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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Do Incentives Make a Difference? Understanding Smart Charging Program Adoption for Electric Vehicles


Climate change and environmental problems have spurred new strategies to reduce fossil fuel consumption in transportation. Two important strategies include a rapid transition to green energy and the replacement of internal combustion vehicles with electric vehicles (EVs). However, the increasing demand for electricity by EVs, especially from time-dependent green sources of energy (e.g., solar, wind), will likely overload the grid at peak hours. Rather than build costly infrastructure improvements for distribution and generation, smart charging programs for EVs could defer charging to off-peak times and better match demand with supply. Yet, little is currently known about people’s willingness to participate in a program and relinquish control of charging to a third party.

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