Ranking SW States On Electric-Car Support: CO Best, WY Worst

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2011 Chevrolet Volt plugged into Coulomb Technologies 240V wall charging unit

2011 Chevrolet Volt plugged into Coulomb Technologies 240V wall charging unit

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California is by far the leading state for adoption of plug-in electric cars, with one-third or more of all sales sited in the Golden State.

But how's everyone else doing?

A study of six Southwestern states released yesterday gives a look at how friendly a state's legislation and infrastructure is for the adoption of electric cars so far.

The report, issued by the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP), assessed a variety of measures that help plug-in electric car buyers make the most of traveling on grid power.

Entitled "Policies to Promote Electric Vehicles in the Southwest: A State Government Report Card," it considers vehicle and fuel taxation, financial and other incentives to buy and travel in electric cars, and how aggressively states move to eliminate legislative barriers to using the cars.

One issue, for instance, is the ability of condominium boards and other cooperative-housing bodies to ban installation of electric-car charging stations or put unreasonable demands on their users.

Colorado recently passed a bill (SB 126) that prevents landlords and homeowners associations from placing "unreasonable obstacles" on charging-station installation.

But it also makes those dwellings eligible for funds from the state’s electric vehicle infrastructure fund to help with the costs of those installations, which can be more complex than those for curbside stations.

That fund now has a dedicated revenue stream, from the state's new $50-per-year free for all plug-in cars.

That bill, along with five others, led SWEEP to judge Colorado the best of the six southwestern states at preparing for electric cars. It received a grade of A-minus.

The worst was Wyoming (F), which had no policies whatsoever addressing electric cars.

The other four in between were Arizona and Utah, which each were graded at B-minus, Nevada (C), and New Mexico (C-minus).

None of the six Southwestern states came close to California's grade of A-plus, however.

[hat tip: Tim W. Jackson]


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Comments (12)
  1. I give Wyoming credit for having the best state rebate of $7500

  2. @Mark: Are you sure about that? Wyoming shows no incentives at all on the Plug-In America map of state incentives:

  3. Whoops. i'm thinking WV. please delete.

  4. I live in CA and the infrastructure is pretty good overall, but certainly varies regionally. Inland areas, particularly the San Joaquin Valley , lag way behind. Although the San Joaquin air district has a high rebate ($3k) for EVs, there is almost no public infrastructure for them and almost zero public awareness or local political support.

  5. I own a condo in LA and LADWP does give a $2,000 incentive to install a 240V charger, which is great.

    The problem for condo owners is that you must have an Assessor from LADWP (known as an ESR) come out to give you permission to install and there is literally only one person, Walter Smith, who does this for the entire county of Los Angeles. As a result, you have to wait 7 weeks for the initial appointment.

    This one bogged down step is enough to change people's minds to not buy an EV car.

  6. Population density probably has something to do with it. When there is so much wide open space between population centers, travel by EV is less practical. With so many things competing for scarce state resources today, if the masses aren't clamoring for EV support, the state legislators won't show any interest. Even in CA, until Model S and the Supercharger came along, EV travel between SoCal and Las Vegas wasn't practical, and still isn't for anything but Model S.

  7. Along those lines I have been working with Clipper Creek to spread the word about the ReConnect California grant opportunity. We are trying to get more businesses to install charging stations between Auburn and Lake Tahoe. The idea is to ensure there are enough stations to get someone from the Bay Area to Tahoe. If you really want to help move this infrastructure along, contact Clipper Creek and see how they can help you map out your area.

  8. They need some high power L2 charger and QC on hwy 50 and I-80 after Folsom.

    That last 50 miles uphill going to Tahoe really suck up the range...

  9. hi all,

    just dropped by to say hi. and to let you know that 2 weeks ago i was stopped behind a nissan leaf at a light.

    today, a mitsubishi mi-ev was parked right beside me at the gym parking lot.

    this indicates to me that saturation is getting to the point that the average joe is gonna start seeing them here and there.

    this is an important stage of the snowball rolling down the hill.

    i am here in california, where a large percentage of the evs are sold. so it may take a while longer in other states.

    but the image of a fancy golf cart is quickly going out the window.

  10. Yay, Colorado!

    I purchased a used, 2011 Nissan Leaf and have been keeping a "diary" of the experience. Feel free to follow along! Http://EVearlyAdopter.blogspot.com

  11. I just have to comment, that Wyoming can't be considered a South West state. Also have to agree with Steve M. EV's other than Volt are of little use in WY. The people that will use them, will most likely have the financial resources. Education and health care issues are probably higher on the list even for the most liberal of politicians and constituants.

  12. if CA gets an A+ they must have thrown the grade book away when they tried to score the Pacific Northwest. OR and WA both should have scored better

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