Invest in fast-charging infrastructure or in longer battery ranges? A cost-efficiency comparison for Germany
To reach ambitious CO2 mitigation targets, the transport sector has to become nearly emission-free and the most promising option for passenger cars are battery electric vehicles (BEV) powered using renewable energy. Despite their important benefits, BEV still face technological barriers, mainly their limited battery range and the limited availability of public fast-charging infrastructure. These factors are hindering the diffusion of electric vehicles (EV). The question of how to address these technical barriers has been widely analyzed in the literature, but so far there has been no cost-efficiency comparison of longer battery ranges and more widespread fast-charging infrastructure that evaluates them both technically and economically. This paper aims to find cost-efficient ways to address limited battery ranges and availability of public fast-charging infrastructure. We focus on German passenger cars that are licensed to commercial owners, since these are an important first market for EV. Our results indicate that fast-charging infrastructure is very cost-efficient as it enables significant proportions of BEV in the fleet at low infrastructure density. The technically feasible maximum BEV shares in the commercial sector can only be achieved with longer battery ranges. However, longer battery ranges are currently associated with comparatively high additional costs.