By Mike Sheldrick, Senior Editor
LeasePlan USA has released its first EV Readiness study across the U.S. According to the company, “It provides a clear overview, across all 50 states (plus the District of Columbia), of five key factors for electrification: favorable state legislation and incentives, EV penetration, charger to vehicle ratio, charger availability, and climate suitability.” It does that in a thoroughgoing, readable study.
There some are surprises. Top among them, the state with the leading readiness score is Nevada, followed by Mississippi, and Hawaii. LeasePlan’s 2022 data showed that all three states have a welcoming climate for EVs, and Nevada and Mississippi provide a “reasonable” amount of public charging stations. Hawaii already has begun integrating EVs into its overall vehicle market.
LeasePlan explained that while California “is often touted as the ultimate state leader in electric vehicles [3% of registered vehicles compared to Mississippi’s last-place .09%], but [LeasePlan’s] proprietary scoring system uncovered EV readiness roadblocks: California places forty-seventh out of fifty-one in terms of charger to vehicle ratio (8.37 chargers per 100 electric vehicles) The state also comes in dead last in terms of charger availability (factor four), with a score of -10.70% highlighting the charger to vehicle deficit. Scoring poorly in both charger-related factors has severely impacted California’s overall readiness ranking, however they are focused heavily on improving these issues with significant infrastructure investment. This is reflected in factor one where California scores significantly higher than the next placed state (there are 134 laws/incentives pertaining to EVs).”
Some statisticians will have a field day with findings that seem so surprisingly different than common wisdom, but that won’t detract from the value of the study. It’s well-reasoned; moreover, LeasePlan lays out its methods in detail. Besides, as LeasePlan points out in its top takeaway, “It’s important to note that no states ranked in the top bracket for EV readiness, and the top three states in the index barely qualified for the second rating bracket of EV accepted. States that ranked highest are not classified as optimal environments for EV transition but are merely better prepared at this time than others. These rankings incorporate the fluidity of the transition to electric vehicles and growth of the market and will likely shift over time to provide an accurate picture of EV readiness as the landscape evolves.”
LeasePlan reports that “Truck and heavy-duty vehicle market is ripe for electric transformation. These vehicles contribute a disproportionately high share of transportation sector emissions yet remain primarily powered by internal combustion engines. Why? Because of the high energy required to move heavy loads it has so far been challenging to apply electric vehicle technology. Now though, as we see a continued decline in battery prices, and increased support from policy makers, new electric trucks and heavy-duty equipment are bursting onto the market.”
The all-important bottom line — TCO is hardly mentioned in this report, but in its most recent EV Index report for Europe, LeasePlan notes that TCO there is close to being equal to ICE vehicles in several countries. Of course, taxation is quite different in Europe and weigh heavily in cost, so comparison of the two reports is difficult. But the U.S. is behind much of Europe. That gap might even grow as Europe makes efforts to reduce reliance on Russian fossil fuels.
In summary, according to LeasePlan, there are seven reasons to go electric: Sustainability, business continuity, vehicle range, availability, cost, driver satisfaction, and lower taxation.