Cost of Plug-in Electric Vehicle Ownership: How the cost of ownership impacts the choice between conventional and plug-in electric vehicles

There is increasing concern that even with purchase subsides, though Plug-In Electric Vehicles (PEVS) offer fuel cost savings they may not be overall cost-efficient in comparison to Internal Combustion Engine Vehicles (ICEVs) and Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs). These studies, however, ignore heterogeneity in vehicle use and charging behavior, as well as the importance of non-monetary incentives on the total cost of ownership and operation (TCO) of PEVs that motivates their adoption. This project will leverage a multi-year survey of PEV vehicle owners in California done by the Plug-in Hybrid & Electric Vehicle Research Center (PH&EV) at UC Davis, in combination with a similar survey done in 36 states across the nations in 2018 to estimate the TCO models for PEVs, ICEVs, and HEVs. The work will attempt to answer the following key questions:

  • What are the factors influencing TCO of PEVs and how do changes in these factors impact the cost estimate in comparison to ICEVs and HEVs?
  • How do policies like CAFE and fuel/electricity price trends impact the comparative TCO of ICEVs and PEVs?
  • What is the social benefit in terms of GHG reductions obtained from the PEV purchase decision? 

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