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Electric Vehicles: Charging into the Future

DIW Weekly Report 27 / 2010, S. 207-214

Wolf-Peter Schill

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Electric vehicle drives offer a number of advantages over conventional internal combustion engines, especially in terms of lower local emissions, higher energy efficiency, and decreased dependency upon oil. Yet there are significant barriers to the rapid adoption of electric cars, including the limitations of battery technology, high purchase costs, and the lack of recharging infrastructure. With intelligently controlled charging operations, the energy needs of potential electric vehicle fleets could be covered by existing German power plants without incurring large price fluctuations. Over the long term, electric vehicles could represent a sustainable technology path. In the short to mid-term, however, exceedingly optimistic expectations should be avoided, especially with respect to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Electric vehicles as such will not be able to solve all current problems of transportation policy. Yet they may constitute an important component of a larger roadmap for sustainable transportation.

Wolf-Peter Schill

Head of the research area „Transformation of the Energy Economy“ in the Energy, Transportation, Environment Department

Topics: Transportation

JEL-Classification: L62;Q40;R40
Keywords: Transportation, Electric vehicles, Electricity markets
Frei zugängliche Version: (econstor)