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Cost-effectiveness of plug-in hybrid electric vehicle battery capacity and charging infrastructure investment for reducing US gasoline consumption

  • Peterson, Scott B.
  • Michalek, Jeremy J.
Registered author(s):

    Federal electric vehicle (EV) policies in the United States currently include vehicle purchase subsidies linked to EV battery capacity and subsidies for installing charging stations. We assess the cost-effectiveness of increased battery capacity vs. nondomestic charging infrastructure installation for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles as alternate methods to reduce gasoline consumption for cars, trucks, and SUVs in the US. We find across a wide range of scenarios that the least-cost solution is for more drivers to switch to low-capacity plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (short electric range with gasoline backup for long trips) or gasoline-powered hybrid electric vehicles. If more gasoline savings are needed per vehicle, nondomestic charging infrastructure installation is substantially more expensive than increased battery capacity per gallon saved, and both approaches have higher costs than US oil premium estimates. Cost effectiveness of all subsidies are lower under a binding fuel economy standard. Comparison of results to the structure of current federal subsidies shows that policy is not aligned with fuel savings potential, and we discuss issues and alternatives.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301421512008415
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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Energy Policy.

    Volume (Year): 52 (2013)
    Issue (Month): C ()
    Pages: 429-438

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:52:y:2013:i:c:p:429-438
    DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2012.09.059
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/enpol

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    1. Traut, Elizabeth & Hendrickson, Chris & Klampfl, Erica & Liu, Yimin & Michalek, Jeremy J., 2012. "Optimal design and allocation of electrified vehicles and dedicated charging infrastructure for minimum life cycle greenhouse gas emissions and cost," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 524-534.
    2. repec:cbo:report:43576 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Kurani, Ken & Turrentine, Thomas, 2004. "Automobile Buyer Decisions about Fuel Economy and Fuel Efficiency," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt5hh5k3j3, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.
    4. Congressional Budget Office, 2012. "Effects of Federal Tax Credits for the Purchase of Electric Vehicles," Reports 43576, Congressional Budget Office.
    5. Kurani, Kenneth S & Turrentine, Tom, 2004. "Automobile Buyer Decisions about Fuel Economy and Fuel Efficiency," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt6zq891d1, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.
    6. Congressional Budget Office, 2012. "Effects of Federal Tax Credits for the Purchase of Electric Vehicles," Reports 43576, Congressional Budget Office.
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