Working Paper Series


This is a Working Paper Series, therefore intended to facilitate discussion on research in progress. Working papers represent the opinions of the authors, and are not meant to represent the position or opinions of the authors’ institutions. Any errors are the fault of the authors. Working papers published under this Series may subsequently be published elsewhere.

Working Paper 001: The case for policies to target electric vehicle miles (download working paper)


The rationale for public support of battery electric vehicles (BEV) is sound. However, in spite of subsidies for vehicle purchase and other incentives, BEVs remain costly. Here, we argue that while lump-sum investment subsidies have some advantages at the very early stages of diffusion, given some salient developments in personal transportation, the timing is just right for a delivering subsidies in a more targeted manner. Use-based incentives together with financial assistance for BEV purchase and creation of a fast-charging infrastructure, would exploit the proliferation of high-use vehicles associated with on-demand transportation services while also continuing to support BEV adoption for private household use. Such a shift has the potential to deliver greater environmental benefits faster, directly benefit poorer households, and can be designed to minimize transaction costs.


Working Paper 002: Electrifying urban ridesourcing fleets at no added cost through efficient use of charging infrastructure (download working paper, executive summary)


Ridesourcing fleets present an opportunity for rapid uptake of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) but adoption has largely been limited to small pilot projects. Lack of charging infrastructure presents a major barrier to scaling up, but little public information exists on the infrastructure needed to support ridesourcing electrification. With data on ridesourcing trips for New York City and San Francisco, and using agent-based simulations of BEV fleets, we show that given a sparse network of three to four 50kW chargers per square mile, BEVs can provide the same level of service as internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEVs) at lower cost. This suggests that the cost of charging infrastructure is not a significant barrier to ridesourcing electrification. With coordinated use of charging infrastructure across vehicles, we also find that fleet performance becomes robust to variation in battery range and placement of chargers, suggesting that such capability may help enable electrification. Our results suggest that mandates for ridesourcing electrification could encourage efficient utilization of fast-charging infrastructure, bringing down costs for all BEV users without significantly increasing the cost of ridesourcing services.