Early steps in the transition to electric vehicles in the Midwest

The transition to electrified transportation is occurring across the United States at different rates due to vehicle model availability, charging infrastructure, government engagement, and other factors. The Midwest region has, so far, not been a leader in electric vehicle sales, but sales are increasing.

Electric vehicles made up 2.1% of new U.S. light-duty vehicle registrations in 2018, while the Midwest market had a 0.9% electric vehicle market share. Although the United States has a larger market share of electric vehicles, the new electric vehicles added in the Midwest over 2017-2018 amounted to 82% of the total new electric vehicles over the six previous years. Given this growth trajectory, electric vehicles in the Midwest can be expected to continue growth as seen elsewhere across the country, just with a several-year delay.

This growth is fueled primarily by consumer demand and model availability, but also by complementary policies at the state and local level. Policy actions, which differ across the areas studied, include financial and nonfinancial incentives, public charging infrastructure installation, fleet programs, and public information campaigns. On their own, these factors do not explain electric vehicle market share, but taken together they can have a large influence on electric vehicle adoption rates in metropolitan areas.