Publication Detail

Do Electricity Prices Affect Electric Vehicle Adoption?


Research Report

UC ITS Research Reports

Suggested Citation:
Bushnell, James, Erich Muehlegger, David Rapson (2021) Do Electricity Prices Affect Electric Vehicle Adoption?. Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California, Davis, Research Report UCD-ITS-RR-21-24

This reportpresents evidence that gasoline prices have a larger effect on demand for batteryelectric vehicles (BEVs) than do electricity prices in California. Aspatially-disaggregated panel dataset of monthly BEV registration recordswas matchedto detailed records of gasoline and electricity prices in California from 2014-2017, andthe matched data wasusedto estimate the effect of energy prices on BEV demand. Two distinct empirical approaches (panel fixed-effects and a utility-border discontinuity) yield remarkably similar results: a given change in gasoline prices has roughly four times the effect on BEV demand as a similar percentage change in electricity prices.

Key words: Electric vehicles, prices, operating costs, demand, electricity, gasoline, empirical methods, consumer behavior