EPA/DOT fuel economy sticker for electric car.
EPA/DOT fuel economy sticker for electric car shows official range, but driving style and other factors determine actual mileage.

Drivers and Barriers to Electric Vehicle Adoption - Part II

Continuation of three-part series on the factors driving the adoption of EVs.

By Matthew I. Slavin, PhD

Last week I reported that EV insiders see the high cost of purchasing plug-in EVs (PEV) as the single most significant impediment to increased sales of these vehicles. A survey conducted by my firm Sustainability Group found 46.3 percent of EV professionals pointing to high vehicle cost. Other respondents pointed to range anxiety (27.4%) and access to charging stations (21.3%). Are government incentives needed to help overcome these barriers and accelerate deployment of electric vehicles and if so, what incentives are most effective? These questions were also asked as part of the survey.

Survey Slide 3

As the chart shows, the EV insiders surveyed overwhelmingly see government incentives as necessary to accelerate the pace of PEV adoption and charging infrastructure deployment. Almost 90 percent of those surveyed responded that incentives are necessary versus only about 11 percent who do not see incentives as a necessity.

There are no readily apparent incentives to address range anxiety. But incentives to offset high vehicle prices and to encourage charging infrastructure installation as well as other types of incentives to move the EV market are tried and tested, being offered by a number of governments at the federal, state and local level.

The survey asked respondents to rank from 1 to 5 the effectiveness of each of five different types of incentives: tax credits and grants for a) vehicle purchase; b) charging infrastructure; and c) EV research and development; and privileged access to HOV lanes and parking for EVs, and government policies that provide a preference for or require the purchase of electric vehicles (and other types of alternative fueled vehicles).

Survey Slide 4

As the chart shows, EV insiders see tax credits and grants for purchasing vehicles as the most effective incentives for accelerating growth in PEV sales. Ranking second are tax credits and grants for installing charging stations. The figures depicted in the chart are aggregated averages weighted to take into account the relative ranking survey respondents assigned to each of the five incentive options. Looking at the data at a more granular level, 58.3 percent singularly ranked incentives for vehicles as highest in effectiveness and 35.7 percent ranked incentives for infrastructure. Government purchasing (36.9%), R&D support (31.0%), and HOV land and parking privileges (31.0%) followed in perceived effectiveness.

Next week in EV World I’ll post what the survey says about EV insiders’ expectations for vehicle sales in 2014. I’ll follow up after the New Year with a discussion of what the results of the survey says about strategies for growing the EV market.

* The survey was conducted in October with results based on 113 responses from professionals verified as working in the EV space in either executive, management, engineering and technical, or marketing or sales capacities.

Matthew Slavin, Ph.D. is president of Washington D.C.-based Sustainability Group, focused on sustainability, clean energy, and alternative fueled vehicle and advanced technology transportation. Contact him at matt@sustaingrup.com.

Times Article Viewed: 5489
Published: 09-Dec-2013


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