Designing Fuel-Economy Standards in Light of Electric Vehicles
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Electric vehicles are declining in cost so rapidly that they may claim a large share of the vehicle market by 2030. This paper examines a set of practical regulatory design considerations for fuel-economy standards or greenhouse gas standards in the context of highly uncertain electric vehicle costs in the next decade. The analysis takes a cost-effectiveness approach and uses analytical modeling and simulation to develop insight. I show that counting electric vehicles under a standard with a multiplier or assuming zero upstream emissions can reduce electric vehicle market share by weakening the standards. Further, there are tradeoffs from implementing a backstop conventional vehicle standard along with a second standard that also includes electric vehicles, but such a backstop offers the possibility of ensuring that low-cost conventional vehicle technologies are exploited.