A newly released study by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) entitled “Low Energy: Estimating Electric Vehicle Electricity Use” reveals that, in California, drivers of electric vehicles (EVs) drive less than half that of drivers of gasoline powered cars. While this is significant regarding the trust that consumers have with EVs and range anxiety, it is also significant that the study considered data that goes back to 2014-2017. The analysis was based on a sample of residential meters in the Pacific Gas & Electric service area, based on drivers of at home chargers of EVs, and factoring in estimated out-of-home charging.
It is important to determine why the usage is at half the amount because it is possible that the full costs of electrification are being taken into account. The study points to several possibilities which include:
- EVs may be complementing gas-powered cars instead of replacing them.
- EV buyers to date do not represent the “broader vehicle-owning population.”
- A combo of too few public charging stations, “range anxiety” and other aspects of EV ownership.
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