Top 10 US Cities For EV Charging Revealed

What’s the most EV-friendly city in the country? If you take the number of public charging locations per 100,000 residents as the measure, it’s Portland, Oregon.

Xatori, maker of the PlugShare app for finding and sharing public and private charging stations, today said Portland has 11.1 public electric-vehicle charging stations per 100,000 residents, putting it just slightly ahead of Dallas, at 10.6.

ev charging stations

Grocery store EV charging station in Portland (image via Ecotality)

Here are the Top 10, according to Xatori:

  • 1. Portland, with 11.1 stations per 100,000 population
  • 2. Dallas, 10.6
  • 3. Nashville, 8.2
  • 4. SF Bay Area, 6.6
  • 5. Seattle, 6.5
  • 6. Orlando, 6.3
  • 7. Austin, 5.3
  • 8. Tucson, 5.3
  • 9. Honolulu, 5.1
  • 10. Washington D.C. Area, 4.7

Portland’s leadership doesn’t come as too much of a surprise here; the state of Oregon as well as the city and local utility Portland General Electric have been big backers of EV infrastructure for quite some time. In 2010, Portland became the first city to have a public-use quick-charge station when an NEC station was installed at Portland General Electric headquarters. Then-Gov. Ted Kulongoski even came out to mark the opening of the station.

Portland Charging Station

Gov. Ted Kulongski wields the quick-charger in 2010 (image via Portland General Electric)

Then, last year, the city became the home to the first Blink fast charger made by Ecotality, the company that received $114.8 million from the U.S. Department of Energy to jump-start an EV charging infrastructure around the country. Ecotality also began installing level 2 chargers around Portland early in 2011, and is aiming to have more than 1,000 public stations in northwestern Oregon.

In releasing the public-charging station data, Xatori was looking to publicize the fact that the PlugShare network had grown to include more than 100,000 users and 11,000 charging stations across North America. The company included some other interesting data in the announcement. It said its average user drives 1,050 miles and spends about $30 on charging per month and that drivers using the system “save approximately $75 in fuel costs and 360 lbs of CO2 emissions per month.”

In addition to PlugShare to help people find and share EV charging locations, Xatori makes GreenCharge, an app for monitoring the state of an electric vehicle’s battery charge. Info from users of GreenCharge also contributed to data released today.

Pete Danko is a writer and editor based in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in Breaking Energy, National Geographic's Energy Blog, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.

  • Devin Serpa

    It’s not accurate to lump the SF Bay area as one city. Brentwood, CA has 17.2 chargers per 100,000.

    • Pete

      Hi Devin,
      I don’t know if it’s a question of “accuracy” so much as a decision on Xatori’s part on the most effective way to compile and present their data. My guess (they didn’t explain their methodology) is they are presenting the results for larger cities and population areas in order to avoid having a lot of kind of random small population areas turn up on the list. For example, Sonoma, Calif., has two charging stations and a population of 10,741. That’s 18.6 charging stations per 100,000 population. But I’m impressed that Brentwood has, what is it, 11 charging stations? Are those nine stations at the Civic Center well used?
      Thanks for the note!
      Pete Danko