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Exploring Factors Shaping Transportation Electrification in American Cities

Derek Ehrnschwender, Saba Siddiki, Sanya Carley, Sean Nicholson-Crotty

Renewable and Sustainable Energy Transition, March 2023

Saba Siddiki

Saba Siddiki

Transportation electrification is viewed as one way for governments to realize their commitment to transition away from fossil fuel use in pursuit of addressing environmental, energy, and security concerns. In this paper, we examine pathways that different American cities with varying degrees of plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) adoption and policy activity took to encourage PEV adoption in the late 2010s.

Our research entails a comparative case study of eight U.S. cities. We rely on secondary data for these cities to identify PEV adoption and policy activity, and data from semi-structured interviews with 38 PEV stakeholders to understand how individual, policy, social, and infrastructural factors informed transportation electrification.

Among our key findings is that transportation electrification in cities was streamlined through the work of PEV advocates that collaborated across sectors on a variety of projects. In addition to addressing the nuances of this diverse stakeholder collaboration, this paper solicits insights from these on-the-ground stakeholders on topics related to the pursuit of complementary but distinct policy activities at the state and local levels, and the importance of policy in encouraging PEV adoption.

This article will be published in Renewable and Sustainable Energy Transition, volume 3, August 2023.