Suggested Citation: Chakraborty, Debapriya, Koral Buch, Gil Tal (2021) Cost of Plug-in Electric Vehicle Ownership: The Cost of Transitioning to Five Million Plug-In Vehicles in California. Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California, Davis, Research Report UCD-ITS-RR-21-20
Total cost of ownership (TCO) studies are generally used as a tool to understand how and when plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) technology will reach cost parity with conventional fuel vehicles. Post cost-parity, the PEV market should be able to sustain without government intervention. The researchers present here a detailed analysis of vehicle manufacturing costs and market-level TCO accounting for technology uncertainties, behavioral heterogeneity, and key decision parameters of automakers. Using the estimates of the vehicle manufacturing costs, they estimate the cost of electrification of California’s LDV fleet to achieve the state’s net-zero emission goal by 2045. The results suggest that PEVs may not be cost competitive even in 2030 without stronger policy support and automakers initiative. Moreover, TCO is not a single number, and the cost of electrification will vary across the population based on the cost of vehicles available in the market, their charging capabilities at home and public, and energy costs. The TCO estimates and the cost of fleet electrification analysis not only has important implications for policymakers but can also offer a foundation for understanding the effect of market dynamics on the cost-competitiveness of the PEV technology.
Key words: Total cost of ownership, zero emission vehicles, teardown analysis, market segments