Dec 4, 2023 - News

Benton County leads in EV commuting in Arkansas

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

Benton County saw an estimated 63 electric vehicle miles driven per 1,000 residents on a typical weekday in the second quarter of 2023, Alex Fitzpatrick and Kavya Beheraj report from data shared with Axios.

  • About 42 miles per 1,000 residents were driven during the typical weekday in Washington County.

Zoom out: The crown for large U.S. counties went to Marin County, California, which averages 1,942 miles per day.

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

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

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.

Zoom in: Arkansas' charging infrastructure is still nascent, but with $54 million from the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure plan, there may eventually be charging stations about every 50 miles along our interstates.

By the numbers: Benton County led the state, but rural Arkansas County was No. 2 with 60 miles per 1,000 residents.

The big picture: Electric-car sales are booming but remain short of automakers' hopes, as some potential buyers continue to be skeptical about their range, performance and cost.

  • Several major automakers — Ford, General Motors and others — are recalibrating their electric-car ambitions after lower-than-expected sales.
  • Car dealers, meanwhile, are kvetching about unsold EVs piling up on their lots, as Axios' Joann Muller reports.

Yes, but: Used-EV prices are dropping fast.

  • That's bad news for early adopters who hoped to skirt the law of depreciation, but a win for those looking to go electric on a tighter budget.

Plus: Automakers are doubling down on their investments in charging infrastructure to help solve the issue of range anxiety.

  • Mercedes, for instance, is rolling out swanky "charging lounges," while it and several other car makers are also partnering on a separate new charging network.

The bottom line: The story this map ultimately tells? The electric-car revolution is happening — it's just unevenly distributed.

Go deeper: EV revolution leads to lithium land grab in Arkansas

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