Exploring the Class 2b-3 Vehicle Market in California: Understanding Ownership, Usage, and Electrification Potential

Research Team: Gil Tal (lead), Vaishnavi Karanam, and Maha Shafeen

UC Campus(es): UC Davis

Problem Statement: Scant research exists on class 2b-3 vehicles operated by households for personal and commercial purposes, and their potential for electrification. Additionally, fewer policies target this vehicle market compared to light- or heavy-duty electric vehicles. This knowledge gap regarding the ownership and usage patterns of these vehicles may hinder effective policy design for market transition, incentives and infrastructure for electrifying this sector.

Project Description: This study will focus on class 2b-3 vehicles that are fully or partially used by households but can be owned by a household or a company. It will be one of the first to: (1) provide a description of this vehicle market, including current registrations, vehicle characteristics, usage patterns, purchase decisions and socio-economic/demographic and geographic information of consumers/households using them, and (2) to assess their potential for electrification. The researchers will examine California vehicle registration data and link it to household-level information. They will also interview class 2b-3 vehicle owners to understand vehicle use cases, purchase motivations and barriers to electrification. Given limited state sources on class 2b-3 vehicle market, this study will serve as a starting point and help balance light-, medium- and heavy-duty electrification investments, identify priorities for future research, and guide incentive programs.

Status: In Progress

Budget: $75,490