Publication Detail

The Impact of Federal Incentives on the Adoption of Hybrid Electric Vehicles in the United States

UCD-ITS-RP-13-131

Research Report

Plug-In Hybrid & Electric Vehicle Research Center

Suggested Citation:
Jenn, Alan, Inês Azevedo, Pedro Ferreira (2013) The Impact of Federal Incentives on the Adoption of Hybrid Electric Vehicles in the United States. Energy Economics 40, 936 - 942

Starting in 2004, the federal government in the United States offered several nationwide incentives to consumers to increase the adoption of hybrid electric vehicles. This study assesses the effectiveness of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 in this regard using econometric methods and data between 2000 and 2010. Our model accounts for network externalities by using lagged sales as an independent variable. This approach helps to capture the exponential initial growth associated with the diffusion of new technologies and avoids overestimating the effect of the policy incentives. Our results show that the Energy Policy Act of 2005 increased the sales of hybrids from 3% to 20% depending on the vehicle model considered. In addition, we find that this incentive is only effective when the amount provided is sufficiently large.

Key words: Hybrid electric vehicle, Policy incentive, Technology adoption