Publication Detail

Brief: Exploring the Role of Cities in Electrifying Passenger Transportation



Electric Vehicle Research Center

Suggested Citation:
Hardman, Scott, Dahlia Garas, Jeff Allen, Jonn Axsen, George Beard, Elisabeth Dütschke, Nicolò Daina, Erik Figenbaum, Patrick Jochem, Michael A. Nicholas, Patrick Plötz, Nazir Refa, Benjamin Sovacool, Daniel Sperling, Frances Sprei, Gil Tal (2020) Brief: Exploring the Role of Cities in Electrifying Passenger Transportation. Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California, Davis, Brief UCD-ITS-RR-20-11

Key Takeaways

1. The electrification of passenger vehicles should be one part of a city’s transportation plan. Shifting from internal combustion engine vehicles to plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) can improve urban air quality, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and reduce energy consumption.

2. Recent studies show that electric vehicle awareness is low even in mature markets; cities should promote electric vehicles to residents by leveraging existing promotional campaigns.

3. Various financial and non-financial incentives can effectively encourage electric vehicle uptake, including: free, discounted, or preferential-location parking; free or reduced road and bridge tolls; and allowing electric vehicles to drive in bus or carpool lanes.

4. Several cities are restricting or planning to restrict the access that internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEVs) have to certain areas. If these restrictions apply to most (or all) passenger ICEVs, they can promote PEV purchase and use in cities.

5. Infrastructure development in cities should follow the same fundamental approach as that used outside of cities. The priority should be ensuring that PEV owners and prospective PEV buyers have access to charging at or near home. Workplace and public charging should be developed for those who cannot access charging at or near home.

6. Cities should be strategic in their approach, first identifying the goals they want to achieve, and then exploring what steps they can take to meet these goals. The steps available will likely differ between cities due to the different ways in which roads, parking, and any other vehicle infrastructure is governed.