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Which US cities are the most EV-friendly?

Plug-in Prius

Portland, Oregon is the most plugged-in city in the US, according to researchers at the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs.

In “Plug-in electric vehicle readiness: Rating cities in the United States,” published in Electricity Journal, the researchers ranked 36 cities, including the nation’s 25 largest, in terms of the policies they have put in place to encourage plug-in vehicle ownership.

“With gas prices dropping, consumers have less of a financial incentive to buy a PEV,” researcher Kyle Clark-Sutton said. “It is crucial for cities to create receptive policy environments for purchasing and operating an electric car. If they don’t, we won’t see the technology’s promise as a means of climate change mitigation fully realized.”

Under a scoring system devised by the research team, Portland, Washington DC, New York City, Baltimore, Los Angeles and Denver won the top six spots. All offer purchase incentives for PEVs and charging equipment, and four of the six offer time-of-use electricity rates. The top-ranking cities also score well in categories such as public charging station density, special parking privileges and high-occupancy-vehicle lane access.

“Some cities are doing more to encourage PEV ownership than others by installing new public charging infrastructure and offering various sorts of incentives,” researcher Saba Siddiki said. “PEV owners enjoy free parking in downtown Nashville and are exempt from all parking fees in Honolulu. Portland has streamlined the often complicated permitting process for home-based chargers. In Austin, PEV drivers can subscribe to unlimited use of 250 public charging stations located around the city for less than $5 per month.”

Those services and incentives are largely absent from the bottom six cities.

The full ranking:

  1. Portland OR
  2. Washington DC
  3. Baltimore
  4. New York City
  5. Denver
  6. Los Angeles
  7. Atlanta
  8. Chicago
  9. Austin TX
  10. San Francisco
  11. Boston
  12. Houston
  13. Indianapolis
  14. Orlando FL
  15. San Diego
  16. Seattle
  17. San Jose CA
  18. Hartford CT
  19. Phoenix
  20. Fort Worth TX
  21. Honolulu
  22. Nashville TN
  23. Dallas
  24. Jacksonville FL
  25. Newark NJ
  26. Raleigh NC
  27. Burlington VT
  28. Philadelphia
  29. San Antonio
  30. Charlotte NC
  31. Memphis TN
  32. Detroit
  33. El Paso TX
  34. Portland ME
  35. Providence RI
  36. Columbus OH


Source: Indiana University
Image: Parker Knight (CC BY 2.0)

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