Owning an Electric Vehicle in Mississippi: What You Need to Know

So you‘re interested in joining the EV revolution, but worried Mississippi‘s lack of infrastructure and incentives might leave you stranded? This in-depth guide examines everything potential electric vehicle owners need to consider before buying in the Magnolia State.

Overview: Mississippi Currently Lags Behind National EV Adoption Rates

Mississippi faces substantial hurdles for widespread electric vehicle adoption:

  • Sparse public charging network: With ~500 total stations, Mississippi ranks among the worst states for charging availability (PlugShare)
  • High ownership costs: $3,280 annual average cost is only $296 less than a gas vehicle (MotorBiscuit)
  • Minimal state incentives and policy support: No consumer rebates, cash incentives available unlike other states
  • Pending legislation restricting sales: Direct EV-to-consumer sales could be banned under House Bill 401

However, for the right buyer living in the right location, EV ownership remains realistic in Mississippi:

  • Cheap electricity rates make home and public charging very affordable at $0.134 per kWh
  • Warm climate reduces battery drain compared to northern states
  • Improving infrastructure through planned highway fast charger expansion

We‘ll analyze what drivers need to consider before purchasing an electric vehicle in Mississippi in more detail below.

Evaluating Mississippi‘s Current Public Charging Infrastructure

Mississippi has just a fraction of the public charging ports available compared to leading states adopting EVs:

StateTotal Charging Stations

And rural areas severely lack options for public charging stops:

Map showing vast stretches of Mississippi without nearby EV charging stations

Areas in red have no public charging stations within 50 miles. (Source: US Department of Energy)

With overnight hotel and mall charging the most widely available options:

  • Level 2 Stations: Over 85% of public connectors are Level 2 stations (free but slow charges up to ~25 miles of range per hour)
  • DC Fast Chargers: Mississippi has only 1-4 non-Tesla DC fast chargers capable of rapid ~200+ miles per hour charging
  • Tesla Superchargers: Tesla operates 8 Supercharger stations in Jackson, Pearl, Meridian and other mid-sized cities

Where Are Charging Stations Located in Mississippi?

Here are cities with the highest counts of public charging connectors as of May 2023:

  1. Gulfport-Biloxi Area – 93 ports
  2. Jackson – 69 ports
  3. Clarksdale – 56 ports
  4. Hattiesburg – 35 ports

Pearl, Oxford, Tupelo, and Vicksburg also have over 20 charging ports available.

I recommend plotting out charging stop opportunities before longer trips using apps like:

Cost of Ownership in Mississippi: Expensive to Purchase, Cheap to Charge

Cost MetricMississippiNational Average
Electricity Cost per kWh (Charging)$0.134$0.162
Average Annual Ownership Cost$3,280$3,576

While taxes and fees result in high total cost of ownership in Mississippi, actual charging of EVs proves very affordable thanks to cheap electricity rates in the state.

Home charging with Level 1 or Level 2 equipment runs under $0.14 per kWh – significantly lower than the US average. Mississippi‘s warm winters also limit range loss and charging needs during cold weather.

However, you will pay additional road taxes as an EV driver in Mississippi:

Annual Electric Vehicle Tax$150
Annual Hybrid Vehicle Tax$75

Groups like the Sierra Club have contested these extra fees, since EV and hybrid drivers also pay regular vehicle registration and sales taxes. But the costs help fund ongoing road maintenance as the state government aims to offset declining gas tax revenue.

Incentives and Rebates to Reduce Mississippi EV Costs

Unfortunately, Mississippi has little direct financial incentives available as of 2023 to offset higher EV sticker prices:

State IncentiveOverview
MDOT LoansUp to $500k loans to help governments and municipalities purchase EVs and charging infrastructure

But Mississippi Power, Entergy Mississippi, and other utilities do offer modest rebates for home charging installation or even EV purchases in some cases:

IncentiveElectric Vehicle RebateCharger Rebate
Mississippi Power$1,000 lease or $1,250 purchase$250 Level 2 charger
Entergy Mississippi$250 + free installation$500 dual-port Level 2 charger

These utility programs provide a good starting point to defray charging-related costs as an EV owner.

Mississippi buyers can also qualify for federal tax credits of $7,500 under the Inflation Reduction Act for new passenger EVs meeting battery component and sourcing requirements. Trucks, vans and other commercial electric vehicles are eligible for even higher credits up to $40,000.

Pending Legislation (HB 401): Direct EV Sales at Risk

The state House of Representatives passed a bill in February 2023 that could drastically limit electric vehicle offerings from manufacturers:

"House Bill 401 would prohibit vehicle manufacturers from selling directly to consumers and require them to sell through independent, third-party dealers" (Electrek).

While supporters argue the policy protects local dealership jobs, opponents say it restricts consumer choice and deters companies like Tesla from opening stores or factories in Mississippi:

"We want to attract those tech jobs that can come from this industry, and I think this bill sends the exact opposite message,” said Senator Jeremy England (R) (Mississippi Today).

As the bill awaits State Senate debate, it threatens to further reduce EV model availability compared to other states if signed into law.

Real-World Perspective from Mississippi EV Drivers

"I’ve had my Nissan Leaf for 3 years now. Between charging at home and the free stations at work, hotels when traveling, and the mall, I get by just fine without needing many public fast chargers," explains Mark T., EV owner in Ridgeland.

"Tesla ownership has been great with the Supercharger network enabling long trips across Mississippi and beyond," says Brandon S. of Gulfport. "But we need policy and incentives more supportive of mass EV adoptions before most Mississippians can practically switch over.”

For motivated buyers fit for at-home charging, electric vehicles can serve as economical, eco-friendly alternatives to gas-powered models in Mississippi. But until charging infrastructure and state policies improve, most drivers cannot yet feasibly adopt EVs as their sole family vehicle.

Carefully weighing charging infrastructure availability and insurance of affordable electricity rates against higher annual taxes can lead to informed electric vehicle purchase decisions. Considering both practical ownership conditions and environmental impact can position conscientious Mississippi drivers overcoming current EV limitations.

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