The role of market scale in electric vehicle adoption: consumer and infrastructure perspectives
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This thesis seeks to improve understanding of the role of market scale in electric vehicle (EV) adoption, by exploring consumer and infrastructure perspectives. First, we use new vehicle post-purchase consumer satisfaction survey to explore the reasons for low EV adoption. We investigate consumers’ level of satisfaction and reasons for rejecting a vehicle using matching method and statistical tests. Results show that plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) purchasers and considerers are less satisfied with their overall purchase experience compared to internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle purchasers and considerers, but PEV considerers are less likely than ICE considerers to cite the dealer’s attitude as a reason for rejection. Price and value are the most cited reasons and were similarly important for both groups. Reasons related to model availability and vehicle attributes are more often a concern for PEV considerers than ICE considerers. These results suggest that even with existing incentives, the limitations of the current technology, mainly price and range, and variety of available vehicles, are the most important challenges for EV adoption. However, market growth has the potential to resolve most of these barriers. Since range anxiety is still a major barrier for EV adoption, even for those who already are considering purchasing EVs, we take another step to understand impact of market scale on charging infrastructure reliability, utilization and cost effectiveness. We build a queue model informed by the characteristics (e.g. charging rates, battery size, range) of current battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and available DC fast chargers. We use the model to determine how we can expect costs, utilization and availability of chargers to change with respect to each other and find out what the costs are for maintaining satisfactory availability for users. The model shows that for a charging station with few chargers, it is difficult to achieve cost-effective levels of utilization while maintaining reliable access for arriving vehicles. Large numbers of chargers per station make it possible to maintain a high reliability of access for users and a high utilization rate. Also, as the number of EVs on the road increases, the business case for DC fast chargers becomes more attractive.
- Civil engineering