Peer-reviewed article in Energy Research & Social Science
Which plug-in electric vehicle policies are best? A multi-criteria evaluation framework applied to Canada
Noel Melton, Jonn Axsen, Barbar Moawad
- New or strengthened policies are required to achieve plug-in electric vehicle targets
- We evaluate financial and non-financial incentives, charger rollout and regulation
- Framework considers sales effectiveness, cost, support, simplicity and transformation
- Trade-offs exist among zero-emissions vehicle policy approaches
- Three approaches can achieve target: incentives, ZEV mandate, or emissions standard
Abstract: Policy is an important driver for the deployment of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs). Most PEV policy research focuses on effectiveness in the short-term, even though policymakers i) typically consider a wider range of evaluation criteria and ii) are setting PEV sales goals in the longer-term (e.g., 2030 or 2040). This study develops a more comprehensive evaluation framework, considering five criteria: (i) effectiveness at increasing PEV adoption in the long-term (2040), (ii) government spending, (iii) public support, (iv) policy simplicity and (v) “transformational signal”, the latter being a measure of a policy’s ability to stimulate confidence and investment in a PEV transition. We apply this framework to Canada by assessing eight policy types implemented across the country, as well as stronger versions of each policy. We also illustrate trade-offs by constructing three policy packages with similar effectiveness (i.e., PEVs making up 40% of light-duty vehicle sales by 2040). These packages include strong financial incentives ($6,000 CAD per PEV for 20 years), a Zero-Emissions Vehicle (ZEV) sales mandate (requiring 40% PEV sales by 2040), or strengthened light-duty vehicle emissions standards (decreasing to 71 g CO2e per km by 2040). These packages differ in terms of government expenditure, policy simplicity, public support and transformative signal. Our framework provides an accessible tool for policymakers to assess such tradeoffs with PEV-supportive policies and to identify approaches that best suit their jurisdiction.
Full Citation: Melton, N., J. Axsen, & B. Moawad. 2020. Which plug-in electric vehicle policies are best? A multi-criteria evaluation framework applied to Canada. Energy Research & Social Science 64, 1-15.
To learn more about this research, please contact Noel Melton.
Axsen, J., M. Wolinetz. 2021. Taxes, tolls and ZEV zones for climate: Synthesizing insights on effectiveness, efficiency, equity, acceptability and implementation. Energy Policy, 156. Learn More ➥
Melton, N., J. Axsen, & B. Moawad. 2020. Which plug-in electric vehicle policies are best? A multi-criteria evaluation framework applied to Canada. Energy Research & Social Science 64, 1-15. Learn More ➥
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