Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?



Top 10 States for Electric Cars


electric car charging recently created a list of the top 10 states in the U.S. for electric cars. It’s got a nice, long intro to the topic and a paragraph for each of the top states. Below, I’m just going to share their list and some of the key points they make about each state. Essentially, the whole analysis is based on the electricity mix of each state — how clean it is. For more, check out the full post, linked above.

  1. Idaho! Say what? Yep, Idaho is a cleanest energy leader (at least as far as air pollution and global warming is concerned). “Hydro-power generates a full 84 percent of Idaho’s electricity. Add “other renewables” into the mix, and it jumps to 90 percent! Natural gas, a clean-burning source of energy as far as fossil fuel sources go (the environmental impact of drilling for natural gas is another issue), accounts for almost all of the additional 10 percent. Less than one percent of Idaho’s electricity is produced by burning coal. Plug in in Idaho, and you can come extremely close to being able to saying you drive an air pollution-free car – even if you don’t solar-charge.”
  2. Washington. “Hydro power is king in Washington, accounting for 75.4 percent of the state’s electricity production. Add in “other renewables” and nearly 80 percent of electricity in Washington is produced with essentially no air pollution whatsoever! Just six percent of Washington’s electricity comes from Dirty Coal.”
  3. Oregon. “Oregon, which gets 70 percent of its electricity from hydro power, makes it a Top Three sweep for the Northwest United States. Add other renewables to the equation and 74 percent of the electricity generated in Oregon can be said to be generated air-pollution free. Natural gas accounts for 22 percent of Oregon’s electricity. Coal generates just four percent of it.”
  4. Maine. “According to GetEnergyActive.Org, 27 percent of Maine’s electricity is generated by non-hydro renewable and other. Yes, some of that total comes from biofuels, including wood. But add in another 25 percent from hydro-power and more than 50 percent of the electricity you’re drawing for your plug-in in Maine, is being generated by renewable energy forms. Natural gas accounts for another 43 percent, meaning something approaching 95 percent of the electricity produced in Maine is generated by reasonably clean forms of energy.”
  5. California. “According to GetEnergyActive.Org, hydro produces 22 percent of California’s electricity and non-hydro renewable + ‘other’ account for another 12 percent. That means that about one-third of the state’s electricity is generated by renewable energy forms. Natural gas accounts for the bulk of California’s electricity at 49 percent. Coal provides just one percent of California’s electricity.”
  6. South Dakota. “This is a shocker for us: South Dakota generates 50 percent of its electricity from renewable energy forms (48 percent = hydro, two percent = non-hydro renewable and other). However, pretty much all of the rest of its electricity comes from the burning of coal (47 percent)…. Additionally, South Dakota isn’t exactly friendly to residential renewable energy investment, especially solar. In fact, it is currently one of the worst states to go solar in due to little to no state and state-mandated utility incentives (such as rebates) for homeowners.”
  7. Montana. “With 37 percent of its electricity generated by hydro-power, Montana, like South Dakota, would actually appear to outperform California (34 percent) on the renewable energy front. However, we rank it sixth because Montana produces very little of its electricity via ‘non-hydro renewable and other’ (just .3 percent). Additionally, the burning of coal accounts for 61 percent of Montana’s electricity generation, far more than California’s tiny one percent from coal.”
  8. Minnesota. “Minnesota makes it into the No. 8 position in our Best States to Plug In a Plug-In rankings due to the comparativelyhigh amount of electricity it generates by non-hydro renewable and other forms, seven percent. Another one percent produced by hydro pushes the total of electricity generated by renewable energy forms to eight percent. Of course, 60 percent of Minnesota’s electricity is generated by the burning of coal. So, before you plug in your plug in (or within a couple years of buying one) if you can, put up solar panels and/or a residential wind turbine to help offset the state’s comparatively heavy reliance on coal.”
  9. New Hampshire. “In New Hampshire, 13 percent of electricity is produced by renewable energy forms (this includes hydro), and just 17 percent by the burning of coal.However, nuclear energy generates 42 percent of New Hampshire’s electricity. If you’re pro-nuke, by all means plug in your plug-in and don’t change a thing. If you’re not (and we’re not), then consider putting up solar panels on your home or planting a home wind turbine in your yard (if you have a home or yard) to help offset New Hampshire’s nukes and/or the 17 percent of its electricity that comes from the burning of coal.”
  10. New York. “If energy diversity is your gig, New York is the place to live – and plug in. Nuclear energy accounts for the most electricity production in The Empire State at 30 percent. Natural gas (29 percent) is close behind. Hydro power is next at 18 percent with non-hydro renewable and other accounting for an additional three percent of electricity produced. Coal (15 percent) and oil (5 percent) round out the diverse mix for New York.”

Not the most fine-tuned analysis, but it tackles the biggest issue — electricity mix — for those who are driving an electric car to help the air and climate.

Of course, an individual can take one simple step more and power their electric car with solar panels to make it irrelevant what state the live in and trump all other options.

Electric car via shutterstock

Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!

Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Former Tesla Battery Expert Leading Lyten Into New Lithium-Sulfur Battery Era — Podcast:

I don't like paywalls. You don't like paywalls. Who likes paywalls? Here at CleanTechnica, we implemented a limited paywall for a while, but it always felt wrong — and it was always tough to decide what we should put behind there. In theory, your most exclusive and best content goes behind a paywall. But then fewer people read it! We just don't like paywalls, and so we've decided to ditch ours. Unfortunately, the media business is still a tough, cut-throat business with tiny margins. It's a never-ending Olympic challenge to stay above water or even perhaps — gasp — grow. So ...
If you like what we do and want to support us, please chip in a bit monthly via PayPal or Patreon to help our team do what we do! Thank you!
Written By

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.


You May Also Like

Climate Change

LLNL and the Clean Air Task Force have released a new report "Sharing the Benefits: How the Economics of Carbon Capture and Storage Projects...


BMW is stepping up from vehicle-to-grid EV charging to kick vehicle-to-everything (V2X) into gear, with an assist from the California utility PG&E

Autonomous Vehicles

Cruise has slowly been expanding its network of robotaxis and their availability in certain markets. Though, it’s been a long time since the company...


The Nissan ARIYA is the tip of the spear in Nissan’s second big push into electric vehicles. It follows behind the Nissan LEAF which...

Copyright © 2023 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.