CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – Electric vehicles are becoming more popular throughout nation, but West Virginia isn’t contributing much to that rise.
Electric Vehicle analysts said that West Virginia is the 6th lowest state when it comes to EV sales. In the year 2020 the state only accounted 0.45% EV sales out of all car sales. That means out of the 1,000 new cars purchased in 2020 in West Virginia, only 4.5 of them were electric cars.
“From 2011, which is kind of, what we refer to as the modern EV phase, up through February of this year West Virginians have purchased 1,374, what we refer to as, BEV’s and PHEV’s,” Loren McDonald, who does analysis, data, consulting and marketing services for the EV Industry, said. “So, the BEV’s meaning they’re basically the full electric, there is no gas engine in the car, the PHEV’s, plug in hybrids.”
But if the industry does take off analysts said that could benefit the state in several ways. One being more jobs.
“So, I think we’re going to see a lot of the programs shifting to sort of thinking about green jobs,” McDonald said. “So it’s everything from solar installation to wind. But sort of combining that with the EV jobs. So, charging there are literally thousands of companies jumping into the EV charging industry everything from the equipment to the networks to basically installing it.”
The Consumer Choice Center released a US Electric Vehicle Accessibility Index.
The index analyzes how consumer friendly each state is for buying an EV. The index said that West Virginia tied for last because of its ban on direct-to-consumer sales, and its EV licensing fees which are 4X higher than standard passenger vehicles.
“The state government in West Virginia needs to get out of the way if West Virginia is going to join the EV revolution,” David Clement, North American Affairs Manager for the DC based Consumer Choice Center and co-author of the index said. “West Virginia’s ban on direct-to-consumer vehicle sales actively discriminates against EV manufacturers, which does nothing but make these vehicles more expensive, and less accessible. In today’s modern age of limitless information, there is no serious justification for a ban on direct sale, other than protecting the existing industry from disruption and competition.”