June 2, 2017

EV adoption: Shocking the right market

Time

1:40 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Location

1605 Tilia, Room 1103, West Village

Speaker(s)

Deepak Rajagopal, Assistant Professor, Institute of the Environment and Sustainability & Dept. of Urban Planning, UCLA

Abstract

Electric vehicles deliver about three times more fuel efficiency relative to best-in-class gasoline vehicles, and about six times greater fuel efficiency relative to the average light duty vehicle on American roads. Yet, their rate of growth in market share is indisputably slow. While scientific and policy solutions tend to focus on the higher cost of EVs and addressing the so-called ‘range anxiety’, the focus here is on increasing the utilization rate (i.e., annual vehicle miles travelled) of the average electric vehicle. Using a simple but detailed model of total life cycle cost (TLCC) of ownership of a vehicle the paper shows the greater importance of VMT to the economics of EV relative to the other variables. We then focus on the use of EVs in TNC and taxi modes, which entail high VMT but without ignoring battery-imposed constraints. The paper concludes with a discussion of the need for new targeted policies and business models that also minimize the importance of traditional policy instruments such as pollution pricing, subsidies and regulations from a technology adoption perspective.

Biographical Sketch

Deepak Rajagopal is an Asst. Prof. in the Inst. of Environment and Sustainability and Dept. of Urban Planning. He has a Ph.D. in Energy and Resources (UC Berkeley), MS degrees in Ag. and Resource Economics (UC Berkeley), and Mech. Engg (U. of Maryland, College Park) and Bachelor’s degree in Mech. Engg. (Indian Inst. of Tech., Madras). Prior to UCLA, he was a Post. doc. at Energy Biosciences Inst., UC Berkeley. He also three years of experience as Structural Engineer at United Technologies Research Center in Hartford, Connecticut. His areas of research include Life cycle assessment, Energy and Agricultural Economics, and Climate Policy. He is focused on assessing the sustainability of two broad emerging economic sectors – the bioeconomy and the peer-to-peer economy.