The divide in electric vehicle (EV) adoption among U.S. states is widening, giving rise to a fragmented auto market. California is at the forefront of this transformation, boasting one of the highest EV adoption rates globally. In contrast, several other states are falling far behind, plagued by inadequate charging infrastructure and lackluster EV sales. J.D. Power’s latest E-Vision Intelligence Report highlights a subtle uptick in nationwide EV adoption, with approximately 21 out of every 100 buyers opting for an EV when it aligns with their preferences. However, this figure fluctuates dramatically from one state to another.
Rising and Falling Adoption Rates
States with the most robust EV adoption rates — such as California, Washington, Hawaii, and Oregon — experienced an upswing in their adoption scores. These states have cultivated an environment conducive to EV adoption, with accessible charging infrastructure and supportive policies.
Conversely, states that already grappled with lower EV adoption rates, such as Michigan, Iowa, Kansas, Arkansas, Mississippi, Wyoming, Louisiana, South Dakota, West Virginia, and North Dakota, witnessed a decline in EV adoption during the first half of 2023 compared to the previous year.
California Leading the Charge
The prediction models of J.D. Power depict this landscape, which foresees dramatic disparities in state-level EV adoption rates within just one decade by 2035. The present-day epicenter of EV Adoption, California, is expected to transform, as 94% of the state’s car sales in the future will be Electric Vehicles.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, just 19% of North Dakota’s car sales could be electric vehicles. This underscored the need for automakers to transition their strategies to align with the different regional environmental conditions and customer tastes. While predicting the precise contours of the auto market in 2035, one thing is abundantly clear: the American auto landscape has become something of a patchwork quilt, presenting opportunities and challenges.