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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The State of Electric Vehicle Markets, 2017: Growth Faces an Attention Gap

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Ambitious global goals to improve energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions are motivating a shift to electric vehicles (EVs), which include battery-electric vehicles (BEVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), and fuel cell electric vehicles. In 2018, the governor of California called for five million EVs to be on California’s roads by 2030. The International Energy Agency projects a global increase in EVs from 2 million today to 280 million by 2040. Creating sustained market growth to meet such goals presents numerous challenges to all EV stakeholders, including governments, the automobile industry, electricity suppliers, non-governmental organizations, and consumers.

This policy brief summarizes the latest in a series of recurring surveys of consumers regarding their awareness and consideration of EVs. Two surveys of the population of car-owning households in California were conducted in February and June of 2017; sample sizes were 1,681 and 1,706, respectively. Several survey questions have been repeated over multiple years in similar samples, allowing comparison to earlier results.

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