CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – Electric vehicles are growing in popularity across the country, but West Virginia is not contributing much to that surge.
Electric vehicle analysts said West Virginia is the sixth lowest state when it comes to electric vehicle sales. In 2020, the state accounted for just 0.45% of all auto sales. That said, of the 1,000 new cars purchased in West Virginia in 2020, only 4.5 were electric cars.
“From 2011, what we call the modern EV phase, through February of this year, West Virginians purchased 1,374 BEVs and PHEVs,” said Loren McDonald, who conducts analysis and data, advisory and marketing services to the EV industry, said. “So the BEVs mean that they are basically fully electric, there is no gasoline engine in the car, the PHEVs, plug-in hybrids.”
However, if the industry takes off, analysts could benefit from the fact that the state could benefit in several ways. One of them is more jobs.
In West Virginia, upgrades are required for the electric vehicle market to take the lead
“I think we’ll see a lot of programs shift towards thinking about green jobs,” said McDonald. “So it’s everything from the solar system to the wind. But somehow you combine that with the EV jobs. So when it comes to charging, there are literally thousands of companies getting into the EV charging industry, from equipment to networks to installation.
The Consumer Choice Center has published a US index for the accessibility of electric vehicles.
The index analyzes how consumer-friendly the individual states are when buying an electric vehicle. The index said West Virginia came last because of its ban on direct sales to consumers and its EV royalties, which are four times higher than standard passenger cars.
“The West Virginia state government has to get out of the way if West Virginia is to join the EV revolution,” said David Clement, North American Affairs manager for the DC-based Consumer Choice Center and co-author of the index. “The West Virginia direct sale ban is actively discriminating against electric vehicle manufacturers, which does nothing but make those vehicles more expensive and less accessible. In today’s modern age of limitless information, there is no serious justification for banning direct sales other than protecting the existing industry from disruption and competition. ”