Key takeaways:

  • Seattle, WA is the best metro area for electric cars due to a combination of factors including the high number of EVs, charging options and clean energy production.
  • The West dominates the electric landscape, with nine western hubs landing in the top 10 best places for EVs.
  • Miami, FL, is the only southern metro area to crack the top 10.
  • By the numbers alone, LA has the most electric vehicles and the largest number of public charging stations among the 100 largest metro areas.

The electric revolution continues its march, with the last couple of years being a new landmark for growth. Electric vehicle sales reached 800K in 2022, a 65% increase compared to 2021. Tesla is still the market leader, but competition is revving up, with household names in the car industry, such as Ford and Mercedes, aiming to carve a slice out of the electric vehicle market alongside recent newcomers such as Rivian, Lucid and Fisker. Moreover, the market seems to be diversifying, with more buses and trucks joining the ranks of electric vehicles. Bolstered by federal incentives, over 5,000 electric buses were in operation in 2022 nationwide, a 66% increase compared to 2021.

Electric cars come with a promise of environmental friendliness, but the electric movement is not without its challenges. Major hurdles in mainstream adoption have been the high price of owning an EV as well as range and charging options. However, as the industry scales, they are more likely to become more affordable for the regular Joe and Jane. In fact, they’re expected to reach price parity with conventional vehicles in 2023. Additionally, tax incentives signed into law in 2022 are making buying an electric car a much more likely prospect for those on average incomes. The charging network is also quickly expanding, with nationwide charging stations increasing by 58% in 2021 compared to 2020, per the U.S. Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuels Data Center.

As the electric race heats up, some places turn out to be better than others in fostering electric vehicle adoption. To see which places offer optimal conditions for EV uptake, we’ve analyzed the largest metropolitan areas in the country with a population of over 500K (113 metro areas).

We ranked them against a series of metrics including number of EVs, public chargers, price of electricity (expressed as an eGallon), a dedicated highway system (HOV and HOT lanes), condition of roads, clean energy, EV insurance costs and local incentives. Additionally, as EV drivers tend be multicar owners, we’ve also considered local self storage provision as this can help with parking and garage-space optimization.

According to our research, the West dominates the list of the best places for electric cars. In line with their broader sustainability and smart-growth goals, western hubs have amplified efforts toward expanding and improving the infrastructure and market conditions so as to support EV uptake at a larger scale. Seattle has made great strides, as have San Francisco, San Jose and Portland, to create a favorable context for people to embrace electric driving.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, given the state’s commitment to environmentally friendly policies, California claims more than half of the spots in the top 10. Electric vehicles have become a permanent fixture of California’s roads, and the trend is set to continue. In the first part of 2022, 16% of CA vehicle sales were electric, much above national figures for EVs, which made up about 6% of total car sales.

Moreover, the Los Angeles metro area boasts the largest number of electric vehicles, roughly 293K, as well as the highest number of charging stations — now inching close to 4,800. San Francisco also fares well with 105K electric cars, the third-best EV presence across the 100 largest metros.

Overall, EV ownership in California increased 27% in 2021 compared to 2020 and now counts over 878K electric vehicles.

Best states for EV ownership

Other major hubs are working hard to catch up with CA metro areas in terms of EV ownership, with the New York metro area boasting 112K EVs, second only to LA. The Washington (40K) and Chicago (39K) metro areas also count an impressive number of electric cars. Moreover, you can find about 38K EVs in the Phoenix metro area. Overall, there are over 2.2M electric cars cruising the nation's streets.

Here's a more in-depth look at what made the 10 best metro areas shine in terms of electric vehicle friendliness:

1. Seattle, WA

Seattle, WA skyline
Seattle, WA skyline

Best in:

  • EV charging stations in apartment buildings
  • No. of registered EVs
  • EV-friendly highway system

A beacon of environmental consciousness, Seattle emerges as the best metro area for electric cars thanks to a mixture of factors that reflect both EV ownership and an urban environment ripe for electrification.

The metro area saw over 47K electric vehicles on its streets in 2021. When it comes to how EV distribution relates to the local population, Seattle registers about 3 vehicles per 100 households.

Seattle’s infrastructure is ready for accommodating an increasing number of EVs, with about 0.6 public charging stations per 1K households. Additionally, over 7% of rental buildings in Seattle come equipped with charging stations, giving renters more convenient access to recharging car batteries.

Not only can you easily charge your EV in Seattle but driving in the metro area also comes with its perks: Over 10% of lane mileage is dedicated to high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) highways, which boils down to 183 lane miles dedicated to this purpose.

As far as pricing goes, an eGallon costs about 90 cents, much lower than the price of gas. Additionally, monthly insurance rates for an EV hover around $180. A 10'x20' storage unit in Seattle that can easily fit your second or less-frequently-used car rents for $217 per month on average.

Overall, the broader environmental landscape is favorable to green transportation in Seattle with over 73% of public transit using clean fuel. Additionally, more than half of Seattle’s electricity is generated from renewables.

2. San Francisco, CA

Cityscape of San Francisco and skyline
Cityscape of San Francisco and skyline

Best in:

  • EV-friendly highway system
  • Public charging stations (by population)
  • No. of registered EVs

Ranking second in the country and first in California, San Francisco is a hotbed for EVs. San Francisco boasts over 105K electric vehicles, one of the highest numbers of EVs in the country, or close to 5% of the total national tally. Enthusiasm for EV ownership is also matched by the local infrastructure: EV drivers can “gas up” at any of the 1.4 public charging stations per 1,000 households, whether they’re at a designated charging spot or one located in a parking garage, train station or sports complex. Overall, San Francisco counts close to 2,500 public chargers.

If you’re an apartment renter in San Francisco, you can recharge at over 6% of the apartment buildings. That’s a 17% jump compared to 2020, a signal of the growing demand for this type of amenity. Besides chargers, San Francisco also delivers in terms of dedicated highways, with the metro area offering close to 15% of HOV (high-occupancy vehicles) lane miles, the second-highest in its category on our list. In an effort to promote the public use of clean energy, a staggering 93% of San Francisco’s public transit runs on clean fuel.

Besides turning to federal credits to ease the purchase of an electric vehicle, San Franciscans can benefit from the rebate offered by the California Clean Vehicle Rebate Project or the incentives adding up to $9,500 through the Bay Area Air Management District’s Clean Cars for All program.

3. San Jose, CA

San Jose, California skyline as seen from the nearby freeway
San Jose, California skyline as seen from the nearby freeway

Best in:

  • Public charging stations (by population)
  • EV charging stations in apartment buildings
  • EV-friendly highway system

San Jose managed to snag the bronze for its overall EV performance. It boasts an impressive 44K EVs registered locally, but the metro area is also exceptional in other ways that support electric car owners. As it turns out, San Jose is tops for its public charging stations correlated with population (2.2/1,000 households) and it’s also the best in the nation for access to rental buildings with EV chargers (10.3%).

The infrastructure is well prepared for the high presence of EVs here, with HOV lanes making up 10.3% of the line mileage of the metro area. Moreover, electrification moves beyond private car use here, with about 87% of public transportation turning to clean fuel. Benefiting from the warm California climate, most of the year registers temperatures comfortably above 50 degrees, which allows optimal battery use for your EV. That makes San Jose a particularly EV-friendly place, a view reflected in the online interest in the topic (20.3 Google searches/10K locals).

4. Portland, OR

downtown Portland, Oregon
Downtown Portland, Oregon

Best in:

  • No. of registered EVs
  • EV charging stations in apartment buildings
  • Clean fuel used in public transit

Moving slightly north, Portland emerges as another hotspot for EVs. The metro inches close to 30K electric vehicles in total, which boils down to 2.8 EVs per 100 households. You can give your EV a jolt of energy in Portland whether you’re near a recreation center, hotel or retail outlet, at any of the 470 public chargers spread throughout the metro area. When you factor in population, Portland has about 0.5 chargers per 1,000 households. Moreover, charging capabilities also extend to renters, who can charge their electric cars at close to 6% of rental complexes in the metro area.

Not unlike Seattle, Portland is also committed to supporting the environment through its Climate Emergency Declaration, a pledge to reduce carbon emissions by half by 2030. As a result, almost all public transit system (98%) is supported by clean fuel, and more than half of the area’s electricity (58%) comes from renewable sources.

5. San Diego, CA

San Diego, California downtown city skyline.
San Diego, California downtown city skyline

Best in:

  • EV-friendly highway system
  • No. of registered EVs
  • Public charging stations (by population)

Circling back to California, San Diego is another place where swapping a conventional vehicle for an EV can be worth your while. The metro is home to over 73K electric cars, which boil down to 6.3 EVs per 100 households. You can easily charge up your EV here, with San Diego having more than 1,000 public charging stations. When you consider the population, you get about 1 charging station per 1,000 households. Renters who drive their EVs through town also have cause to celebrate — 4.8% of apartments are located in apartment buildings that offer charging capability.

Besides plenty of charging options, locals have another reason to confidently take to the streets in their EVs: The area boasts 80 lane-miles of high-occupancy toll (HOT) lanes or 4% of San Diego’s highway mileage. Moreover, over 80% of local public transit runs on clean fuel, which helps to increase the metro’s air quality.

6. Sacramento, CA

View towards the Tower Bridge and the skyscrapers in downtown Sacramento, California
View towards the Tower Bridge and the skyscrapers in downtown Sacramento, California

Best in:

  • No. of registered EVs
  • EV-friendly highway system
  • Public charging stations (by population)

Still in California, let’s veer inland from San Francisco — Sacramento is another spot where electric vehicles are thriving. If you’re an EV enthusiast here, you’re probably just one of the 53K-plus owners that have embraced the electric revolution locally. Local substantive action in the form of offering 737 public charging stations continues to nudge drivers in the direction of an EV. Whether they’re at their local library, a hotel or a grocery store, drivers have plenty of options to give their electric car a jolt if needed. Also, if your car needs occasional TLC, Sacramento has about 0.4 certified electric car mechanics per 10K people.

When it comes to the highway system, Sacramento boasts about 123 HOV lane miles or 13% of the highway mileage, meant to support EVs (and other vehicle categories) when they hit the road. Sacramento’s dedication to the EV life shows when it comes to online interest in the topic, as about 16 Google searches for EV-related terms per 10K locals seem to indicate.

Beyond private vehicles powered by electricity, a whopping 86% of Sacramento's public transportation is powered by clean fuel. Moreover, a third of the local electricity is sourced from renewables.

7. Los Angeles, CA

Aerial view of a Downtown Los Angeles at sunset
Aerial view of a downtown Los Angeles, California

Best in:

  • No. of registered EVs
  • EV-friendly highway system
  • Public charging stations (by population)

It’s no wonder Los Angeles made it onto this list as it’s number one in terms EV adoption, boasting the highest number of electric cars in the nation — over 293K, or 13% of the entire stock of electric vehicles in the U.S. That translates to 6.6 EVs per 100 households locally. With such an impressive number of electric cars on the streets, charging needs are equally demanding. As it turns out, the “City of Angels” is well equipped to respond to this need with close to 4,780 public chargers available, which comes down to 1.1 per 1,000 households. As part of the city’s effort to promote electrification and smart-city transformation, more than 400 public chargers are attached to LA’s streetlights.

A quintessential American driving city, Los Angeles has a whopping 800 HOV lane miles or 14.5% of the metro area’s lane mileage, one of the highest on our list. Local efforts to support the environment go well beyond supporting individual EV drivers, with 78% of public transportation running on clean fuel. With California taking the lead in fleet electrification, LA’s metro area boasts more than 560 electric buses in use.

Besides man-made measures and policies, naturally favorable conditions also come to undergird EV use in LA, with temperatures below 50 degrees occurring only 4% of the time during the year.

8. Miami, FL

Miami, Florida, downtown cityscape.
Miami, Florida, downtown cityscape

Best in:

  • EV-friendly climate
  • No. of registered EVs
  • EV-friendly highway system

Magic City typically conjures up images of flashy cars running down a palm tree-lined road, which might partially explain the area’s embracing of electric cars. In 2021, about 36K electric vehicles were registered in the metro area. Thanks to the existing demand from EV owners, investment in public charging stations amped up, bringing the total tally to about 850.

If you’re renting an apartment, you can have access to an EV charger at about 4.6% of the rental buildings in the area. Moreover, at about 90 cents per eGallon, Miami emerges as one of the cheapest metro areas to charge your EV in.

In the EV race, Miami’s warm weather is simply another ace up its sleeve. With temperatures almost never dropping below 50 degrees, an EV’s battery can function at maximum capacity year-round.

9. Riverside, CA

Daytime aerial skyline view of downtown Riverside, California
Daytime aerial skyline view of downtown Riverside, California

Best in:

  • No. of registered EVs
  • EV-friendly highway system
  • Public charging stations (by population)

A short drive from LA, Riverside is shaping up to be another worthwhile place in the electric vehicle race. The city boasts over 100K EVs, which brings the number to about 7 electric cars per 100 households. The high EV ownership is matched by local efforts to deliver in terms of infrastructure: You can charge your electric vehicle at the 800-plus public charging stations, whether they’re located at a museum, airport or grocery store. Additionally, a sizeable chunk of the highway system (13.4%) is dedicated to EVs among other categories.

Only 10% of the year’s weather is unfavorable to maximum EV battery functioning, making Riverside a great place to own an EV. However, on the off chance that repairs are needed, the metro area has 500 certified electric car mechanics or about one per 10K people.

10. Stockton, CA

Aerial view of Stockton, California
Aerial view of Stockton, California

Best in:

  • EV-friendly highway system
  • No. of registered EVs
  • EV-friendly climate

Stockton, CA, rounds out our top 10 best places for electric cars. While the area is home to fewer EVs overall (17K) than other cities in the state, distribution per population indicates that they’re highly popular here. There are over 7.2 electric vehicles per 100 households. With fewer EVs come fewer public charging stations. Nevertheless, Stockton claims about 0.4 public charging stations per 1,000 households.

Charging up your EV won’t break the bank here, with an eGallon going for $1.60. Moreover, if you’re looking for a specialty repair shop, any of the 420 electric mechanics in the area should be able to assist you locally. All in all, Stockton is an area where the love for EVs runs deep, and online interest points in this direction, with 50 EV-related Google searches per 10K people registered locally.

Are you a renter with interest in EV ownership? San Jose and Seattle are your best bets

With EV ownership rapidly expanding, having the right infrastructure in place for charging up your battery is essential, whether you’re a homeowner or a renter. While homeowners have a somewhat greater flexibility when charging their electric vehicles, renters who own an EV can appreciate the perk of having access to a charger at their residence even more. More and more rental buildings are adding EV chargers to their list of apartment community amenities, but the feature is not yet universal. Unsurprisingly, the San Jose, CA, metro area leads the way with the highest share of rental complexes offering EV chargers (10.3%), or over 200K apartments that benefit from this feature.

Seattle, WA, follows closely behind with 7.3% of apartments located in buildings that offer this amenity, bringing the total tally to 490K apartments outfitted for EVs. Colorado’s Denver is fast on the tail of the Emerald City, boasting a total of 7.2% of rental buildings where EV owners can charge up their cars. Los Angeles and San Francisco are on par in this respect, with 6.3% of apartment communities sharing the EV-charging capability. However, in terms of sheer numbers, LA surpasses San Jose — the City of Angels boasts over 867K apartments where renters can “gas up” their electric vehicle, while San Francisco numbers 379K apartments sharing the same amenity.

Self storage shoulders EV owners’ needs

Many of us drive because we need to, others because they simply enjoy it, but no matter the reason, owning a car has become indispensable for our daily comfort. Having a place to keep the car when not in use is also important, and that’s where self storage comes in. Parking in the biggest U.S. cities is not always the easiest thing to do, and self storage can provide a convenient, generally inexpensive alternative.

It can also help with storing your second car, the one you’re using for long trips. Many electric vehicle owners in fact tend to own more than one car — using their EVs to drive around the city and their gasoline cars for out-of-town traveling.

Rivian electric truck parked in front of suburban home charging
Rivian electric truck parked in front of suburban home charging

Storage units are great for protecting your vehicle from the elements — with a 10’x20’ unit being the ideal size to store a standard-sized car. It’s also true that self storage rents can vary widely based on location, with some metro areas offering more competitive rates than others. Renting a 10’x20’ storage unit in Los Angeles can cost you upward of $200 per month, while a Miami storage unit of the same size can go for $160 per month. Other places, such as Chicago ($172/month), Houston ($155/month) and Sacramento, CA ($150/month), offer more competitive rates. If you’re looking to rent a storage unit in Fresno, CA ($148/month), El Paso, TX ($130/month) or Albuquerque, NM ($109/month), you might discover even lower rates.

Self Storage Prices for Vehicle Owners

RankMetroSelf Storage Average Rent (10'x20')
1Albuquerque, NM$109
2Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, AR$125
3El Paso, TX$130
4Scranton-Wilkes-Barre, PA$130
5Hartford-East Hartford-Middletown, CT$134
6Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA$135
7Durham-Chapel Hill, NC$136
8Dayton-Kettering, OH$137
9Springfield, MA$140
10Lansing-East Lansing, MI$143
11Huntsville, AL$143
12Greenville-Anderson, SC$144
13Fresno, CA$148
14Pittsburgh, PA$148
15Sacramento-Roseville-Folsom, CA$150
16Poughkeepsie-Newburgh-Middletown, NY$150
17Knoxville, TN$151
18Stockton, CA$151
19Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, TN$151
20Harrisburg-Carlisle, PA$153
21New Orleans-Metairie, LA$153
22Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX$155
23Akron, OH$157
24Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT$159
25Salt Lake City, UT$160
26New Haven-Milford, CT$160
27Worcester, MA-CT$160
28San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX$160
29Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL$160
30Boise City, ID$160
31Modesto, CA$161
32Columbia, SC$161
33Chattanooga, TN-GA$161
34Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV$162
35Jacksonville, FL$162
36Bakersfield, CA$163
37Syracuse, NY$163
38Baton Rouge, LA$163
39Lexington-Fayette, KY$164
40Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY$164
41Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, OH-PA$164
42Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA$167
43Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, IN$169
44Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD$170
45Phoenix-Mesa-Chandler, AZ$171
46Cleveland-Elyria, OH$171
47Raleigh-Cary, NC$171
48Rochester, NY$171
49Ogden-Clearfield, UT$171
50St. Louis, MO-IL$172
51Provo-Orem, UT$172
52Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI$172
53Winston-Salem, NC$173
54Colorado Springs, CO$173
55San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA$173
56Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI$173
57San Diego-Chula Vista-Carlsbad, CA$174
58Jackson, MS$175
59Fayetteville, NC$176
60Louisville, KY-IN$178
61Grand Rapids-Kentwood, MI$178
62Birmingham-Hoover, AL$179
63Madison, WI$180
64Toledo, OH$181
65Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC$182
66Providence-Warwick, RI-MA$182
67Milwaukee-Waukesha, WI$183
68Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, SC-NC$183
69Charleston-North Charleston, SC$185
70Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Alpharetta, GA$187
71Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV$188
72Spokane-Spokane Valley, WA$189
73McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX$189
74Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA$195
75New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA$199
76Austin-Round Rock-Georgetown, TX$199
77Kansas City, MO-KS$200
78Augusta-Richmond County, GA-SC$200
79Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO$201
80Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA$201
81Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD$202
82Memphis, TN-MS-AR$203
83Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI$204
84Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA$204
85Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA$205
86Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH$210
87Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN$216
88Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA$217
89Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX$222
90Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL$223
91Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, FL$226
92Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC$228
93Greensboro-High Point, NC$245
94Buffalo-Cheektowaga, NY$246
95Wichita, KS$251
96Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA-NJ$254
97Columbus, OH$255
98Oklahoma City, OK$256
99Tucson, AZ$256
100Port St. Lucie, FL$257
101Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL$260
102San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA$260
103Richmond, VA$261
104Honolulu, HI$267
105Portland-South Portland, ME$275
106North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL$275
107Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL$284
108Tulsa, OK$285
109Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL$319
110Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL$326
111Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent, FL$328
112Lancaster, PA#N/A
113Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, AR#N/A
StorageCafe analysis of Yardi Matrix data

Looking ahead, the electric race is poised for continued growth as demand for electric cars meets a developing infrastructure. Bolstered by federal and local incentives, the electric vehicle market is bound to continue its diversification in terms of new models, types of vehicles and price range as the industry edges closer to mainstream adoption.

Check out how the largest metro areas stack up in terms of EV readiness:

What the experts are saying

Sarah Kurtz, Ph.D., Professor, University of California, Merced Sarah Kurtz

1.What’s your take on electric car proliferation?

Electric cars are fun to drive, take less maintenance (assuming you have a place to plug in easily), and in places with low electricity prices, are cheaper to operate. I think we can expect that they will be increasingly popular as long as we can keep electricity prices low.

2. Is the current infrastructure developed enough to support electric charging?

No. France recently mandated putting solar panels over parking lots. If our parking lots have solar panels and electric vehicle charging, it will be easy for even people without garages to charge vehicles. We need that level of convenience for everyone. However, we are a long way away from making it easy for everyone to charge their vehicle.

3. What are the main concerns around driving an electric car?

For those who have a garage to park in and who have two cars, I think there is no concern with selecting an electric car. For those who don’t have easy access to charging or who need to drive their car long distances, then they will need to identify when and how they will charge the vehicle.

Marlon Boarnet, Professor of Public Policy and Spatial Sciences and Chair of the Urban Planning & Spatial Analysis Department of the USC Price School of Public Policy

1. What’s your take on electric car proliferation? Boarnet, Marlon

The increase in electric vehicle sales is very positive. In California last year, 19 percent of all new car sales were electric. An EV is only as clean as the fuel used to generate power for the grid, and in 2021, California generated over a third of its electric power from renewables. The state is well on track to meet goals for 50% renewable power generation. The combination of renewable energy and rapid uptake in electric vehicles promises to deliver improvements in air quality and reductions in GHG emissions. The rapid rise of electric vehicles is, all in all, one of the most encouraging developments in environmental policy of the past few years.

Of course, going forward, we need to be sure that everyone benefits from a shift to an EV future. California and the federal government are both taking actions to make EVs more affordable. One of the most important things will be to develop a market for used electric vehicles – something not yet common because the technology is so new. This will likely require consumer protection policies, such as providing good information on battery quality and expected remaining battery life for used EVs. Getting charging stations into homes and apartments in all neighborhoods will also be important, and I support approaches that help lower the cost of in-home charging, particularly at or near apartments. Half of all residents of Los Angeles county live in rental housing, to give you a sense of the importance of promoting EV charging in rental properties.

2. Is the current infrastructure developed enough to support electric charging?

We will need to build much new infrastructure, including charging networks, but that is no more a barrier to EV adoption than the lack of gas stations in the early 1900s was for internal combustion autos. If anything, EVs can promote grid reliability, as the EV in your garage is also a battery that has the potential to power the grid when the vehicle is not in use. Certainly, there will be detailed questions about electric distribution capacity in specific locations and neighborhoods, and time-of-day electric use patterns will change. With more EVs, we will likely need more overnight storage of renewable energy, and that is already happening. To date, the charging network and electric grid are keeping pace with EV adoption. The primary issue, to my mind, is promoting equity in EV charging, which means making EV charging networks available in all neighborhoods and in locations like rental properties and along long-haul driving routes.

Don MacKenzie Associate Professor, Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of Washington

1. What’s your take on electric car proliferation? Don MacKenzie

EVs now offer in many respects a superior driving experience to internal combustion vehicles. This is a very exciting time for the EV market, with the number and variety of available models growing by the day. If it were only about offering great cars that are cheap to operate and deliver a fantastic in-vehicle experience, the switch to EVs would be a foregone conclusion for most of the market. However, underinvestment in charging infrastructure could yet undermine this.

2. Is the current infrastructure developed enough to support electric charging?

Yes and no. Those with the ability to install a home charging station (some of which can simply be plugged into an existing 220V outlet, if available), can do most of their charging at home, and only rarely need to use public charging stations. Those who live in apartments with shared parking or who park on the street have a tougher time arranging for overnight charging. Cities like Seattle are exploring creative solutions to support curbside charging, and there are many efforts underway to figure out the best ways to get charging into shared parking garages.

For those occasional fast-charging needs, such as on a road trip, it is again a mixed bag. Tesla owners have access to the Supercharger network, and generally seem to be satisfied. Infrastructure for other EVs is generally adequate, but not ideal, for current owners. As the number of EVs grows, it will place additional strain on these stations, many of which already suffer from poor reliability and lack of maintenance. Federal investment in a national network of fast chargers, funded by the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, will help to mitigate these issues in the near term. With enough EVs on the road, research by our lab at the University of Washington indicates that there should be enough demand to support a healthy, self-sustaining market led by private sector investment. However, I've yet to see a convincing answer to the question of when we may hit the tipping point where government investment is no longer necessary.

3. What are the main concerns around driving an electric car?

EVs are a great option for many people today, but not for everyone. If your driving patterns or parking arrangements mean you would be heavily dependent on public quick-charging stations, then an EV may not be the best bet. Quick charging can be expensive and is hard on your battery. It makes sense to use it occasionally but not as your primary charging solution. Drivers who regularly tow heavy loads over long distances are also better off, at least for now, with an internal combustion engine.

Henry Lee, Director of Environmental and Natural Resource Program and Senior Research Associate Senior Lecturer in Public Policy, Harvard University Henry Lee

1. What’s your take on electric car proliferation?

I am an optimist on electric car proliferation. By 2026, there will be more than 40 EV models in sales rooms. We have seen dramatic increases in BEV car sales in most regions of the world, with the exception of developing countries where the number of cars per 1,000 people remains very low.

2. Is the current infrastructure developed enough to support electric charging?

The current charging technology is more than sufficient, but the deployment of that technology is inadequate. Counties will need to invest in new electric distribution systems and much smarter distribution grids. Most people will charge at home, but range anxiety will force governments to facilitate the siting of fast charging units along major highways. Countries will also need to revisit electricity tariffs, which will need to be adjusted to accommodate the rapid development of BEVs.

3. What are the main concerns around driving an electric car?

Range anxiety, the distribution of electricity to fast charging stations, and the need to expand the charging infrastructure are some of the major concerns regarding the adoption of electric cars.

Alex Yasha Yi, Ph.D., Fellow of the OSA, Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Michigan-DearbornAlex Yasha Yi, Ph.D., Fellow of the OSA

1. What’s your take on electric car proliferation?

The proliferation of electric cars has been a significant development in the automotive industry, aimed at reducing emissions and dependence on fossil fuels. The growing demand for electric cars has been driven by advancements in technology, increasing concerns about the environment and air pollution, and government incentives for clean energy vehicles. The electric car market has seen tremendous growth in recent years, with major automakers introducing new models and investing heavily in research and development. Electric cars are becoming more affordable, and charging infrastructure is improving, making it easier for people to own and operate electric cars. However, the transition to electric vehicles is not without challenges. The production of batteries, a crucial component of electric cars, requires large amounts of energy and raw materials. In addition, the power generation sector must transition to clean energy sources to ensure that electric cars are truly environmentally friendly. Overall, the proliferation of electric cars has the potential to bring significant environmental and economic benefits, but it will require continued investment in technology and infrastructure.

2. Is the current infrastructure developed enough to support electric charging?

The current infrastructure for charging electric vehicles (EVs) is still in the process of developing and expanding. While there have been significant improvements in recent years, the charging infrastructure still faces some challenges and limitations. In some areas, there is a sufficient number of public charging stations, but in others, access to charging stations is still limited, making it challenging for electric car owners to undertake long journeys. In addition, many public charging stations are not yet equipped with fast-charging technology, which can significantly reduce the time needed to charge an EV. However, the situation is improving. Governments and private companies are investing in the development of charging infrastructure, and new charging stations are being built at a rapid pace. The availability of home charging options is also increasing, making it easier for EV owners to charge their cars overnight. In summary, while the current infrastructure is still developing, it is improving, and we seem to be headed in the direction of a more extensive and accessible charging network in the future.

3. What are the main concerns around driving an electric car?

Driving an electric car has several benefits, but it also comes with some concerns, including:

Range anxiety: One of the main concerns for electric car owners is the limited range of the vehicle. Some electric cars have a range of only a few hundred miles on a single charge, which can make long-distance travel difficult. However, this is improving as battery technology advances, and many new electric cars have ranges of over 300 miles.

Charging time: Although fast-charging technology is becoming more widespread, it can still take a long time to charge an electric car, especially if you're using a slow charging station. This can be inconvenient for drivers who need to make long journeys and don't have access to a fast-charging station.

Charging infrastructure: While the charging infrastructure is improving, it is still not as developed as it needs to be, especially in some rural areas. This can make it difficult for electric car owners to find a charging station when they need one.

Cost: While the upfront cost of electric cars has come down in recent years, they are still more expensive than their gasoline-powered counterparts. In addition, the cost of batteries and charging equipment can be a barrier to adoption.

Battery degradation: Over time, the battery in an electric car will degrade, losing some of its capacity. This can reduce the range of the vehicle and its overall efficiency.

Resale value: As the electric car market is still developing, the resale value of electric cars is not as well established as it is for gasoline-powered vehicles. This can be a concern for buyers who are worried about the long-term value of their investment.

Overall, these concerns can be mitigated as technology advances and the electric car market continues to mature. However, it's important to consider these factors before making a decision to buy an electric car.

Doug Ressler, Business Intelligence Manager - Yardi Matrix

1. What’s your take on electric car proliferation?

Doug Ressler, Business Intelligence Manager at Yardi Matrix
Doug Ressler, Business Intelligence Manager at Yardi Matrix

The electric car market seems poised for growth, whether we’re talking about traditional or newer car-making companies looking to produce EVs. That’s because the demand for electric cars continues to be high and government-backed incentives support both EV production and ownership. As a result, EVs are expected to grow in numbers, based on the findings from a Morgan Stanley research paper. By 2045, EVs are projected to dominate most of the car market. Moreover, by 2050, EVs could make up about 90% of the car market.

Environmental-friendliness is the main rationale behind the push for electric cars. As many as 250 U.S. companies are dedicated to creating a net-zero emission policy in the near future, with 2040 as a deadline to do so.

2. What are the main concerns around driving an electric car?

The electric car movement is gaining momentum, but it isn’t without its challenges. The high price of an EV – although brought down by incentives now, range and charging stations still pose some problems. However, with the expansion of the charging network – including in apartment buildings – and the gradual lowering of the EV price, buying and using an EV can become mainstream in the foreseeable future.


This analysis was done by StorageCafe, an online platform that provides storage unit listings across the nation.

The report seeks to identify the best places for electric vehicles. We define EVs as fully electric vehicles as well as hybrids. To come up with the main ranking, we considered the largest metro areas (population > 500K) and ranked them against a series of metrics that resulted in a weighted score used to determine the final ranking.

See below a list of the metrics used and their respective weightings:

When it comes to data on public chargers, this category includes free-standing chargers, garages, libraries, parking structures, hotels, retail outlets and recreation centers. Without claiming to exhaust the list, other spots such as city halls, train stations, sports complexes and offices also fall under this denomination.

For data on car insurance (conventional and electric vehicles included), we used data from from Policygenius.

Data on self storage (rates for a 10’x20’ unit and inventory) came from StorageCafe’s sister division Yardi Matrix, a business development and asset management tool for brokers, sponsors, banks and equity sources underwriting investments in the multifamily, office, industrial and self storage sectors.

Fair use and distribution

This study serves as a resource for the general public on issues of common interest and should not be regarded as investment advice. The data is true to the best of our knowledge but may change if amendments to it are made. We agree to the distribution of this content but we do require a mention in return for attribution purposes.


Mirela is a real estate writer and lifestyle editor for Yardi. With an academic background in English and translation, Mirela now covers a range of topics including real estate trends, lifestyle and economy. Her previous experience in proofreading academic articles has inspired Mirela to choose a writing career path. In her free time, Mirela enjoys reading, but also hiking and creating art. You can contact Mirela via email.

Write A Comment