The Complete Guide to Owning an Electric Vehicle in South Carolina

So you‘re thinking about an electric vehicle. Well sit right down and let me walk you through everything you need to know about transitioning to an EV right here in South Carolina!

In this comprehensive guide, I‘ll explore all the nitty-gritty details of EV ownership for Palmetto State drivers. That includes the availability of charging stations across the state, what electricity actually costs for charging compared to gas, incentives and rebates, and an overall assessment of how supportive our state really is compared to others leading the charge.

After reading, you‘ll feel empowered to join the EV revolution sweeping the nation!

Evaluating South Carolina‘s Growing EV Charging Network

Let‘s start by understanding the infrastructure that makes electric vehicles viable for most drivers – public charging stations. South Carolina‘s charger network has grown substantially in recent years, although most remain concentrated around major metros so far.

  • Over 1,500 stations installed statewide as of 2023
  • Growth centered on Greenville, Columbia and Charleston areas
  • Rural areas still suffer from "charger deserts"

Tesla Superchargers specifically give their drivers charging flexibility for longer trips. With 19 statewide locations, expanded access is possible by investing in an adapter.

In January 2023, Governor Henry McMaster signed an executive order designating $30 million under the federal NEVI program towards expanding fast charging on highway systems over the next few years. This will help fill gaps in rural charger availability.


South Carolina‘s charging capabilities may not match leading states quite yet as EV adoption spreads nationwide. But with the state budgeting $30 million towards travel corridor expansion by 2026, infrastructure will become less of a barrier for all drivers in the years ahead.

Charging Your EV is Surprisingly Affordable in SC

Now for the question many have on their mind – how much will it actually cost me to charge an electric vehicle? Well sit down, because I‘ve got great news for South Carolina drivers!

Based on January 2023 data from the EIA, our average residential electricity rates remain well below the national benchmarks. That means saving money charging your EV locally versus other states.

See for yourself:

LocationAvg Electricity RateNational Average
South Carolina$0.097 per kWh$0.15 per kWh
California$0.229 per kWh$0.15 per kWh
New York$0.257 per kWh$0.15 per kWh

To give you an idea what those affordable electricity prices mean for actual charging costs per full "fill up":

EV ModelCharging Cost SCCharging Cost National Avg
Tesla Model 3 Long Range$5.82$7.73
Ford F-150 Lightning$12.97$15.62
Chevy Bolt$6.93$9.11
Volkswagen ID.4$10.11$12.82

Based on AAA data, South Carolina‘s average gas price sits around $3.05 per gallon. Even with slightly cheaper gas, electricity still saves you big bucks!

No matter what EV model you choose, charging at home lets you laugh all the way past the gas station.

South Carolina Incentives and Regulations

When it comes to state-level buyer incentives, South Carolina leaves much to be desired compared to EV leaders like California. But pockets of progress are emerging to convince more drivers to go electric.

Here‘s what you need to know:

  • No cash rebates or tax credits for buying an EV as of 2023
  • Federal tax credit of $7,500 still applies on many models
  • Duke Energy offers $500 rebate for installing Level 2 home charger
  • $120 biennial EV fee funds infrastructure expansion

There is positive momentum on the policy front, with new legislation proposed in 2023 that would introduce both sales and income tax credits for South Carolina EV buyers going forward.

For now, costs remain the biggest hurdle to widespread adoption locally. But by linking the upfront incentive to charging infrastructure fees, our state takes a balanced approach to building what‘s needed for the future.

How Does South Carolina Stack Up for EV Owners?

Taking into account everything we just covered around charging availability, affordable electricity rates and recent policy movements, how EV-friendly is South Carolina really?

In my view, the state deserves solid marks for laying the groundwork to enable electric vehicle adoption, although key hurdles remain.


  • Growing charging network, especially along travel corridors
  • Very affordable electricity rates for charging
  • Recent manufacturing investments supporting infrastructure
  • New legislation proposed for buyer incentives


  • Incentive gap compared to leader states
  • Rural infrastructure still lacking
  • Gas prices relatively cheap compared to West Coast

For savvy South Carolinians who plan charging patterns around infrastructure availability and home charging for daily commutes, driving an EV is already a smart economic choice today.

And based on the progress in just the past few years expanding stations statewide and lowering electricity rates, I‘m bullish on rapidly improving accessibility in this next decade for all drivers.

The economic argument for ditching gas grows by the day – and this resident is ready to charge into the future! Who‘s with me?

FAQs: Your Top Electric Vehicle Questions Answered

How many charging stations currently exist in South Carolina?

As of 2023, South Carolina has over 1,500 total charging stations installed statewide, with the vast majority concentrated around Greenville, Columbia and Charleston. Rural areas still lack adequate chargers for longer trips.

What rebates or incentives does South Carolina offer for buying an EV?

South Carolina does not currently offer any state tax credits, rebates or incentives for buying an electric vehicle. Only available federal tax credits apply, which is $7,500 on several models still. New legislation has been proposed to create state tax credits in the future.

Where should I charge my EV mostly – public charging or home?

Experts overwhelmingly recommend that the vast majority of EV owners should charge primarily at home. Public charging works great as a supplemental source while driving around town. Home charging saves money versus commercial rates and requires some planning for regular commute patterns.

Does South Carolina use any fees from EV drivers specifically?

Yes – EV drivers must pay $120 every two years at registration renewal, with funds dedicated to expanding charging infrastructure across the state. So those fees directly facilitate more charging capability over time.

I hope this guide has demystified the prospect of owning an electric vehicle in South Carolina! Let me know if you have any other questions come up on your journey to join the EV movement!

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