based on the information on how many fast-charging opportunities are currently available, throughout the state.
This list is primarily catered towards non-Tesla drivers, so listen up.
7 Best States for EV Fast Charging
#7. The State of Oklahoma
Oklahoma is one of the states that has been up and coming in the electric adoption for quite some time. While it was not in the spot light for anything in particular, up until recently, out of the 50 states, it ranked #7 on this list with 654 fast-charging stations throughout the state.
Looking at the map of Oklahoma, the stations seem to be spread out quite evenly, especially as you close to Oklahoma city. The areas currently lacking seem to be the western panhandle of the state and the southeastern bottom portion where there seems to be a dead spot, even if needing the supercharging network.
#6. The State of Virginia
This is my home state and I am quite proud of it. The beauty of it from all parts make it an ideal place to live. When it comes to electric car adoption, I saw first hand how well it is doing.
Starting off with the supercharging network, Tesla got the state covered quite well, even into the southwestern bottom portion as you get towards Roanoke and Bristol.
For non-Tesla-charging stations, the stations are planted along main routes, including I-81, I-95, and I-64. Especially as you get into the DC-Metro area, the infrastructure is booming there.
The state outranks Oklahoma by just a few chargers with a total of 670.
#5. The State of Washington
This beautiful state is one with the most charging stations and quite frankly, despite their concentrations being more towards the western part of the state, everyday living is still possible. Looking at the map, the empty spots you’ll notice are in the northeastern and north central portions. Tesla supercharging stations don’t improve this, but that should not be a big deal. The areas needing improvements are places where the population is sparse, making it not such a big deal.
In terms of a number of fast chargers currently up and running, there’s around 700.
#4. The State of New York
New York is no stranger to the electrification of the entire state, including many parts of the state’s law enforcement. To no surprise, the New York City area is filled with charging stations. As long as you follow the main roads towards the upper and western portion of the state, you’ll be staying along the main road, giving you access to the rest of the stations.
The areas lacking at the moment seem to be in the north-central parts, around the Adirondack Park and towards the western parts (before you get to the Canada border). I would say at least half of the charging stations are in the NYC metro area, with a grand total for the entire state coming in at 758.
#3. The State of Texas
The second biggest state in the union has the 3rd most electric vehicle charging stations in the entire country. While the number of EV’s lack behind New York by about 20%, there are more of charging stations in the state, making a total of 790.
There’s a handful of huge cities within the state, including Houston, San Antonio, Austin, and Dallas/Ft.Worth. In between these cities, there’s a plethora of smaller cities with size-able populations. Electric vehicles that get less than 200 miles of range will have a difficult time getting across, this gets especially true as you get towards Amarillo, Lubbock, Abilene, and Wichita Falls.
#2. The State of Florida
Our 2nd home state, Florida is almost paradise for EV owners, considering the fact that they have the 2nd most electric vehicles out of all the states, behind California of course.
Florida on the map is covered quite well, from the big cities hugging the coastline, to the northern and western panhandle. The places lacking in the state are in the Everglades/Lake Okeechobee areas and the western panhandle could use a few more to make the drive a little less stressful. However, the average range required to get around the state I’d say should be no less than 150 miles per charge.
If you use an electric car app like PlugShare or A Better Route Planner, you can pick the best routes to head up towards Pensacola.
#1. The State of California
For the foreseeable future, California will likely trump all the other states with almost any EV policy. Most problems facing electric cars today are greatly reduced when driving across this beautiful state, making it almost as good as filling up with gas, no matter where you are located.
Most traveling is done along the western part of the state, driving past Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, and many other cities. The north and south eastern part of the state where Mount Shasta, along with a few other national forests and parks are located could use a few more fast chargers.
BONUS: An honorable mention in this list is Washington D.C. and Hawaii. While in size they are quite small, the number of fast-charging stations for D.C. is 39, not bad for a district that is only 68 square miles.
Hawaii is far bigger, at just over 10,000 square miles in size (when you add-up all the islands). There’s a total of 86 fast charging stations at the moment. The unique thing about Hawaii is that anyone with an EV that can get 70+ miles of range can get around conveniently, on a regular basis.
7 WORST States for EV Fast Charging
#7. The State of Wyoming
Known for being the place where cowboys originated from, Wyoming is the least populated state as well. With the sparse population comes with a lot of open space, and so far, it has not fared well for EV owners. While there are decent highways all throughout Wyoming, the total number of fast chargers this state is 75. When you zoom in to see where exactly these chargers are, they are concentrated around the Jackson, Evanston, Gillette, and Cheyenne. If you add the Tesla network, it improves by a little.
The current state of affairs for Wyoming is that getting through the state with anything less than 300 miles per charge is not going to be possible.
#6. The State of Mississippi
With the likes of Georgia and Florida taking high spots in the EV charging spots, the other deep south states like Mississippi are lacking heavily in this category (though not as badly).
The state of Mississippi has a lot to offer, however it stretches quite a bit north, about 350 miles or so before you hit Memphis, Tennessee. With a few chargers along the way, you can get away with having an EV that gets about 200 miles per charge (at a minimum). Living OUTSIDE of the major cities in the state, it will prove to be rather difficult getting fast juice. The total number of fast charging location in the state is around 70.
#5. The State of West Virginia
The mountaineer state, a truly beautiful place to visit and arguably, a state with some of the best driving roads. West Virginia takes the #5 spot because its overall number of fast chargers are almost nonexistent. At the moment it’s around 69, however they are far and few.
You’ll find charging statewide, but mostly around Morgantown, Charleston, and a few other major cities or border towns. In August of 2022, the WV government announced a plan to improve their states infrastructure.
#4. The State of Arkansas
This state we know first hand how difficult it is to find charging stations outside of major cities (Little Rock for example). A few years back, we took a Chevy Bolt EV down to Arkansas and everything was good until we got into Little Rock. Outside of the city, going up towards Jonesboro in this instance was a task and required quite a bit of planning to ensure the car was properly charged and I was not hauling like a racecar.
At the moment, Little Rock has the most chargers, followed by Bentonville and a few other chargers spread out through the state (mainly off the highways).
#3. The State of South Dakota
With a little less than a million people, the state of South Dakota shares a similar problem to what Wyoming has. The charging stations are concentrated in clusters in major population areas such as Sioux Falls, Pierre, Rapid City, and a few others. The problem is for most EV owners, but anyone with something that gets 200+ miles per charge, there should be no problem getting across the state. The keyword is getting ACROSS the state, not from north to south.
Tesla owners will have better luck with charging stations as there’s a clear route going from east to west. The total amount of electric car chargers in South Dakota is 63.
#2. The State of North Dakota
North Dakota, the last mid-northern state before we encounter our neighbors in Canada. On the map it seems to have a better prognosis to the number of fast chargers there are, however it seems to be just slightly less than South Dakota, with a total of 61.
The bad thing about North Dakota is that the charging stations outside of the Tesla network will give you limited access across the state, with the longest stretch being from Grand Forks to Minot at 210 miles to drive. To make this work somewhat reasonably, you need a vehicle with at least 250 miles of range per charge.
This is the last state to lack behind in EV charging infrastructure before we get to the worst state for EV owners.
#1. The State of Alaska
You probably saw this coming, and so did I, before I even decided to do my research. The state of Alaska is breathtaking, with the wilderness that no one can conquer. With many small settlements throughout the state, the major city of Anchorage has the hotspot everyone is looking for.
By comparison to other US cities, Anchorage isn’t quite a city like you are used to. Outside of the city there are many rural areas and the charging network stretches to Fairbanks. Vehicles with ranges of 120 miles or more should have no problem getting around. The total number of fast charging stations in Alaska is at around 11. Approximately 7 of them are in the Anchorage area alone. Upwards of 40% of the state’s population lives in this area alone.
Best US Territories for EV Owners?
Puerto Rico, unless you live in Florida, you can forget about that place. Some beautiful beaches, people and landscape, for some people it’s an ideal place to live. If you plan on buying or transferring your electric vehicle over, how does the EV charging game looking like?
From east to west, Puerto Rico is approximately 100 miles. With most modern EV’s, you can get around the island without a problem.
When it comes to fast charging locations, there’s 2 that are currently working in the San Juan metro area.
As a popular military settlement of the United States, Guam is as far as it gets from the mainland. There’s one fast charging location that lets most island residents charge their vehicles. Although there are no official numbers recorded, there’s probably less than 20 electric vehicles on the island in total.
What about other countries and their EV adoption?
United States may be doing great, but it’s not leading the way. Check out the list of the countries that are leading the way for EV adoption.
What's the SOLUTION for EV charging?
The simple answer would be to just have more fast chargers, however at the moment it’s not the cheapest option, by far. If you live in any of these areas and you have an electric vehicle, be sure to install your own EV charger (or a licensed electrician). Most of the best electric car chargers on the market can be found online and in fact, if your vehicle supports it, you can get up to 11kWh of charging speed from 220-240 volts of power.
An overnight charge at home will not only cost you a few dollars at most, but you’ll also be ready at all times to drive almost anywhere within a certain radius of where you live.