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Demand for Electric Vehicles by Hybrid Households


Presentation Series

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Suggested Citation:
Kurani, Kenneth S., Thomas S. Turrentine, Daniel Sperling (1996) Demand for Electric Vehicles by Hybrid Households. Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California, Davis, Presentation Series UCD-ITS-RP-96-15

Proceedings of The 13th International Electric Vehicle Symposium, Osaka, Japan

The debate over electric vehicles (EVs) pivots largely on market demand: Will consumers purchase a vehicle that can be recharged at home but provides substantially less driving range than an otherwise comparable gasoline vehicle? Most previous studies forecast a small market for EVs because they find limited driving range to be a serious market barrier, and ignore or under-value some positive unique attributes. We designed an innovative mail survey and administered it to 454 multi-car households in California. The four-stage survey included a video of EV use and recharging and other informational material, completion of a 3-day trip diary and map of activity locations, and vehicle choice experiments. In addition to propulsion systems, respondents made choices of body styles, driving ranges, and other features. We found a large potential market for EVs in California. Many households are willing to adapt to limited range and find home recharging to be a large attraction. Translating the findings into quantitiative estimates, the purchases of battery-powered EVs by (multi-car) hybrid households would account for between 7 and 18% of annual light duty vehicle sales in California, not counting EVs sold to fleets and other types of households.