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These are the states where it may be hardest to buy an EV

Tom Carter   

These are the states where it may be hardest to buy an EV
  • Buying an EV may be more difficult in some states than others.
  • Dealers in some rural states have limited supplies of electric cars, data from CarGurus has shown.

Buying an EV is more difficult in some states than others, new data has suggested.

Data from car-listing platform CarGurus shows that over one-third of new electric vehicles are going to California, Texas, and Florida.

The data, which tracks EV inventory in dealerships and doesn't include companies like Tesla, Rivian, and Polestar that sell their vehicles to customers directly, showed that 14 states had less than 500 EVs available through dealerships at the end of March 2024.

Five of those states — North Dakota, Montana, South Dakota, Alaska, and Wyoming — had fewer than 250 EVs available, with potential buyers in Wyoming able to choose between just 62 vehicles. Bloomberg initially reported the CarGurus data.

The data comes amid a nationwide slowdown in demand for electric vehicles, with rural areas already having lower rates of EV adoption.

The US Department of Transportation estimates EV adoption is roughly 40% lower in rural areas, and has previously warned a lack of exposure to electric vehicles risks harming EV uptake in these regions.

Now, the scarcity of dealer supply has made it more difficult to acquire some of America's most popular electric cars in the country's rural states.

Hyundai's Ioniq 5, for example, reportedly sold 6,822 units in the first three months of the year and set a new record, per Electrek. However, the dealership data shows only 10 Ioniq 5s available in West Virginia at the end of March and seven in Iowa, for example.

Volkswagen reportedly sold 6,167 of its ID.4 electric SUV in Q1 and nearly 40,000 in 2023. But would-be EV buyers in Louisiana had two ID.4 vehicles to choose from. Maine, Mississippi, Arkansas, Michigan, and South Dakota had 23 available between them.

Both West Virginia or Nebraska, meanwhile, had just a single Nissan Arriya on offer, the data showed.

The data also suggests that in some states, EV inventory is lagging behind the rate at which people are buying them.

EVs accounted for 18% of total vehicle sales in Colorado in the fourth quarter of 2023 and 13% in Nevada, according to data from the Alliance of Automotive Innovation, an industry trade body. But EVs made up only 10% and 6% of new car inventory in the two states in CarGurus' data.

The findings come as automakers in the US reckon with slowing sales and faltering demand for EVs.

Ford and General Motors have shaken up their ambitious EV plans in response, and many companies are prioritizing the development of more affordable electric models that may appeal to a broader range of customers.

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