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Is investing in an electric car worthwhile from a consumers' perspective?


  • Fontaínhas, José
  • Cunha, Jorge
  • Ferreira, Paula


The use of electric vehicles (EV) has long been proposed as a viable alternative to conventional cars and as a means of tackling transportation challenges related to the increasing reliance on fossil fuel and resulting greenhouse gas emissions. However, considerable barriers to its effective market uptake still persist. One of the most important ones is the cost of EV compared to other options in the same car market segment. The purpose of this paper is to assess whether the investment in an EV pays-off in different car market segments. Comparisons between internal combustion engine cars and battery EV (BEV) were undertaken, evaluating the excess cost for the consumer. The evaluation is complemented by a probabilistic risk analysis. The car market segment is found to be a relevant aspect with the results suggesting that the acquisition of BEV for the higher end car market segment can easily become a financially attractive option. On the other hand, the cost argument for acquiring a BEV on the lower/middle car market segment is still not as convincing. The analysis was undertaken assuming the current Portuguese market conditions, but the results are deemed to be pertinent for other markets and regions.

Suggested Citation

  • Fontaínhas, José & Cunha, Jorge & Ferreira, Paula, 2016. "Is investing in an electric car worthwhile from a consumers' perspective?," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 115(P2), pages 1459-1477.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:energy:v:115:y:2016:i:p2:p:1459-1477
    DOI: 10.1016/

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    1. repec:gam:jeners:v:10:y:2017:i:10:p:1604-:d:114884 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:eee:energy:v:144:y:2018:i:c:p:312-321 is not listed on IDEAS


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