Accelerate Plug-in Electrical Vehicles Adoption via Understanding Household Adoption Decisions and Designing Equitable Transportation Finance Policies

Reducing greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions is a crucial step in combating climate change. Motivated by this objective, many governments around the world, including California, have implemented aggressive policy targets to electrify its transportation sector, especially its light-duty vehicles (LDVs) fleet. While vehicle technology transitions from internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEVs) to plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs), the transportation infrastructures are experiencing a revenue shortfall, due to the reduction of motor fuel consumption during this technology transition. To address this shortfall, many States have piloted and some have implemented road-usage charge (RUC) programs to directly price vehicle miles travelled (VMT) and to recuperate revenues for transportation infrastructures. California, being at the forefront of both transitions, is well-positioned to capitalize on the momentum of these two transitions to devise sustainable transportation finance mechanisms, while minimizing the financial burdens to low-income populations. Furthermore, it is also crucial to understand how the implementation of a RUC may impact PEV drivers and ICEV drivers differently, especially on their VMT. This research aims to address these policy-relevant questions by investigating cost efficient ways to implement a RUC, evaluating the equity impacts of RUC, and quantifying factors that influence household’s PEV adoption decisions. The results from this series of research projects will inform policymakers to implement cost-effective and equitable solutions for future transportation infrastructure funding as well as transportation electrification.

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