Which Places Are Best Suited to Embrace the Electric Vehicles Movement? by@ericagibson

Which Places Are Best Suited to Embrace the Electric Vehicles Movement?

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Erica Gibson

Passionate content writer and researcher.

With more and more Americans making the switch to the electric car, the trend is gaining firm ground, giving eco-living a much-needed boost. Electric vehicles (EVs) come with a lot of perks: they’re quiet, they’re clean and they require less maintenance than the traditional gas-powered car.

However, range anxiety, which refers to the challenge of keeping your EV “gassed up” over longer distances, remains a hurdle for mainstream adoption, alongside the price. But with support from federal, state, and local incentives, EVs still stand an excellent chance of being bought in greater numbers.

But which places are best prepared for this lifestyle shift? Can all the nation’s big metropolitan areas offer the right support for EV implementation to thrive? Per a recent report issued by StorageCafé, a nationwide self-storage marketplace, where you live plays a great part in determining whether going for an EV is a viable option.

To find out which places are best suited to embrace the EV movement, the first 100 metros by population were selected. The report looked at several indicators to determine which metros can support EV take-ups, such as numbers of registered EVs, EV infrastructure including public and residential charging stations, the cost of an eGallon – the electric equivalent of a gallon of gasoline in terms of cost – HOV (high-occupancy vehicle) and HOT (high-occupancy toll) lanes for EVs, and the share of roads in less-than-ideal condition. The analysis also includes local air quality and carpooling data, plus an environmental metric measuring how much of the local clean energy is being used in public transit. Additionally, self-storage access is another metric included in the overall ranking, as this service is frequently used by multi-vehicle owners, who typically place vehicles in storage when not in use. In many cases, a 10x30 unit is rented, a size that is large enough to accommodate a large vehicle and even some furniture too.

CA’s San Jose, LA, and San Francisco Among Top EV Hubs

As expected, a Californian metro area – San Jose – emerged as the best place for electric cars. Given its status as the financial and cultural hub of Silicon Valley, it’s hardly surprising to see San Jose grab this spot. The metro claims the nation’s third-highest number of EVs, with about 74,000 of them. Charging your EV here will be quite easy as San Jose comes first for charging stations when you factor in for population, having about 2.4 of them per 1,000 households. Thanks to state and local-level efforts, San Jose incentivizes the adoption of EVs through the California Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Project (CALeVIP).

San Francisco is yet another CA metro that qualifies as of one the best metros for electric cars in 2021. Similar to San Jose, the San Francisco metro area also shines brightly regarding its electric cars. In fact, SF boasts about 122,400 EVs, the second-largest number of electric vehicles of any metro in the country. The right infrastructure is there to assist local EV drivers, as San Francisco comes second not only when taking into account distribution of chargers per population (1.5 chargers/1,000 households) but also for having the second-largest share of lane mileage for electric cars.

In line with California’s spirit of innovation and concern for the welfare of the planet, Los Angeles also emerges as one of the best metro areas for electric vehicles. When it comes to current rankings for EV appreciation, Los Angeles is a metro of firsts, boasting the largest number of electric cars in the US (230,900+ EVs) and also the most charging stations, 4,500+ of them. Even when you correlate their number with the local population, LA still comes out high in the list (sixth), with about one charging station/1,000 households. There’s even further reason for Angelenos to get excited about driving an EV, as the metro area offers about 730 miles of dedicated HOV, the fifth-highest in the country.

As a place that supports green living, the Portland metropolitan area also takes a special place among the best hubs for EVs. The metro is home to about 27,500 EVs and to about 492 public charging stations – the tenth-largest number of them nationally. In fact, Portland ranks 10th for its EV-friendly infrastructure. Supporting EVs is just one way to promote green living and Portland knows it. In fact, the metro’s efforts in this direction gained it the first spot for environmentally focused efforts. Moreover, breaking down this metric, Portland comes second nationally for the share of public transit vehicles (86%) that run on clean energy. About half of local energy comes from renewable sources, making the electricity price a lot more affordable.

The New York City metro area is another place where it’s worthwhile owning an EV. Besides the iconic yellow taxis, you can easily spot the quiet EVs, as about 70,900 of them are roaming the streets of the Big Apple – and with more expected to do so in the future. Getting an extra jolt for your car is easy to do here as about 1,460 charging stations are available. Besides chargers, the local infrastructure also tries to support EV drivers with about 130 miles of HOV lanes spread out across the metro area, or close to 1.7% of the freeway lane mileage available there. Going electric in NYC goes beyond the privately-owned EVs, with further steps being taken to electrify the public transit system. Currently, over 40% of the energy used in this sector is sourced from renewable energy – a big leap in the direction of sustainable living.

It’s true that California claims most metros among the best places for electric cars, but other areas of the country also deliver. It appears that the EV movement has mostly caught on around the largest metro areas where the local infrastructure is there to support the adoption of EVs. As more and more cities pledge to develop their infrastructure, EV adoption is likely to expand in the future.

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