How much are electric cars driven? In new work with @fionaburlig, Jim Bushnell & Catherine Wolfram, we estimate that eVMT in California is roughly 5,300 miles/yr. This is half the amount driven in gasoline cars. I’ll unpack the result and implications in this thread. 1/8
We combine billions of hourly electricity meter measurements with address-level EV registration records. Arrival of the average EV increases overall household load by 2.9 kilowatt-hours per day, which is less than half the amount assumed by state regulators. 2/8
Why are regulators misinformed? Because they extrapolate from a tiny number of dedicated EV meters that are highly selected. In contrast, we use a large sample that is representative of EVs in California. 3/8
#Teslas are the new power guzzlers. And most charging happens at night, when marginal emissions are highest. 4/8
To translate from kWh/hr into eVMT, we adjust for away-from-home charging using official data from the LCFS. Commercial charging is accurately measured, and free workplace charging is a negligible fraction of overall charging. 5/8
Why is eVMT so low? 3 potential reasons. 1) Current EV owners are not representative of drivers overall; 2) EVs are not perfect substitutes for gasoline cars; or 3) high electricity prices in CA disincentivize driving EVs. Future research should test these hypotheses. 6/8
There are roughly 1.5 million EVs on the road in the US – less than 1% of the total vehicle fleet. There’s much we don’t know yet about their viability for all transportation needs. 7/8
#ElectricVehicles powered by renewable electricity are a crucial pathway for pollution reduction. But it's too soon to foreclose other technologies by deciding EVs are *the only* viable pathway. A #CarbonPrice should be the cornerstone. 8/8
@fburlig -- I'm such a novice that I messed up your handle. Won't happen again!
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