The most recent development in transportation is the growth of electric cars (EVs) on a global scale, driven by customer desire as well as government incentives. Compared to certain European nations, the USA has shown to be rather slow to adopt EVs.
However, in recent years, American interest in EVs has increased at an increasingly rapid rate. Rhode Island combines the beauty of New England with the beaches, islands, and rugged Atlantic coastline. Although Rhode Island does not lead the EV drive, governmental incentives are helping to increase the adoption of electric vehicles.
Officials in Rhode Island are aiming to increase the number of electric vehicles in their state. Rhode Island ranks among the nine states in America that are the most EV-friendly. The state has a robust network of chargers, and additional funding has been set aside to increase access to public charging.
EV Ownership in Rhode Island: Overview
Around 300 charging stations with more than 650 individual chargers are available for drivers to refuel. It offers significantly more than 40 chargers for every 100,000 people, ranking it among the top ten states for chargers per person.
The Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources also provides rebates as EV ownership incentives. Driving Rhode Island to Vehicle Electrification, or DRIVE EV for short, is the name of the rebate program. Within 120 days of purchasing or leasing an electric car, new owners may submit an application for a rebate of up to $2,500.
There are EV price caps in place, and the car must be purchased from a Rhode Island dealership and registered there.Plug-in electric hybrids, also known as PHEVs, may be eligible for smaller rebates of up to $1,500. Under the DRIVE+ program, purchasers with lower incomes may be eligible for an additional $2,000 incentive.
The exclusive DRIVE EV Fleet program provides small enterprises with comparable subsidies. Over $825,000 of the $1.25 million that lawmakers had allocated for DRIVE EV will still be available at the end of December 2022.
Total Electric Vehicles Sold in Rhode Island
Rhode Island has sold a very small number of EVs compared to Massachusetts, which has sold more over 111,000 of them. The total number of electric vehicles owned by state residents in 2016 was only 584, a far cry from the leading states of California, Florida, and Texas.
By the end of 2021, this number had climbed to nearly 2,500 overall EV registrations. According to The Providence Journal, 5,627 EVs had been registered by vehicle owners as of June 2022. Some reports claim that between 2020 and 2021, EV sales increased by 61.4%.
This growth rate will probably accelerate if new car customers in the state continue to show an interest in EVs. Rhode Island only has 1.1 million permanent residents, but according to Electrek, owners registered just around 0.18% of America’s EVs there.
Electric Vehicle Market Share in Rhode Island
Rhode Islanders are choosing electric transportation significantly more frequently even though the state’s overall EV registrations are still quite low. When it comes to sales of new cars, EVs have a market share of about 4.7%.
Thus, BEVs or plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) make up about one in every twenty new vehicles sold in the state. Therefore, Rhode Island’s EV sales are almost comparable to the 4.6% market share for EVs in the nation’s entire auto industry.
Market share calculates the proportion of new car sales that go to EVs. As a percentage of all vehicles on the road, EVs continue to be much less common. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, only 0.3% of registered automobiles in Rhode Island are electric vehicles. This is far less than California’s 1.6% and only slightly above the 0.5% national average.
The 5 Most Popular Electric Vehicles in Rhode Island
Rhode Islanders are purchasing EVs in greater numbers, despite not being at the forefront of the nation’s ecological consciousness. Applications from buyers for DRIVE EV grants provide a view of the EVs that drivers in the Ocean State find most appealing.
According to the statistics, BEVs are far more common than PHEVs in Rhode Island, according to WPRI 12 News. Here’s a closer look at how many motorists favor electric vehicles on the highways close to Narragansett Bay.
1. Chevrolet Bolt EV
The Chevy Bolt EV is the most popular vehicle among Ocean State residents. The small electric vehicle costs less than $27,000, and a significant GM recall helped to resolve prior battery-related issues.
The Bolt can accommodate five passengers and has a 258-mile range per charge, which is more than enough to transport you everywhere in Rhode Island. There is adequate headroom inside, even for passengers in the back seats.
With 57 cubic feet of cargo space, Chevrolet’s clunky little electric hatchback has a lot more room than many minivans and SUVs. It has no emissions because it only uses electricity to run.
The Chevy Bolt EV accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds because to its front-wheel drive system, immediate torque, and electric motors. While by no means a sports car, it can accelerate just as quickly as many regular gas-powered sedans.
The Chevrolet Bolt is currently Rhode Island’s favorite electric vehicle, but it won’t last for long. By the end of 2023, General Motors intends to stop producing both the Bolt EV and the marginally bigger Bolt EUV. Rhode Islanders will soon need to replace the Bolt with a new inexpensive battery-powered favorite.
While the Chevy Bolt EV has been around for a while, the Hyundai IONIQ 5, which came in second place for popularity in Rhode Island, is a brand-new design from 2021. The IONIQ 5 is set up by the South Korean carmaker as an all-electric small crossover.
It has a 5-passenger maximum, including the driver, just like the Bolt. Even though its cargo room is smaller, it still has a little more pop.
The MSRP of the Hyundai IONIQ 5 is $39,950, which is significantly less than the $60,000 threshold for DRIVE EV rebate qualifying. Buyers don’t need to be concerned about raising the price above the rebate level by adding a lot of options and packages.
Notably, though, the lowest trim includes a battery with a 220-mile range. Customers must purchase the $44,000 SE level or higher in order to receive the 303-mile extended-range battery that Hyundai also provides.
The Hyundai IONIQ 5’s motor can produce up to 320 horsepower, and all-wheel drive (AWD) is an option. Rear-wheel drive (RWD) is a feature that comes standard on most trim levels of the Hyundai IONIQ.
The crossover accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds, which is fast enough to be interesting to drive. Additionally, it has electrical design that enables it to charge 80% faster than a Level 3 fast charger, in just 18 minutes.
The Tesla Model 3, a national favorite, is ranked third among electric vehicles in Rhode Island. The Model 3 is quick and safe, has a respectable range between charges, and carries the prestige of the well-known Tesla brand.
It also gains from Tesla’s Supercharger network’s extensive availability of quick charging, with Supercharger stations strung like beads along America’s main highways.
The Model 3’s base trim level with rear-wheel drive (RWD) costs $40,240 and has a range of 272 miles. Once more, the range is sufficient for the limitations of New England roadways.
Higher trim levels can reach a range of 358+ miles on a single charge, but they can fast get close to or surpass the $60,000 cap on DRIVE EV incentives. With rapid charging, the Tesla Model 3 can increase its range by 147 miles in just 15 minutes. Even after being depleted to 10% in less than an hour, it can hold an 80% charge.
Both single-motor rear-wheel drive (RWD) and dual-motor all-wheel drive (AWD) versions of the Tesla Model 3 are available. The Tesla Model 3 can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds at its top performance, which is comparable to many muscle cars. Along with having a top speed of 155 mph, it has Tesla Autopilot.
It appears that Rhode Islanders enjoy their Teslas, and the Tesla Model Y, another electric vehicle from Elon Musk’s inventory, also makes the list. Based on the Model 3, the Tesla Model Y is available in a variety of variants, including one with five seats.
Seating for seven persons is possible with the addition of a third row of seats. It can transport both persons and luggage because to its 76 cubic feet of cargo space.
Starting at $50,490, the Tesla Model Y Long Range qualifies for Rhode Island’s DRIVE EV subsidies. The range of various trims ranges from 279 to 330 miles according to EPA estimates. With a 3.5-second 0-60 time for the Performance model, the EV has the same great performance as the Model 3 thanks to its dual-motor AWD drivetrain.
Other trims range from 0 to 60 times and last up to 5 seconds. If the driver plugs the Model Y to a Supercharger, it can recharge for 162 miles in 15 minutes.
The Model Y is a strong all-arounder thanks to Tesla’s design, which contributes to its appeal in the Ocean State. Range, performance, baggage capacity, safety, and a straightforward but opulent interior are all features of the Model Y. In addition to Rhode Island, this Tesla model is popular around the country.
5. Toyota RAV4 Prime
The Toyota RAV4 Prime was ranked as the sixth most popular option for an eco-friendly vehicle among Rhode Islanders. As a plug-in electric hybrid, or PHEV, rather than an actual all-electric vehicle, Toyota makes the RAV4 Prime.
However, almost as many new car purchasers seeking environmentally friendly transportation submit applications for state incentives for this model as for the Tesla Model Y. This fact along with the abilities of the Toyota RAV4 Prime make it worthwhile to investigate further.
The compact crossover SUV body shape of the RAV4 Prime provides better visibility and a respectable amount of load space. Its battery provides 42 miles of electric-only running and can be fully charged in less than 3 hours. This makes it possible to operate the RAV4 on electricity for short journeys and running errands around town.
With a combined output of 302 horsepower, the hybrid drivetrain can reach 60 mph in 5.8 seconds. Even in hazardous weather, Smart AWD distributes power to the wheels for maximum traction.
The Toyota RAV4 now ranks fourth among all passenger cars and top among SUVs in terms of popularity worldwide. It’s not surprising that residents of Rhode Island selected one of their top EV options from a marque that has sold more than 10 million units worldwide. The entry-level SE trim costs $43,090.
Rhode Island isn’t leading the way in EV adoption, but it does demonstrate how the popularity of electric vehicles is growing and how state incentives can support that process. The DRIVE EV discount is applicable to each of the top five EVs selected by Rhode Islanders.
Two reasonably priced versions, two powerful and performance-focused Tesla models priced in the middle, and a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) are all part of the options. The move appears to be helped by the ubiquitous accessibility of chargers made possible by Rhode Island’s modest geographical area.