Jun 29, 2022 - News

Electric vehicles' popularity plugging along in Ohio

EV share of vehicle registrations by designated market area
Data: S&P Global Mobility; Chart: Jared Whalen/Axios

Metro areas in Ohio and the Midwest are still deserts in the nation's electric vehicle market despite recent progress in Columbus to plug in more residents.

Why it matters: The world is in the midst of a global transition away from gasoline-powered vehicles, partially driven by environmental concerns, Axios' Joann Muller reports.

  • Though American buyers aren't as enthusiastic as consumers in Europe and Asia, progress is noticeable.

The big picture: EV registrations in the U.S. have doubled over the past year, to about 5% of all new cars. Shoppers have dozens of new choices, with many more makes and models on the way.

Yes, but: Overall, EVs still account for less than 1% of all vehicles in both Ohio and the U.S. overall.

EV share of total U.S. vehicle registrations
Data: S&P Global Mobility (formerly IHS Markit); Chart: Baidi Wang/Axios

Zoom in: As of last June, there were 14,530 total EVs registered in Ohio, according to the U.S. Department of Energy — that's 1.4% of all EVs nationwide.

Flashback: Columbus saw an uptick in EV ownership in 2016 after winning the U.S. Department of Transportation's Smart Cities Challenge and receiving a $10 million grant.

  • The funds helped increase awareness, expand charging ports and assist employers in offering incentives to their employees.
  • In 2015, only 0.38% of new cars purchased in our seven-county region were EVs. By 2018, that had grown to 2%.

What we're driving: Teslas were the most popular EVs for Columbus car buyers in April, the latest month data was available from S&P Global Mobility, making up 62.5% of statewide registered EVs.

Top five EVs in the Columbus area
Data: S&P Global Mobility; Chart: Jared Whalen/Axios

The latest: Ohio Senators proposed a bill in March to expand EV manufacturing and use across the state. Its latest hearing was in May.

What we're watching: Ohio can apply for up to $140.1 million in federal funds to help expand charging along highways throughout the state, made available by President Biden's infrastructure bill.

  • State applications are due Aug. 1, with approval by Sept. 30.
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