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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Do Electricity Prices Affect Electric Vehicle Adoption?

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This report presents evidence that gasoline prices have a larger effect on demand for battery electric vehicles (BEVs) than do electricity prices in California. A spatially-disaggregated panel dataset of monthly BEV registration records was matched to detailed records of gasoline and electricity prices in California from 2014-2017, and the matched data was used to estimate the effect of energy prices on BEV demand. Two distinct empirical approaches (panel fixed-effects and a utility-border discontinuity) yield remarkably similar results: a given change in gasoline prices has roughly four times the effect on BEV demand as a similar percentage change in electricity prices.

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