Jan 17, 2024 - News

Dallas County leads Iowa in EV miles, but the state lags in adoption

Electric vehicle miles traveled per 1,000 residents
Data: Replica; Map: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

Dallas County is driving the most electric vehicle miles in the state, but the state is still lagging behind much of the country in EV adoption.

Driving the news: The fast-growing suburban county drove an estimated 165 electric vehicle miles per 1,000 residents on a typical weekday in the second quarter of 2023, per data shared with Axios.

Reality check: That's well below the leading county in the U.S., Marin County, Calif., which took the crown at 1,942 miles.

Plus, the figure is a fraction of Dallas' total miles driven in all cars, 33,720 per 1,000 residents.

How it works: The data, from mobility analytics platform Replica, is based on anonymized mobile device info, roadside sensors, transit agencies and more.

Zoom in: Dallas County, which contains affluent suburbs like Waukee and portions of West Des Moines, saw the state's biggest increase in population between 2020 and 2022, per census data.

  • Its median household income has also risen dramatically to about $109,000 in 2022 from $73,000 in 2012, according to the St. Louis Federal Reserve.
  • Iowa's other leading counties for EV mileage included Madison and Franklin, but both have populations below 20,000.
  • Johnson County south of Cedar Rapids ranked fourth in the state.

Threat level: Iowa has not seen a widespread culture of electric vehicle adoption, either. Some Tesla drivers have been victims of aggression on the road in the state.

The big picture: Much of the country's electric vehicle (EV) use is concentrated in the "four corners" of California, the Pacific Northwest, the Northeast and the Southeast.

Between the lines: The areas with the most EV activity are generally those with better-developed charging infrastructure, as well as higher-income households that can more easily afford the electric car premium.

What we're watching: The Iowa Department of Transportation is now accepting applications for federal grant funding to expand its charging capacity.

  • The federal government approved the state's $51 million, five-year plan last year, and applications are due in March.

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