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On the electrification of road transport - Learning rates and price forecasts for hybrid-electric and battery-electric vehicles

  • Weiss, Martin
  • Patel, Martin K.
  • Junginger, Martin
  • Perujo, Adolfo
  • Bonnel, Pierre
  • van Grootveld, Geert
Registered author(s):

    Hybrid-electric vehicles (HEVs) and battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) are currently more expensive than conventional passenger cars but may become cheaper due to technological learning. Here, we obtain insight into the prospects of future price decline by establishing ex-post learning rates for HEVs and ex-ante price forecasts for HEVs and BEVs. Since 1997, HEVs have shown a robust decline in their price and price differential at learning rates of 7±2% and 23±5%, respectively. By 2010, HEVs were only 31±22€2010kW−1 more expensive than conventional cars. Mass-produced BEVs are currently introduced into the market at prices of 479±171€2010kW−1, which is 285±213€2010kW−1 and 316±209€2010kW−1 more expensive than HEVs and conventional cars. Our forecast suggests that price breakeven with these vehicles may only be achieved by 2026 and 2032, when 50 and 80 million BEVs, respectively, would have been produced worldwide. We estimate that BEVs may require until then global learning investments of 100–150 billion € which is less than the global subsidies for fossil fuel consumption paid in 2009. These findings suggest that HEVs, including plug-in HEVs, could become the dominant vehicle technology in the next two decades, while BEVs may require long-term policy support.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Energy Policy.

    Volume (Year): 48 (2012)
    Issue (Month): C ()
    Pages: 374-393

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:48:y:2012:i:c:p:374-393
    DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2012.05.038
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    1. Thiel, Christian & Perujo, Adolfo & Mercier, Arnaud, 2010. "Cost and CO2 aspects of future vehicle options in Europe under new energy policy scenarios," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(11), pages 7142-7151, November.
    2. Yu, C.F. & van Sark, W.G.J.H.M. & Alsema, E.A., 2011. "Unraveling the photovoltaic technology learning curve by incorporation of input price changes and scale effects," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 324-337, January.
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    4. Kahouli-Brahmi, Sondes, 2008. "Technological learning in energy-environment-economy modelling: A survey," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 138-162, January.
    5. Perujo, Adolfo & Ciuffo, Biagio, 2010. "The introduction of electric vehicles in the private fleet: Potential impact on the electric supply system and on the environment. A case study for the Province of Milan, Italy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(8), pages 4549-4561, August.
    6. Lee, Henry & Grant, Lovellette, 2011. "Will Electric Cars Transform the U.S. Market," Scholarly Articles 5116458, Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
    7. Neij, Lena, 2008. "Cost development of future technologies for power generation--A study based on experience curves and complementary bottom-up assessments," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 2200-2211, June.
    8. Lee, Henry & Lovellette, Grant, 2011. "Will Electric Cars Transform the U.S. Market?," Working Paper Series rwp11-032, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    9. Chandra, Ambarish & Gulati, Sumeet & Kandlikar, Milind, 2010. "Green drivers or free riders? An analysis of tax rebates for hybrid vehicles," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 78-93, September.
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    11. Arie Beresteanu & Shanjun Li, 2011. "Gasoline Prices, Government Support, And The Demand For Hybrid Vehicles In The United States," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 52(1), pages 161-182, 02.
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