Electric Vehicle Inequities


By Kellie Dugdale

In recent years, there has been a significant increase in the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs). According to the Department of Energy, the number of EVs in the United States has more than quadrupled since 2013, with over 2.3 million EVs on the road as of 2021.

Despite the significant gain in EV ownership, there are large inequities across socioeconomic groups. According to a study published in the Energy Research Social Science Journal, the majority of EV owners are white, own a home, have multiple vehicles, and have a higher income compared to the general population. About 60% of EV owners have an annual income of more than $100,000, while only 20% have an annual income of less than $50,000.

This disparity in EV ownership can be attributed to a number of factors. EVs are generally more expensive than gas-powered vehicles, which can make them less affordable for low-income individuals and families. Additionally, many low-income individuals and families may not have access to the type of financing that is needed to purchase an EV.

Another reason for the disparity in EV ownership is access to charging stations. Many low-income individuals and families may not have access to a charging station at home, which can make it difficult to charge an EV.

As EVs become more and more popular, one question that arises is how to make EV charging stations more accessible to everyone. Cities can improve equity in EV ownership by increasing access to charging stations. By installing public charging stations in low-income neighborhoods, owning an EV can become more feasible.

By taking a more equitable approach to installing EV charging stations, cities can help to make EVs more accessible to everyone, regardless of income. This can help to increase the adoption of EVs and support the transition to a cleaner, more sustainable transportation system.

Kellie Dugdale is an Associate Consultant with Dixon Resources Unlimited. She can be reached at kellie@dixonresourcesunlimited.com.