With the tremendous growth of electric vehicles (EV’s), careful planning by the government needs to take place at the municipal, province/state, and federal levels to meet future demand.
The market share of electric cars in 2015 was close to 1% for China and 0.7% for the United States. Sales of electric and hybrid cars increased by 70% between 2014 and 2015 – with over 550,000 vehicles sold worldwide. There is no denying that the shift to electric vehicles is occurring.
Some key goals of any electric vehicle strategy should include:
- Encourage faster adoption of electric vehicles
- Build partnerships to provide an electric vehicle charging network
- Respond to the growing demand for electric vehicle infrastructure
Encourage faster adoption of electric vehicles. Studies have shown that purchase incentives are the most effective policy tool in promoting electric vehicles. This premise is strongly supported by an analysis done in the United States by Jin, Searle and Lutsey (2014). One example of this policy is the $7,500 income tax credit offered across all states in America.
In the Canadian province of Ontario, electric vehicle buyers get a $14,000 rebate as well as carpool lane access.
Build partnerships to provide an electric vehicle charging network. A comprehensive vehicle charging network is key to mass adoption of electric cars. Governments can use rebate dollars to incentivize companies to build such a network.
For example, Denmark offers companies that supply EV charging on a commercial scale an electricity tax rebate of roughly $0.15 USD per kWh. Tesla has done a great job of building their supercharger network, but we need more companies to be in the market of EV charging.
Respond to the growing demand for electric vehicle infrastructure. Due to high power requirements during the charging process, a sudden increase in the number of electric cars can have a dramatic impact on the load profile of the power generation system as well as the load distribution across the electricity network.
Of particular concern would be a substantial increase in the number of high powered EV chargers (43 kW to 200 kW). This will likely require upgrades of the electricity grid to handle the extra load. Governments should plan for this eventuality, and begin making plans to upgrade the power distribution infrastructure in core areas of of the city.
Overall, we feel that most of the G20 governments are taking the right steps in preparing their countries for an increase in electric vehicles.