The 4 Most Popular EVs in Kentucky

Hey there! Looking to join the EV revolution sweeping the nation but not sure where to start in our home state of Kentucky? You‘re not alone – electric vehicles still represent a tiny fraction of cars on Bluegrass roads today. But change often starts gradually before accelerating rapidly. I‘ll walk you through the most popular EVs claimed by Kentuckians so far based on the limited data available. Whether you‘re excited about saving cash on gas or helping sustain the planet, let‘s find your perfect match!

First though, what‘s the big picture nationally versus back home? In 2021, electric vehicles made up 4.5% of all new car sales in the U.S. – up from just 2.1% in 2019 as choices keep expanding. But Kentucky lingered down at 0.3% EV adoption with around 4,220 battery or plug-in hybrid cars registered total. So we have some catching up to do, but a few models already shine brighter as top picks. Stick with me to uncover which EVs dominate locally and why…

Toyota Prius – Part-Time Gas to Ease Range Anxiety

Leading the charge since 2001 with over 7 million sold, the venerable Toyota Prius maintains a loyal following among Kentucky drivers seeking better fuel efficiency. As a plug-in hybrid (PHEV), it melds electric power and gas seamlessly with roomy hatchback practicality. The Prius Prime model travels an EPA-estimated 25 miles on battery alone – meeting the average U.S. driver‘s daily commute needs without a drop of gas. Once the 8.8 kWh lithium battery empties, the 1.8L 4-cylinder engine kicks in to prevent any range anxiety.

Electric-Only Hybrid Fuel Total Range
Range MPG MPG Per Fill Up
Gen 2 (2017): 25 miles 55 city/53 hwy 640 miles
Gen 3 (2020): 25 miles 55 city/53 hwy 640 miles
Gen 4 (2023): 44 miles 57 city/56 hwy Over 600 miles

By combining the best aspects of electric and gas vehicles, the Prius removes barriers to entry-level EV adoption. Starting around $27,000, its significantly lower upfront cost also helps. Designed with aerodynamics to slice through the wind for efficiency, safety remains assured. The Prius earns top ratings from the NHTSA with 5 stars overall plus an impressive IIHS Top Safety Pick + honor since 2013 based on expert crash tests. That peace of mind stays reliable long-term too – Consumer Reports and J.D. Power rank Toyota among today‘s most dependable brands.

For Kentuckians unsure about relying solely on electrons to get around, the Prius hedges bets affordably. With gas prices fluctuating dramatically in 2022, the Prime model‘s 57 mpg city/56 highway looks smarter every day! With home charging flexibility after 25 miles, this pioneering hybrid lets you dip your toes into driving electric without the range anxiety.

Nissan Leaf – Bang for Buck with Latest Upgrades

Seeking a no-compromise all-electric model on the leaner side of $30,000? Say hello to longtime pioneer Nissan and the 2023 Leaf S Plus trim starting around $28,000. Now in its second generation, the compact hatchback enters 2023 significantly enhanced – including 50% more horsepower and upgraded tech. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration skip the cables, while Nissan‘s Safety Shield 360 suite bundles collision avoidance abilities like pedestrian detection and auto-emergency braking. While range limitations exist we‘ll detail shortly, the Leaf brings affordable zero-emission mobility to the masses.

Comparing the S base and SV Plus trims highlights key decisions for your budget:

Trim Level | S | SV Plus
Range | 149 miles | 226 miles
Battery Capacity | 40 kWh | 62 kWh
Charging Speed | 50 kW | 100 kW
Driver Assist Package | No | Yes
Heated Steering Wheel | No | Yes
MSRP | $27,800 | $32,400

Launched back in 2010, Nissan deserves credit for moving all-electric vehicles into the mainstream well before rivals. Over 600,000 Leafs have sold globally to-date, promising 10+ years of proven reliability. For urban residents able to charge overnight at home using a 220V outlet, this nimble EV satisfies daily commuting needs while keeping thousands in gas savings over five years.

Unfortunately for rural drivers venturing longer distances, the Leaf does suffer when it comes to rapid public charging on road trips. Its CHAdeMO charging plug differs from the CCS standard used by most newer EVs in the U.S. So access to compatible fast chargers becomes limited outside metro regions. For Lexington or Louisville suburbanites sticking closer to home, no worries. But caveat emptor applies to our rural and country friends coveting road trip freedom in an EV.

Ford F-150 Lightning – Kentucky‘s Favorite Truck Electrified

Looking for a larger leap from gas pumps straight into battery-powered driving? Well the Blue Oval badge has dominated truck sales in Kentucky and nationwide for 45+ years running – so the fully-electric 2023 Ford F-150 Lightning turns heads and quickly DMs. With 2021 waitlists exceeding 120,000 reservations initially, this ain‘t your grandpappy‘s F-Series workhorse – yet it tows and hauls like one! Retaining the stalwart truck frame while pumping major juice from a 98 kWh lithium-ion battery pack proves electric and brawny strike a mighty balance. Oh, matching the Tesla Model 3 sport sedan‘s 0-60 mph sprint in 4.5 seconds seems plenty quick too, no?

Comparing the Base Lightning versus top-seller gas 2023 F-150 XLT SuperCrew reveals the Lightning gives little ground while gaining green credibility:

Trim Level | Base Lightning | 2023 XLT SuperCrew
Range | 230 Miles | 700+ Miles w/ 36 Gallon Tank
Horsepower | 452 HP | 290 HP
Torque | 775 ft-lbs | 265 ft-lbs
Towing | 7,700 lbs | 12,100 lbs
MSRP | $41,769 | $44,240

As America‘s favorite vehicle, pick-up drivers expect toughness and technology blended to match their rugged yet refined tastes. The Lightning doubles down on torque to leave any rambunctious Kentucky country boy grinning. Cloud-connected over-the-air software updates add abilities over time like Ford‘s hands-free BlueCruise highway driving assistant. With FordPass charging network access growing locally and nationwide, conquering road trips just requires more strategic planning – much like diesel trucks already do.

While exact cost-savings vary based on changing electricity and gas rates, most analysis predicts the Lightning operating on $0.046/mile versus the gas edition‘s $0.192/mile. Over 100,000 miles that equals saving $14-16,000 in energy costs alone. Combined with lower maintenance requirements lacking motor oil changes, the Lightning carries great total cost ownership for high-mile vehicles. Going green makes financial sense too!

Tesla Model 3 – Class-Leading EV Technology

If you desire unmatched electric performance, cutting-edge technology, and surprisingly reasonable $47,000 pricing, enter Tesla‘s ideal gateway drug – the 2023 Model 3. While the flashier Model S and Model X turn more heads, this midsized sedan entices intelligent yet frugal luxury buyers. Available in both rear-wheel or performance-tuned all-wheel drive configurations, even base models sprint 0-60 mph in just 5.8 seconds. Extended range models boast numbers rivaling supercars thanks to copious yet cunningly harnessed electric torque.

Debuting six years ago in 2017, the Model 3 battery capacities and ranges have elevated impressively since. Today‘s top-tier Model 3 now travel over 400 miles between charging stops – leading major European and Asian rivals from Audi, BMW, Mercedes and others. Such big batteries and proprietary motor designs carry a cost however – resulting in hefty initial purchase prices lacking gas to offset long-term ownership savings. Let‘s examine how today‘s Model 3 Long Range AWD compares to the original:

Model Year | Battery | EPA Range | 0-60 mph | Base Price
2017 | 54 kWh | 310 miles | 5.6 sec | $49,000
2023 | 82 kWh | 358 miles | 4.2 sec | $57,990

Sometimes controversial yet always innovating under CEO Elon Musk’s watch, Tesla continues pushing technological boundaries in the EV space. Over-the-air software update functionality keeps infotainment features current while letting Tesla tweak components from afar long after purchase. Their huge Supercharger fast-charging network provides unrivaled access for long distance travel at proprietary charging rates 15-25% quicker than the newest third-party stations.

For tech-obsessed professionals and gearheads alike seeking the industry‘s leading EV range, performance and charging infrastructure, Tesla retains hard-earned dominance. The Model 3 balances aspirations for that coveted Tesla emblem on the hood with pragmatism of more attainable pricing and maintenance than its pricier siblings. If seeking the EV most likely to earn garage envy from neighbors and transform assumptions about electric mobility’s capabilities – the Model 3 makes its case.

Reaching an Electric Kentucky Future

While electric vehicle options and charging infrastructure remain limited locally today, change is brewing across state lines. Ohio’s extensive EV roadmap leverages federal funding to build public fast charging sites every 50 miles on major highways by end of 2023. Industry experts predict neighboring states outpacing Kentucky soon will pressure local and state leaders into more EV-friendly policies to compete for jobs and talent attraction.

Early adopters like you will lead this transition from gas dependence to an electric vehicle future here in Kentucky. As more battery-powered models catering to America’s diverse driving needs enter the local marketplace, momentum builds. With used EVs projected to outnumber new sales this decade easing sticker shock, practical options exist soon if buying today remains challenging.

Hopefully our time together has illuminated realistic electric routes suitable for Kentucky travel based on your needs and budget today. No longer confined to compact runabouts or luxury outlier brands, the EV revolution welcomes all – from tried-and-true stalwarts like the Prius to courageous contractors and country boys in electric pick-up trucks! Which way you leaning now – are you ready to push towards an electric future? Let me know if you have any other questions!

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