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These Are the Worst States to Own an EV

Just because you can buy an EV doesn't mean finding a charger will be easy.

2023 Chevy Bolt EV's charge door open with the fast charging cover closed
Justin Duino / Review Geek
These states aren't the best for EV ownership due to poor EV charging infrastructures, high electricity prices, and no tax incentives.

You might be ready to buy your first electric car, but depending on where you live, you may want to rethink that plan. Some states in the U.S. aren’t all that ready for EVs, which could be a problem.

EV ownership certainly has benefits, but when you buy one, you’ll also need to consider getting a charger, higher insurance premiums and adjusting driving routes to ensure a charger is nearby. Several factors go into making a state bad to own an EV, but perhaps the biggest one is the charging infrastructure—or lack thereof.

The Worst State to Own an EV Is Mississippi

Two Electrify America charging stations in front of a 2023 Chevy Bolt EV
Justin Duino / Review Geek

According to the vehicle history website Bumper and a research study by LendingTree, the worst state to buy an electric vehicle is Mississippi. While the state has beautiful rural roads, bayous, and blues music, it’s among the lowest on the list regarding electric vehicle chargers and infrastructure.

Not only are there no government incentives to encourage shoppers to buy an EV, but the ones that do will have a tough time finding somewhere to charge up. As of April 2023, throughout the entire state, you’ll find just over 300 charging stations. For each mile you drive, Mississippi has the second-lowest number of EV chargers throughout the journey.

The state only has one Tesla dealership and recently passed a law making it difficult for EV manufacturers to open new stores. Instead, requiring online sales or the use of existing franchised locations.

When you find a charger, there’s a good chance it’ll already be used by a resident or someone traveling along the coast. Now, you’ll have to wait even longer before you plug in. Unless you have an EV charger at home, you might be better off buying a hybrid.

South Carolina

Front driver wheel of the Tesla Model 3
Hannah Stryker / Review Geek

Next on the list is South Carolina, which is in a similar situation as Mississippi. Thankfully, more residents in SC own an EV than in some neighboring states, and it has more charging stations per mile. So while it’ll be a little easier to find a place to juice up, it’s still not ideal.

However, electricity prices are higher than in Mississippi, and South Carolina doesn’t offer any government-provided buyer incentives. Several studies also suggest that these two states that rank at the bottom have some of the highest road fatality rates nationally.

With dangerous roads, maybe you should consider an EV and a home charger. Many Tesla models have crash avoidance sensors and cameras, making them safer on the road. Plus, the state is undergoing changes to ramp up its EV infrastructure.

Louisiana, Kentucky, & Alabama

GMC Hummer EV Logo
Josh Hendrickson / Review Geek

Whether you’re looking at charging infrastructure, the number of EV owners vs. residents, or other factors, the next few on the list can vary slightly. Depending on the study, the third worst state to own an EV is Alabama, Kentucky, or Louisiana. And again, none of these states have government tax credits or incentives.

So far, in 2023, you’ll only find around 600 electric car chargers throughout Kentucky. And while that’s better than Mississippi, the state could certainly use more. You might have a tough time finding one while driving down the beautiful Country Music Highway. Its electricity prices are almost as high as in South Carolina, too.

Louisiana isn’t much better, and there are only about eight charging ports for every 100,000 people. The ratio isn’t great, and many of those are only at popular destinations or along the coast. However, in 2022, the state announced a $73 million influx in cash to help boost its EV infrastructure over the next five years.

Similarly, Alabama doesn’t have a ton of public chargers available. More importantly, in 2020, the state passed legislation that makes EV owners pay an additional $200 per year in registration fees to help offset lost revenue from gas taxes. Ouch!

Idaho, Alaska, & South Dakota

Rear of the 2023 Chevy Bolt EV while charging at an Electrify American power station
Justin Duino / Review Geek

The following three states mentioned aren’t necessarily number-for-number the worst, but they all have an extremely limited number of places to recharge an electric vehicle.

As of 2023, South Dakota only has around 185 public chargers, although the state has several incentives and is working hard to improve its infrastructure in the coming years. Alaska is a massive state, but it currently supports under 200 chargers as of 2023. However, many of those are in heavily populated areas, like Anchorage, but in the Alaskan bush, you’ll be out of luck.

Idaho is another location that doesn’t have a ton of destination chargers for EV owners. And while studies suggest the state has nearly 400 chargers throughout, neighboring states, including Utah and Washington, have thousands of locations. Idaho is clearly at a disadvantage.

The Best States to Own an EV

Tyler Hayes / Review Geek

You’re probably assuming California is the best state to own an EV. Surprisingly, you’d be wrong. There are roughly 45,000 chargers throughout the golden state, and it’s home to over 40% of all EV ownership in the country. However, charging stations are often busy, and electricity prices are through the roof.

Interestingly, some of the best states to own an electric vehicle include Washington, Utah, and Oregon. These states have some of the most affordable electricity prices combined with a capable (and growing) EV infrastructure.

Additionally, Massachusetts and New York have a ton of EV chargers throughout, making them two solid choices regarding EV ownership. However, it’s important to remember that most states, even the ones hesitant or pushing back against EVs, are slowly improving infrastructure and adding more EV chargers.

Whether you love or hate electric vehicles, it’s pretty clear that they’re here to stay. Every major automaker is busy ramping up production, and we’re expecting more affordable options later this year and into 2024. Plus, the technology is still in its infancy and improving with each release.

In closing, while some states are clearly better than others when buying an electric vehicle, the charging situation and infrastructure will only improve moving forward.

Cory Gunther Cory Gunther
Cory Gunther has been writing about phones, Android, cars, and technology in general for over a decade. He's a staff writer for Review Geek covering roundups, EVs, and news. He's previously written for GottaBeMobile, SlashGear, AndroidCentral, and InputMag, and he's written over 9,000 articles. Read Full Bio »