Understanding the Impact of Local Policies and Initiatives on Plug-In Electric Vehicle Adoption – An In-Depth Study of the Sacramento Region

Research Team: Scott Hardman (lead), Nora Jang, and Dahlia Garas

UC Campus(es): UC Davis

Problem Statement: California will receive $800 million in investment for plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) charging infrastructure and educational initiatives from the California Zero-Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Investment Plan, with funding from Electrify America. This funding will be delivered in four 30-month investment cycles. The first of these cycles will invest $200 million throughout California, including $44 million in Sacramento as part of Electrify America’s Green City initiative. If implemented effectively, then the California ZEV Investment Plan could have a significant impact on PEV sales throughout the state and specifically in the greater Sacramento region. It is critical to monitor this investment in order to maximize the impact of the incentives, improve the performance of the investment in future cycles, and duplicate the more successful practices in other locations.

Project Description: Researchers at the Plug-in Hybrid & Electric Vehicle Research Center at UC Davis administered a household survey in the County of Sacramento to better understand current levels of consumer awareness of and engagement with PEVs; and analyzed data on PEV sales and trends in the region. This assessment will be used as a baseline for future studies to measure the impact of current and future activities and investments in the region (including the $44 million investment by Electrify America) on consumer awareness and PEV market growth. Results from this initial phase of work suggest that those who are interested in battery electric vehicles (which are a subset of PEVs) are still a self-selecting group whose interest in these vehicles was not impacted by any advertising or public outreach programs. Existing efforts to engage the general population have yet to have a significant impact on respondents thinking about purchasing a battery electric vehicle.

Status: Completed

Budget: $79,770

Policy Brief(s):