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Which Mountain West counties have the highest rates of electric vehicle use?

A close-up of an electric vehicle charging.
Rathaphon Nanthapreecha
The U.S. departments of transportation and energy plan to provide $5 billion over five years to help states create a network of electric vehicle charging stations.

New data shows parts of the Mountain West region have some of America’s highest rates of electric vehicle use – and some of the lowest.

Replica, a transportation analytics group, calculated the miles traveled by electric vehicle (EV) per capita on a typical weekday in U.S. counties.

The highest concentrations of EV use are in California. But Colorado isn’t far behind. In several counties, more than 1,000 EV miles are traveled per 1,000 residents, led by Hinsdale County at 2,150 miles.

Other counties across the Mountain West with high rates of EV use include Summit County, Utah (974 miles per 1,000), Storey County, Nev. (931 miles); Camas County, Idaho (408 miles); Hot Springs County, Wyo. (166 miles); and Sante Fe County, N.M. (162 miles).

Meanwhile, in many counties throughout the region, fewer than 10 EV miles are traveled per 1,000 residents.

Replica’s Steven Turell said a lack of charging stations is slowing EV adoption in the spread-out Mountain West, “where people get nervous about relying on EVs when they think there may not be a charger around.”

But he thinks that will change over the next few years, “particularly as we start to see EV charging infrastructure be almost as ubiquitous as gas stations.”

The federal government is working to bring more charging stations online.

The U.S. departments of transportation and energy plan to provide $5 billion over five years to help states create a network of charging stations. The money comes from the new National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Program, created by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Nevada Public Radio, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUNR in Nevada, KUNC in Colorado and KANW in New Mexico, with support from affiliate stations across the region. Funding for the Mountain West News Bureau is provided in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Corrected: December 8, 2023 at 12:10 PM MST
This story was updated to correct a misspelling of Steven Turell’s name.
Kaleb is an award-winning journalist and KUNR’s Mountain West News Bureau reporter. His reporting covers issues related to the environment, wildlife and water in Nevada and the region.

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