Should I Buy an Electric Car? Here's is How Much it Costs to Buy One in Each State
Tesla’s stock just hit another all-time high. The company now has a higher market capitalization than GM, even though Tesla only sold about 367,000 vehicles last year. Clearly some investors believe the electric car market has a lot of upside, and our latest visual provides some clues why.
- Louisiana has the highest average monthly loan payments for electric vehicles, a major reason why the state only has 0.28% market penetration.
- California has the highest portion of electric cars on the road at 7.84%, despite an average monthly loan size of $803.
- Some states, like Colorado and Oregon, post relatively high rates of electric vehicle ownership perhaps due to small monthly loan payments (2.61% and 3.41%, respectively).
- States with the lowest numbers of electric vehicles also have economies that are heavily dependent on traditional fossil fuels, like Mississippi (0.22%), North Dakota (0.24%) and West Virginia (0.27%).
We created our map by combining electric car sales figures from Auto Alliance and average loan amounts from AutoWise. Darker shades of green indicate that electric car loans are higher, and larger pink circles indicate greater market saturation. This gives you a quick and easy way to understand a snapshot of the electric car industry today.
Top 10 States with the Highest Monthly Payment for Electric Cars
1. Louisiana: $849, 0.28% market share
2. Nevada: $837, 1.62% market share
3. Georgia: $821, 1.18% market share
4. Mississippi: $808, 0.22% market share
5. California: $803, 7.84% market share
6. Alabama: $802, 0.41% market share
7. Arizona: $800, 1.84% market share
8. Oklahoma: $797, 0.35% market share
9. Kansas: $781, 0.96% market share
10. Illinois: $778, 1.20% market share
We can learn several insights about the electric vehicle industry from our visualization. First off, let’s assume the size of an auto loan is an accurate indication of how expensive it is to purchase an electric vehicle. Cheaper cars would have lower monthly loan payments, and vice versa. A big factor determining the cost of electric vehicles is state tax breaks and subsidies. Electric vehicle market share isn’t correlated with loan size. For example, market share is highest in California at 7.84%, which also has the fifth highest average loan payments. This suggests that things like environmentalism and the availability of charging stations have more to do with electric cars than simple economics.
But that’s not always the case. Some states, like Colorado, enjoy comparably lower loan payments ($699) and also see an uptick in electric car ownership (2.61%). Oregon is another example ($708 and 3.41%). More interesting is how far behind the Northeast is in terms of market share compared to the West Coast. Massachusetts for example has the highest rate of ownership east of the Mississippi River (2.53%) followed by Connecticut (2.02%).
It’s also worth focusing on the states with the lowest rates of market penetration. Mississippi (0.22%), North Dakota (0.24%) and West Virginia (0.27%) are all heavily dependent on traditional fossil fuels, and they likewise have the lowest rates of ownership. After all, if a lot of people are employed drilling oil and mining coal, it might not be the best idea to drive around in an electric vehicle.
If you’re thinking about buying a car, it always helps to shop around, especially when getting a lower rate can decrease your monthly payment. Our auto loan guide is a great resource to learn more about financing a car. And if you’ve already got a car, our car insurance guide can help you save money too.
Why do you think electric vehicles have been so slow to take off? Would you ever consider owning one? Let us know in the comments.