Transportation Policies to Facilitate Electric Vehicle Adoption at the Local Government Level: A Preliminary Study

Electric and hybrid vehicles (EVs/HEVs) form a key component of sustainable urban transportation in the future because these vehicles eliminate or reduce dependence on non-renewable energy sources, and also minimize air pollution. Transportation policies that encourage the adoption of EVs/HEVs are critically needed. The adoption of EVs/HEVs in a given urban landscape depends on a number of factors related to multiple disciplines, and interactions between a number of stakeholders. Specifically, the role of local governments in facilitating EV/HEV adoption through appropriate public policies is critical, but has not attracted sufficient research. This proposal seeks to identify effective transportation policies at the local government level for EV/HEV adoption through a study and analysis of the experiences of ten key US-based metropolitan areas in this context. By studying available data and documents, as well as reaching out to these metropolitan areas through questionnaires and interviews, this project will aggregate public policy experiences in the context of EV/HEV adoption and identify best practices for facilitating sustainable urban transportation. This project will also identify key research directions for a more comprehensive research project in the near future. Results from this research will help understand local government policy making as an effective tool for rapid adoption of a key transportation technology that is expected to form an integral component of sustainable urban transportation in the future.