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EV charging stations have grown dramatically since 2009. We expect this trend to continue.

Electric Vehicles

Which State Has the Most EV Chargers Per Resident? (Hint: It’s not California)

For EVs to gain critical mass in the United States, the public needs to believe the infrastructure is there to support them. As an EV owner myself, I know most EV owners charge their cars at home and have little need for public or private charging stations. But for long distance trips and for those who live in apartments, park on public streets or may not have access to home charging, public and private charging stations will be an essential part of the mix for electrifying the automotive market.

A new Study from CoPilot has ranked the top 15 US states for EV friendliness in the form of the highest number of EV charging stations per capita. Using data from U.S. Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuels Data Center, the report confirms something that we have suspected for some time: the most EV chargers per capita are currently found in traditional “blue” states: Vermont ranks first, California is second, Massachusetts ranks third. New York, #2 overall in terms of the raw number of EV charging stations, sneaks into the top 15 “Per Capita” ranking at position #14. There are some outliers: Utah, a state which typically leans Republican, ranks fifth overall for EV Chargers per capita.  But beyond the comparisons and the politics of renewable energy, CoPilot’s report has identified a few fun facts.

California Has Fully 1/3 of the Nation’s EV Charging Stations

Comprising roughly 12% of the US population, California is currently home to over 30% of the EV charging stations. This is not surprising, considering how far ahead of the curve California has been and continues to be in EV adoption. The birthplace of Tesla, Rivian and Lucid Motors, California also has some of the toughest auto emissions standards in the country. They also have some of the most generous incentives to EV buyers, offering up to $7,000 to buyers of eligible EVs who meet the state’s income requirements. This has led to California having the highest percentage of EV ownership of any US State: Roughly 39% of the national total as of earlier this year.

Only 1 in 5 Chargers are High Speed Chargers

Tesla Supercharger

Tesla EVs charge at a Tesla High Speed Supercharger. Image courtesy of Tesla.

While the number of chargers is important, the speed of charging is also important. A simple 110V level 1 charger or 220V level 2 charger is capable of providing more than enough range overnight for the average driver’s daily usage. So the level 2 public chargers on city streets and in shopping mall parking lots, which regain 15-25 miles of range per hour, are probably sufficient. But if you’re on a road trip, only high speed level 3 chargers (aka DC Fast Chargers) will “fill the tank” quickly enough to get you on your way without delay. Currently Tesla leads the way in level 3 high speed charging stations with their worldwide Supercharger network, but other manufacturers and charging companies like Electrify America are ramping up the roll out of DC Fast charging stations in anticipation of growing demand.

The Number of Charging Stations Has Risen Dramatically in Just 13 Years

EV charging stations have grown dramatically since 2009. We expect this trend to continue. Chart courtesy of CoPilot.

In 2009, there were fewer than 500 EV charging stations in the United States. At the end of 2021, there were over 115,000 EV charging ports nationwide. As of November, 2022, the number has grown to almost 140,000 EV charging ports. And we shouldn’t expect this growth to slow. Traditional auto makers are finally embracing the EV revolution and understand they need to invest in the infrastructure to support this. Also, the Inflation Reduction Act signed into law earlier this year earmarks $7.5 billion for building a national network of electric vehicle charging stations. The end goal is reach 500,000 public and private EV chargers by 2030.

West Virginia is No Friend to EVs

Although CoPilot’s report only covers the top 15 states, you can drill down further if you go to the updated source data on the department of energy web site. Coal capital of the country, West Virginia currently has a total of 371 EV charging ports in the entire state, for a population of 1.783 million residents. That means there is one private or public EV charging port for every 4,800 residents of the state. Compare this to Vermont which has one EV charger per each 741 residents and you can get a pretty good picture. Even West Virginia’s immediate neighbor (Virginia) made the top 15 list with one charger per 2,600 residents.

Again, if you’re a homeowner with a driveway or garage that has access to a power plug, the number of public/private charging stations available is not super relevant. But public infrastructure support speaks volumes for the current state of favor (or disfavor) of EVs in each state.

States With the Most EV Charging Stations:

Rank State EV chargers per 100k population Total EV chargers Level 1 chargers Level 2 chargers DC fast chargers
1 Vermont 139.7 871 71 725 75
2 California 104.7 41,225 676 33,690 6,817
3 Massachusetts 70.7 4,871 74 4,369 428
4 Colorado 68.5 3,978 89 3,307 582
5 Utah 60.9 1,978 17 1,722 239
6 Rhode Island 59.4 628 82 509 37
7 Hawaii 59.2 833 30 724 79
8 Oregon 57.5 2,439 88 1,917 434
9 Maryland 56.4 3,416 47 2,785 584
10 Washington 56.3 4,328 218 3,394 716
11 Maine 46.6 629 24 470 135
12 Nevada 43.1 1,353 16 993 344
13 Connecticut 40.2 1,430 76 1,040 312
14 New York 39.4 7,621 42 6,733 846
15 Virginia 38.4 3,301 247 2,296 758

Chart courtesy of CoPilot research. 

Find out more in the full report: States with the Most EV Charging Stations Per Capita.

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is an EV and alternative fuel enthusiast who has been writing about technology since 2003.

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