Dec 11, 2023 - News

Virginia's EV driving use by county

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

Richmond EV drivers log some of the lowest electric vehicle miles driven in the Richmond region — and all of Central Virginia.

What's happening: Richmond saw an estimated 87 electric vehicle miles driven per 1,000 residents on a typical weekday in the second quarter of 2023, according to data shared with Axios.

  • That's less than neighboring Chesterfield and Henrico, which saw 192 and 204 EV miles per 1,000 people driven, respectively.
  • And significantly less than the surprise top EV driving county in the region: Goochland, which saw 604 electric vehicle miles driven per 1,000 residents in the same period.

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

  • The national rate is about 227 EV miles per 1,000 residents and 23,660 miles per all cars, including the classic gas guzzlers.

Why it matters: State law is pushing Virignians to buy electric to reduce carbon pollution.

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

  • Two glaring exceptions? Colorado and Hawai'i.
Electric vehicle miles traveled per 1,000 residents
Data: Replica; Map: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

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

  • Several major automakers, including Ford, General Motors and others, are recalibrating their electric car ambitions after lower-than-expected sales.

Zoom in: The first tiered threshold for Virginia goes into effect next year, requiring roughly 8% of all vehicles sold to be electric.

  • And the state may be on target to hit that: EVs accounted for 9% of all vehicles sold in the first eight months of 2023, per the Times-Dispatch.
  • That's up from 6% last year and 3% in 2021.

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

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