Kentucky EV Charging Lags Other States

Electric vehicle drivers may want to avoid Kentucky for a while, according to a new report issued by online car dealer CoPilot. Despite the increasing demand for electric vehicles (EVs), the commonwealth ranks 49th out of the 50 states in EV chargers per capita.

With 11.8 EV chargers per 100,000 population, only Louisiana (8.3) trails Kentucky in the prevalence of electric chargers. Vermont (139.7), California (104.7), Massachusetts (70.7), and Colorado (68.5) lead all states in total EV chargers per capita.

Kentucky has 24 Level 1 chargers and 398 Level 2 chargers. Neither works well for most drivers – Level 1 adds five miles of range per one hour of charging, while Level 2 adds 25 miles per charging hour. These chargers work well for home or office use, but they charge too slowly for those making longer trips.

Direct-current fast charging equipment (Level 3) adds 100-200 miles in just 30 minutes of charging. Nationally, 21.1% of all EV chargers are Level 3, while 20.0% of the state’s EV chargers meet that standard.

Kentucky will receive approximately $69 million in federal funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) over five years to develop and expand EV charging, and state legislators added $17 million during the 2022 Regular Session. The state’s EV plan prioritizes charging infrastructure along primary interstates and parkways; additional highway, community, and park charging stations will come later.

The municipal road aid (MRA) program will suffer as electric vehicles become more prevalent. Only motor fuels taxes fund the MRA program, which distributes money to cities and some counties to support local road maintenance and construction. Although EV owners pay additional state registration fees, that money is not shared with local governments.