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Study reveals the No. 1 most electric-car-friendly city in the US: 'Driving in the metro area also comes with its perks'

"In some areas, there is a sufficient number of public charging stations, but in others, access to charging stations is still limited."

Seattle, the most EV-friendly city

Photo Credit: iStock

The results are in, and Seattle is officially the most EV-friendly city in the United States, according to a report by StorageCafe.

StorageCafe assessed more than 100 of the largest metro areas (with populations over 500,000), taking into account factors such as the number of EVs on the road, the cost of electricity, local incentives, and the concentration of local and public chargers to reach its verdict. 

Seattle has more than 47,000 EVs on the roads, with about three EVs registered per 100 households. When it comes to charging, there are about 0.6 public charging stations per 1,000 households, and charging stations are available at 7.3% of the city's rental properties.

"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," Storage Cafe explained.

Seattle is followed by San Francisco in second place — where a whopping 5% (105,496) of all the nation's EVs buzz around the streets — San Jose, California, in third; Portland, Oregon, in fourth; and San Diego, California, in fifth. 

Rounding out the top 10 in order are Sacramento, CA, Los Angeles, CA, Miami, FL, Riverside, CA, and Stockton, CA.

Overall, the West dominates the top 10 — Miami was the only non-Western city to crack the list at number eight.

"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," according to a wrap up of the analysis by Storage Cafe. "Seattle has made great strides, as have San Francisco, San Jose, and Portland, to create a favorable context for people to embrace electric driving."

And more good news — EV sales are soaring, with about 800,000 sold in 2022, according to Kelley Blue Book. This is a 65% bump from 2021. Expert sources, including Kelly Blue Book parent company Cox Automotive, predict this number could surpass one million in 2023. 

An increase in EVs on the road is an important part of the transition away from dirty energy, as EVs create far less planet-warming gas than traditional cars.

Overall, the future is looking bright for electric vehicles, but some challenges still remain when it comes to developing infrastructure, according to Alex Yasha Yi, an expert with the University of Michigan-Dearborn.

"While there have been significant improvements in recent years, the charging infrastructure still faces some challenges and limitations," he told Storage Cafe. "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."

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