California Leads in EV Chargers but Lags in Renewable Energy

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California Governor Gavin Newsom made headlines recently for a surprise visit to China to promote cooperation in curbing climate change, notably test-driving and praising a Chinese electric vehicle (EV). 

While the move has been met with praise as well as criticism, decided to see how well California is “walking the walk” in promoting EVs and progressing toward its goal of net zero emissions by 2045.

California does lead the way in EV charging infrastructure

With nearly a third of the EV charging ports nationwide, California has significantly more EV ports than any other state. In fact, California has more than four times the number of charging ports as New York, which ranks second.

On a per capita basis, which is arguably the most important factor for EV practicality, California still ranks 3rd. The state only lags behind DC and Vermont, both of which have small populations in comparison.

The majority of California’s electricity isn’t generated from renewable energy sources

Despite building the infrastructure to support electric vehicles, the state still only sources 43% of its electricity from renewable energy sources. For context, Vermont (83%) leads the nation, followed by Washington (82%) and Oregon (78%).

California has the most expensive electricity in the continental US

Trailing only Hawaii, California’s average electricity price of 28 cents per kilowatt-hour is significantly higher than the rest of the country. To be precise, it’s 108% more expensive than the national average.


Although California has been leading the nation in building EV infrastructure, the state still has a way to go toward its goal of net zero emissions. Equally as important, the state needs to find a way to reduce electricity costs as consumption increases with the rise in electric vehicles.

National & State-level Data


Data was sourced from the US Department of Energy, the US Energy Information Administration, and the US Census Bureau. Only public EV charging ports were included in the analysis and the renewable energy sources reflect net summer capacity.

About the Author
Kyle Fretwell of
Kyle Fretwell has worked as a researcher and data journalist for over a decade. His work has appeared in publications such as Bloomberg, Fox Business, MSN, USA Today, CNBC, and the Houston Chronicle.

He now manages's content team and is a regular fixture at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville.

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