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Study Ranks Major US Cities by How Friendly They Are to Electric Vehicles

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The 2016 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Ride gets 82 MPGe on a single charge

Where can you live that loves electric vehicles? Well, according to researchers at the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs, the answer to that question is Portland, at least according to a study titled “Plug-in electric vehicle readiness: Rating cities in the United States,” where researchers looked at 36 cities, including 25 of the nation’s most populous, and ranked them according to friendliness to plug-in vehicles.

Basically, the reasoning for conducting the study is to show that, since gas prices are dropping, people are buying fewer EVs. So, in order to promote the electric car technology’s promise to limit climate change, cities need to offer environments receptive to electric cars.


The study relies on a scoring system devised by the research team that takes into account purchase incentives, off-prime-time electricity rates, public charging stations, special parking privileges, and carpool lane access for electric vehicles.

The top ten cities (in order) were Portland, Oregon; Washington, DC; New York City; Baltimore; Denver; Los Angeles; Atlanta; Chicago; Austin; and San Francisco. These cities offered excellent programs for plug-in vehicles, including Portland’s streamlined home charger permit system and Austin’s cheap subscription-based public charging station network. Interestingly, some of the cities at the top of the list are highly populated cities that have habitual traffic congestion problems, so probably the city governments in these areas are attempting to ease the smog associated with high levels of traffic.

At the bottom (although the list can hardly be called comprehensive) was (in reverse order) ColumbusProvidence; Portland, Maine; El Paso; and Detroit. Generally speaking, the bottom cities did not provide programs like those cities at the top of the list.

News Sources: Green Car Reports,