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How to address the chicken-egg-problem of electric vehicles? Introducing an interaction market diffusion model for EVs and charging infrastructure

: Gnann, Till

European Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy -ECEEE-, Paris:
eceee 2015 Summer Study. Proceedings : First fuel now, 1–6 June 2015, Club Belambra Les Criques, Presqu’île de Giens, Toulon/Hyères, France
Paris: ECEEE, 2015
ISBN: 978-91-980482-6-1 (Print)
ISBN: 978-91-980482-7-8 (Online)
European Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ECEEE Summer Study) <2015, Toulon>
Fraunhofer ISI ()
electric vehicles; charging infrastructure; public charging points

Alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) face the lack of refuelling infrastructure as one obstacle to initial market diffusion. Also potential operators of refuelling stations await significant market shares before constructing a dense refuelling network. The resulting lock-in effect or chicken-egg-problem has been a field of research for many AFVs, but the co-diffusion of PEVs has rarely been analysed for plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) up to now.1 This might derive from the large availability of private charging options (simple sockets at home) or semi-public charging options (at work). The question is whether these charging options are sufficient to overcome the potential lock-in or how much additional public charging infrastructure is needed. Here, we develop an agent-based market diffusion model for PEVs and their charging infrastructure that is based on a large number of individual driving profiles for private and commercial car holders in Germany. Within the model, we determine the utility-maximising fuel type for each user based on cost, willingness-to-pay and the available charging infrastructure which derives from its driving behaviour and socio-demographic information. Infrastructure agents build public charging points when economically sensible. Our results show that there can be a market evolution in Germany without any public charging infrastructure facilities, since many vehicles are parked in garages or close to a house where power outlets are already available or easy to install. The second-best option for an infrastructure set-up is at work where the majority of vehicles is parked over a long time during the day, the installation is not costly and users profit more than from public facilities. Public charging facilities can increase PEV market shares, but they need to be subsidised for a long time.