Main content area

The influence of financial incentives and other socio-economic factors on electric vehicle adoption

Sierzchula, William, Bakker, Sjoerd, Maat, Kees, van Wee, Bert
Energy Policy 2014 v.68 pp. 183-194
climate change, economic incentives, greenhouse gas emissions, infrastructure, issues and policy, market share, markets, models, pollution control, prices, regression analysis, socioeconomic factors, vehicles (equipment)
Electric vehicles represent an innovation with the potential to lower greenhouse gas emissions and help mitigate the causes of climate change. However, externalities including the appropriability of knowledge and pollution abatement result in societal/economic benefits that are not incorporated in electric vehicle prices. In order to address resulting market failures, governments have employed a number of policies. We seek to determine the relationship of one such policy instrument (consumer financial incentives) to electric vehicle adoption. Based on existing literature, we identified several additional socio-economic factors that are expected to be influential in determining electric vehicle adoption rates. Using multiple linear regression analysis, we examined the relationship between those variables and 30 national electric vehicle market shares for the year 2012. The model found financial incentives, charging infrastructure, and local presence of production facilities to be significant and positively correlated to a country׳s electric vehicle market share. Results suggest that of those factors, charging infrastructure was most strongly related to electric vehicle adoption. However, descriptive analysis suggests that neither financial incentives nor charging infrastructure ensure high electric vehicle adoption rates.