Electric vehicles are driven less often than drivers think – 1/2 of conventional cars

Analyzing measurements of electrical meters in California and records of electric vehicle records, researchers have found that state regulators say people are driving their EVs too often.

Studies show that electric vehicles are used in half of conventional cars.

When the Biden administration pledges to move the country to electric vehicles (EVs) and states like California work to stop selling new cars that are completely fueled by gasoline, a key question arises: how many consumers actually drive?

According to new research, much less than politicians think University of Chicago wise.

“What needs to be taken here is that vehicles should never or never be our future, but that politicians can underestimate the costs of being fully electric,” Asst said. Fiona Burlig, Professor at Harris School of Public Policy. Research is based on the economics of energy, the environment and development.

In a new working paper, Burlig and the authors at UC Davis and UC Berkeley combine measurements of a billion-hour electricity meter in California with address-level EV records — about half of all U.S. EVs in the United States.

The arrival of the EV raises domestic electricity consumption by 2.9 kilowatt-hours per day – less than half the amount taken by state regulators. Adapted to the share of out-of-house charging, the electricity consumed is about 5,300 kilometers of electric vehicles (eVMT) generated during the year, which is half of the EV driving estimates used by regulators, and half of the vehicles ’kilometers. in gasoline-powered cars.

“What needs to be taken here is not that electric vehicles will ever or never have our future, but that politicians can underestimate the costs of being fully electric.”

Asst. Professor Fiona Burlig

“Regulators are using reliable information,” said David Rapson, an associate professor at UC Davis. “They’ve traditionally extrapolated eVMT from surveys or a small number of non-significant EV meters. We’ve used a large sample of EV-representative homes in California.”

“There are potential explanations for why EVs drive so much less than conventional cars, and dismantling those reasons is next on our research agenda,” said James Bushnell, a professor at UC Davis, who noted that California’s electricity prices could also be high. factor. “It’s important to understand why EVs are driven so much that they are driven much less to properly weigh the costs and benefits of EV policy and maximize environmental benefits.”

The study also looked at different types of EVs and consumed almost twice as much electricity per hour as the others studied by Teslas. It is likely due to a combination of factors, including Tesla’s higher battery power.

“With people turning to buying and driving vehicles, politicians should invest in the necessary infrastructure to enable EVs to take advantage of renewable electricity sources,” said Catherine Wolfram of UC Berkeley Haas Business Administration Professor Cora Jane Flood. Business School. “By doing so, electric vehicles continue to be an essential way to reduce pollution.”

Reference: Fiona Burlig, James B. Bushnell, David S. Rapson, and Catherine Wolfram, “Low Energy: Electric Vehicle Electricity Use,” February 2021, National Bureau of Economic Research.
DOI: 10.3386 / w28451

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