Tesla and Uber Weigh In on Policies to Boost EV Adoption

Tesla charging station
Solutions include thinking more about how to serve the shared-use driver.

Tesla and Uber Weigh In on Policies to Boost EV Adoption

By Justin Gerdes

U.S. plug-in electric vehicle sales increased by 25 percent to just under 200,000 units in 2017. While promising, the rate of growth still lags what is needed to drive down greenhouse gas emissions from transportation.

Last week, policy experts gathered at the University of California, Davis for a conference focused on what researchers at the Institute of Transportation Studies (ITS-Davis) call the “three revolutions” -- shared, automated and electric vehicles.

Speakers on a panel on the conference’s first day were asked what immediate steps could be taken by policymakers to boost EV adoption. Gil Tal, the research director of ITS-Davis’ Plug-in Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Research Center, said a good place to start is simply alerting consumers to the fact that EVs exist.

Tal cited research by his colleague Ken Kurani, recently reported on by Greentech Media, demonstrating that even in California, the nation’s largest electric-vehicle market, 95 percent of consumers lack awareness of EVs. One factor, he said, is that a small share of consumers buy most of the new cars sold in the state.

From 2010-2017, 46 percent of California households did not purchase a new car. Meanwhile, about 16 percent of households purchased two or more new vehicles over the same period. If this group does "buy electric cars, then we’ll see a lot of electric cars on the road,” said Tal.

...Read the full story at Greentech Media