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A Comparison of Plug-in Electric Vehicle Markets Between China and the U.S. Based on Surveys

UCD-ITS-RP-16-23

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Based on the surveys conducted from July 2015 to February 2016 in Beijing and Shanghai, China, characteristics of the households owning Plug-in Electric Vehicles (PEVs), PEV drivers and their driving behaviors, charging behaviors, as well as owners’ life styles and attitudes toward PEVs were comparably analyzed. Further, the results were compared with the analyses from a survey conducted in 11 states (not including California) and the District of Columbia in the U.S. The comparison shows that PEV consumer structures in the two countries are different: PEV buyers in the U.S. generally have higher household income than the population, whereas a certain proportion of Chinese PEV buyers are from low-income families, which have necessary demands for vehicles due to mobility needs; some families in China own PEVs as an additional vehicle for the sake of increasing numbers of drivers; another group of PEV owners have higher income and pursue high ending PEVs. The average annual driving distances of both low-range Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) in China are shorter than those of the U.S. However, the annual average distances traveled by Tesla owners in China and the U.S.  do not differ much. Compared with the U.S., the charging infrastructure in China is still lagging behind. This study gives the first look at the differences of the PEV markets between China and the U.S., based on which tentative suggestions on China policies pertaining to PEVs are provided.

Keywords: Plug-in Electric Vehicle (PEV), PEV survey, Comparison between China and the U.S.
Chapter in Blue Book of New Energy Vehicles 2016, Social Sciences Academic Press (In Press)