10 Best Cities in the U.S. to Own an Electric Car

Posted by on June 11, 2015 in Eco-Friendly, Environment with 0 Comments
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Lorraine Chow | EcoWatch

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Thinking about buying an electric car? While more people appear to be embracing these fuel-efficient, environmentally friendly rides, softening the financial investment in these cars is easier in certain cities.

A recent analysis from personal finance technology company SmartAsset might help determine if buying an electric vehicle (EV) makes financial sense for you, especially if you live in the cities listed below.


For the analysis, the company compared the total costs of ownership for three of the most popular EVs—the Tesla Model S, the Ford Focus EV and the Nissan Leaf—to ownership costs of their gasoline-powered equivalents. They also considered retail price for a new vehicle, fuel and energy prices, state and local taxes, state and federal subsidies, and average miles driven.

Here are SmartAsset’s top five cities for electric car ownership in descending order. We’ve also added an unlikely shining star at the bottom of the list.

5. San Diego, California

Did you know that Golden State electric car owners are allowed to drive in carpool lanes without any passengers? As SmartAsset pointed out, this is especially helpful in San Diego, one of the country’s most congested cities.

4. Los Angeles, California

We mentioned previously that a whopping 40 percent of electric cars sold in the nation in the last couple of years were sold in California, with Tesla responsible for 10 percent of those sales. For many Angelenos, buying a Tesla over other luxury rides might be a no-brainer; SmartAsset’s analysis found that for the average LA driver, the total cost of a Tesla is about $5,124 less than a comparable BMW. Los Angeles also has three Tesla super charger stations, which allows Model S drivers to charge their cars for free for life.

California’s EV drivers also receive a $2,500 rebate for battery-powered electric vehicle purchases.

3. Seattle, Washington

The city’s EV owners benefit from Washington’s cheap and clean hydroelectric energy that costs, on average, 8.83 cents per kilowatt-hour, which is the cheapest in the nation, the analysis said.

The state also has a sales tax exemption on EVs for state residents. According to the analysis, with a tax rate of 9.5 percent in the city of Seattle, that adds up to between $2,700 and $6,500 in savings for owning a Tesla Model S, the Ford Focus EV or the Nissan Leaf.

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