Effect of policy incentives on the uptake of electric vehicles in China

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Sustainability (Switzerland), 2019, 11 (12)
Issue Date:
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© 2019 by the authors. In the backdrop of growing public concerns about climate change and air pollution, and the contribution of petroleum combustion in the transport sector to these issues, China has introduced a range of policy incentives for promoting the uptake of electric vehicles (EVs). These incentives have resulted in a rapid increase in EV stocks since the early 2010s, and this trend is expected to continue, or even accelerate, in the years to come, which would, in turn, lead to a policy-oriented EV market. The primary objective of the project is to develop an understanding of the effect of various policy incentives on EV uptake based on annual data of 43 cities from 2011 to 2017, and these policies mainly refer to those that focus on EV purchasing, registering, driving, and charging stages. The novelty of this paper is that we focused on policy effect on EV adoption behavior, rather than adoption intention which has widely been analyzed in previous studies. Results showed that the abolishment of purchasing and driving restriction, government subsidies, purchase tax exemption, and dedicated license plates significantly promote EV diffusion, and the effect of the two restrictions are more powerful. Thus, this study suggested that abolishment of purchasing and driving restrictions can be insisted to drive EV market share, meanwhile improving policies that can guide consumers through various motivations are also necessary.
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