Arkansas below national average on registered electric cars on road

Published: Apr. 1, 2022 at 8:21 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 1, 2022 at 11:40 PM CDT
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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KARK/KAIT) - Rising gas prices have led to a rising interest in electric vehicles, but for Arkansas, the interest isn’t there yet.

The Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration told content partner KARK that while the total amount of electric vehicles registered in the state has gone up over time, they’re still one of the least common vehicles on the road.

“From that 2.8 million total [of registered cars], 2,000 of those are fully electric vehicles,” Communications Director Scott Hardin said.

It’s an area Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson would like to see more of.

In his State of the State address earlier this year, Hutchinson challenged Arkansas to become a leader in “next-gen” transportation. That would include electric and autonomous vehicles.

Although sales of sustainable vehicles are seeing a spike, it’s still not as popular as the number one way to drive.

“There are 85,000 people currently driving a Chevy Silverado in Arkansas,” Hardin told KARK. “That’s 3% of the vehicles in Arkansas.”

Hardin believes Arkansas will see a growth in EV registration as more car brands release affordable models, a hope current electric drivers share.

Gary Berger is the founder of the Tesla Owners’ Club of Arkansas, a proponent of driving electric.

“Our charter is to advance sustainable transportation in the state of Arkansas,” he said. “It’s the right thing to do and it’s definitely the future.”

Berger told KARK that 2,000 registered EVs seems like a low number based on what he’s seen.

On the club’s Facebook page, over 800 supporters are following his posts.

Berger is optimistic that the numbers will grow as more choose to plug in their cars than fill them up.

“It’s definitely growing and growing quickly,” Berger said.

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