IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Costs and Benefits of Electric Vehicles - A 2010 Perspective


  • Carlsson, Fredrik

    () (Department of Economics, School of Economics and Commercial Law, Göteborg University)

  • Johansson-Stenman, Olof

    (Department of Economics, School of Economics and Commercial Law, Göteborg University)


This paper undertakes a social cost-benefit analysis regarding an increase in the number of electric vehicles in the Swedish transport sector by year 2010. Battery cars are generally found to be socially unprofitable, even though their private life-cycle costs and external costs are lower than those of petrol cars. One important reason for this is that electric vehicles are heavily ‘subsidised’ by having, in comparison with taxes on fossil fuel, a very low electricity tax. ‘Hybrid’ cars are more likely to be socially profitable, especially for city-based delivery trucks, which may be both privately and socially profitable without subsidies.

Suggested Citation

  • Carlsson, Fredrik & Johansson-Stenman, Olof, 2002. "Costs and Benefits of Electric Vehicles - A 2010 Perspective," Working Papers in Economics 73, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0073

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Boadway, Robin & Keen, Michael, 1993. "Public Goods, Self-Selection and Optimal Income Taxation," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 34(3), pages 463-478, August.
    2. Fredrik Carlsson & Olof Johansson-Stenman, 2003. "Costs and Benefits of Electric Vehicles," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, University of Bath, vol. 37(1), pages 1-28, January.
    3. de Bovenberg, A Lans & Mooij, Ruud A, 1994. "Environmental Levies and Distortionary Taxation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 1085-1089, September.
    4. Azar, Christian & Sterner, Thomas, 1996. "Discounting and distributional considerations in the context of global warming," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 169-184, November.
    5. Fredrik Carlsson & Olof Johansson-Stenman, 2000. "Willingness to pay for improved air quality in Sweden," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(6), pages 661-669.
    6. Brownstone, David & Train, Kenneth, 1998. "Forecasting new product penetration with flexible substitution patterns," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 89(1-2), pages 109-129, November.
    7. Robert W. Hahn, 1995. "Choosing among fuels and technologies for cleaning up the air," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(4), pages 532-554.
    8. A. B. Atkinson & N. H. Stern, 1974. "Pigou, Taxation and Public Goods," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 41(1), pages 119-128.
    9. Brownstone, David & Bunch, David S. & Train, Kenneth, 2000. "Joint mixed logit models of stated and revealed preferences for alternative-fuel vehicles," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 34(5), pages 315-338, June.
    10. Kazimi, Camilla, 1997. "Valuing Alternative-Fuel Vehicles in Southern California," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 265-271, May.
    11. Vidar Christiansen, 1981. "Evaluation of Public Projects under Optimal Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 48(3), pages 447-457.
    12. Kazimi, Camilla, 1997. "Evaluating the Environmental Impact of Alternative-Fuel Vehicles," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 163-185, June.
    13. DeLuchi, Mark A., 1993. "Greenhouse-gas emissions from the use of new fuels for transportation and electricity," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 187-191, May.
    14. Bovenberg, A Lans & de Mooij, Ruud A, 1997. "Environmental Levies and Distortionary Taxation: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(1), pages 252-253, March.
    15. Schimek, Paul, 2001. "Reducing emissions from transit buses," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 433-451, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    electric vehicles;

    JEL classification:

    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities
    • Q42 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Alternative Energy Sources
    • R48 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Government Pricing and Policy

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0073. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Marie Andersson). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.