Graduation Date

Fall 2019

Document Type

Thesis

Program

Master of Science degree with a major in Environmental Systems, option Energy, Technology, and Policy

Committee Chair Name

Kevin Fingerman

Committee Chair Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Second Committee Member Name

Nicholas Lam

Second Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Third Committee Member Name

Arne Jacobson

Third Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Subject Categories

Environmental Systems

Abstract

Widespread electric vehicle (EV) adoption will be crucial for achieving decarbonization goals in California. The inclusion of marginalized populations in this process is important and involves challenges related to their physical access to charging infrastructure and economic access to EVs. Public access electric vehicle chargers (PAEVCs) and upfront financial incentives for EVs may help reduce the barriers affecting these populations. In this thesis, a spatial analysis at the census block group level shows that, in California, PAEVC access is lower in areas with below median household incomes and areas with a black and Hispanic majority. The PAEVC access disparities are even more pronounced in areas with higher rates of renter-occupied housing and multi-unit housing. An economic cost model analysis shows that a used or new battery EV has a comparable, and sometimes lower, ownership cost than an internal combustion engine vehicle. Current incentives in place to encourage the purchase of new EVs can also lead to the cost of ownership of new EVs being lower than used EVs. For populations unable to access home chargers, however, the savings advantage of owning an EV is effectively negated due to the higher operational cost of relying on PAEVCs relative to home chargers. My results suggest that while greater access to PAEVCs may help address a critical barrier to EV uptake in marginalized communities, additional measures that address high operating costs, such as increasing access to the lower cost residential curbside charging, may be needed to make EVs competitive in these communities.

Citation Style

APA

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