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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Plug-In Hybrid & Electric Vehicle Research Center

There are 46 publications in this collection, published between 2015 and 2024.
Research Reports (46)

Assessing the Potential Impacts of Toll Discounts on Zero-Emission Vehicle Adoption

Zero-emission vehicles are a central component of plans to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions from California’s transportation sector. Because these vehicles generally have higher purchase prices than conventional vehicles and represent a new technology that many households are hesitant to adopt, it is important to find ways to incentivize the adoption of these vehicles. A range of methods have been tested globally, including monetary incentives and stickers that allow these vehicles to access high-occupancy vehicle lanes. This report assesses the potential use of express lane discounts as a driver of ZEV adoption by testing the effectiveness of a range of discount scenarios. These scenarios are built upon a baseline scenario that incorporates adoption drivers from existing policies and market growth trajectories. This analysis treats the express lane discount as a monetary incentive. The researchers find that providing even very large discounts for express lane usage to zero-emission vehicles would only slightly increase vehicle sales but would make these lanes much less capable of serving their other purposes. As part of this project, an Excel tool was developed that allows users to test their own scenarios. As an alternative to providing toll discounts to owners of new zero-emission vehicles, the authors recommend developing targeted incentives that focus on low-income and disadvantaged communities and are available to households that purchased pre-owned vehicles.

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Are We Hardwiring Gender Differences into the Plug-in Electric Vehicle Market?

Evidence from the early market for plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) indicates fewer were being purchased (or leased) by women than would be expected based on women’s participation in all new vehicle transactions. The ratio of male-to-female applicants for California’s Clean Vehicle Rebate (CVR) averaged approximately three males for every female from early 2011 to mid-2015; the ratio for all new vehicle transactions is approximately one-to-one. Research on early PEV owners indicated that for their many similarities, females and males talked about their PEVs in ways that suggest female PEV drivers’ experiences may carry less influence to shape the future of PEVs and charging infrastructure than males’. First, there were simply fewer female PEV owners to provide feedback. Second, females were more likely than males to talk about how they adapted to the present capabilities of PEVs while male respondents were more likely to talk about PEVs in terms of testing their limits. For example, female PEV drivers were more likely to talk about how they used the available charging infrastructure; male respondents were more likely to point to where and how to extend infrastructure. This study extends the analysis from early PEV buyers to the population of new-car buyers (of whom the vast majority own gasoline powered internal combustion engine and hybrid electric vehicles (ICEVs and HEVs)) in California. The results presented here are based on data from an on-line survey of new-car buyers in California conducted at the end of 2014 and subsequent inhome interviews with a subset of survey respondents in early 2015. The overall conclusion is that among new-car buyers, female and male respondents share similar distributions of interest in the next new vehicle for their household being a PEV or fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV). For no electric-drive vehicle type did the male-to-female ratio approach that seen in the actual early market for PEVs. Under conditions that most closely correspond to the availability of incentives at the time of the survey, 22% of males and 21% of females express an interest in a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) (a ratio of 1.05 males for every female) and 12% of males and 10% of females express an interest in a battery electric vehicle (BEV) (ratio of 1.20). The difference is greater for FCEVs for which the ratio is 1.76 males for every female.

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