Technology Collaboration Programme


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Task 14

Market Development of Electric Vehicles: Lessons Learned

Objective of Task

As efforts to manufacture and market EVs reformulate, this Task was designed to capture and report important lessons learned in past and new deployments of electric vehicles. The goal was to develop practical advice for utilities, local governments, OEMs, small firms, regulators, and other parties involved in future deployments.

working method

The work of this Task relied upon at least three research components:

  1. Workshops in former deployment areas (United States, Switzerland, Sweden, Japan, United Kingdom, France, and Germany) that brought together experts who have experience pertaining to the deployment of electric and hybrid vehicles. These experts offered a range of experiences and perspectives on the lessons they have learned in these deployments in the areas of manufacturing, distribution, sales, charging infrastructure, and market support from the utilities and governments. This approach has yielded useful comparisons across these regions.
  2. Additional interviews with important experts who could not attend workshops.
  3. Review of literature and historical material from each deployment region, including other sources of interest. For example, surveys among EV and HEV users in fleet tests were evaluated.

DEleven workshops were held between October 2007 and April 2010 in France, Germany, Japan, Sweden, Switzerland, the U.K., and U.S. Box 6.1 presents an overview of the nine workshops that were organised.

Tux, the Linux mascot


The workshops resulted in the compilation of practical lessons for future deployments in the areas of how regulators can work best with OEMs, how local governments and utilities can best develop infrastructure and incentives for future EV deployments, and how state and OEM marketing can best introduce EVs to the public. In particular, these small workshops have resulted in candid and in-depth discussions.

The study contains many lessons and detailed discussions of past deployment efforts in several countries, which we are synthesizing into a final task report. We offer here the types of lessons learned in the workshops held during 2010 and before:

  • Subsidies were required to promote use of EVs in France.
  • It is difficult to transition from demonstration to commercialisation; there is a lack of instruments to foster this stage.
  • Low-consumption ICE cars, hybrid vehicles, and battery electric vehicles compete for many of the same customers.
  • There is potential positive influence of new information technologies on the future development of electric vehicles and charging infrastructure.
  • It is necessary to reduce the cost of batteries (high production volume needed).
  • Infrastructure investment should be carefully focused. Limited, effectively located public charging is needed.
  • Accurately predicting EV customer locations is desirable in order to plan public infrastructure.
  • Cost-effective charging infrastructure at the dwelling is crucial; there are complications for multiple unit dwellings.
  • Charging equipment standardization remains an issue.
  • Charging times must be advantageous to electric utilities. Electric vehicles should charge up at off-peak hours, during the night; reinforcing existing daytime peaks or creating new peaks is to be avoided.
  • The fuels and technologies used for electricity generation vary widely across nations and by time of day; net full fuel cycle carbon emissions therefore vary. Increasing renewable use can be technically enabled via battery storage but is economically challenging.
  • Many of today’s EVs can be fun to drive in the city and perform adequately even on limited-access highways.