A team of researchers at the DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory has conducted a review of 40 automotive market studies from 16 countries, including the US, Germany, China, South Korea, the UK and Ireland. These studies modeled the decision factors that drive consumers to buy plug-in vehicles (PEVs).
The study addressed such issues as: projected market shares for each region; consumers’ primary purchase considerations; the effect of tax credits and other incentives; and the potential effect of PEV sales on petroleum demand, emissions and the demand for electricity.
“The value of the models is not in their predictive power, but in connecting important factors in a way that enables us to construct some possible future based on what we know about consumer behavior and other factors,” said Researcher Thomas Stephens, who co-led the study.
The modeled factors, and their order of importance, varied by country. For instance, many US models considered vehicle price and operating costs to be very important, while German models listed energy prices and charging infrastructure as the primary considerations.
The studies found vastly different projections of future PEV market shares, ranging from a few percent to more than 50 percent by 2030. “We found that many models handled factors very differently or even neglected some that seem to be important, so a wide range in market projections is not surprising,” Stephens said.
The researchers didn’t predict when PEVs would reach a tipping point, but they did seek to identify factors that could speed or hinder the adoption process, said Stephens. The team identified several important considerations that were neglected by many of the models they reviewed: limited range, available charging infrastructure and improvements in battery technology over time.
Source: Argonne National Laboratory