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Valuing Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles' Battery Capacity Using a Real Options Framework


  • Derek M. Lemoine


Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) enable their drivers to choose whether to use electricity or gasoline, but this fuel flexibility benefit requires the purchase of additional battery capacity relative to most other vehicles. We value the fuel flexibility of PHEVs by representing the purchase of the battery as the purchase of a strip of call options on the price of transportation. We use a Kalman filter to obtain maximum likelihood estimates for three gasoline price models applied to a U.S. municipal market. We find that using a real options approach instead of a discounted cash flow analysis does not raise the retail price at which the battery pays for itself by more than $50/kWh (or by more than 15%). A discounted cash flow approach often provides a good approximation for PHEV value in our application, but real options approaches to valuing PHEVsÕ battery capacity or role in climate policy may be crucial for other analyses.

Suggested Citation

  • Derek M. Lemoine, 2010. "Valuing Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles' Battery Capacity Using a Real Options Framework," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 2), pages 113-144.
  • Handle: RePEc:aen:journl:2010v31-02-a05

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Robert A. Jarrow, 2009. "The Term Structure of Interest Rates," Annual Review of Financial Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 69-96, November.
    2. Cox, John C. & Ross, Stephen A., 1976. "The valuation of options for alternative stochastic processes," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(1-2), pages 145-166.
    3. Margrabe, William, 1978. "The Value of an Option to Exchange One Asset for Another," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 33(1), pages 177-186, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Niall Farrell, Mel T. Devine, William T. Lee, James P. Gleeson, and Sean Lyons, 2017. "Specifying An Efficient Renewable Energy Feed-in Tariff," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 2).
    2. Juul, Nina, 2012. "Battery prices and capacity sensitivity: Electric drive vehicles," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 403-410.
    3. Sendstad, Lars Hegnes & Chronopoulos, Michail, 2016. "Sequential Investment in Emerging Technologies under Policy Uncertainty," Discussion Papers 2016/10, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Business and Management Science.
    4. Torani, Kiran & Rausser, Gordon & Zilberman, David, 2016. "Innovation subsidies versus consumer subsidies: A real options analysis of solar energy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 255-269.
    5. Michail Chronopoulos, Verena Hagspiel, and Stein-Erik Fleten, 2016. "Stepwise Green Investment under Policy Uncertainty," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4).
    6. Shiau, Ching-Shin Norman & Samaras, Constantine & Hauffe, Richard & Michalek, Jeremy J., 2009. "Impact of battery weight and charging patterns on the economic and environmental benefits of plug-in hybrid vehicles," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(7), pages 2653-2663, July.

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    JEL classification:

    • F0 - International Economics - - General


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