The Transition to Electric Vehicles: Incremental or Rapid?

12 Pages Posted: 8 Apr 2021

See all articles by Jack Barkenbus

Jack Barkenbus

Vanderbilt University, Institute for Energy & Environment

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: March 22, 2021

Abstract

It is now conventional wisdom that electric vehicles (EVs) will replace conventional, oil-based, passenger vehicles in the future. This has occurred because of dramatic technological progress, bolstered by government policy support. Despite this consensus, no one really knows how long the transition to EVs will take. This paper claims that two opposing viewpoints on the transition can be discerned from a literature review: one is an incrementalist perspective that views change as gradual and drawn out over decades; the other is an expansionist perspective that claims change is going to happen rapidly with notable results by the end of this decade. This paper reviews the claims of both visions, and discusses the basis for their differing perspectives. And, it posits that even if the expansionist vision prevails, large-scale, near-term carbon reductions should not be expected.

Keywords: electric vehicles, market acceptance, transition

JEL Classification: Public Policy

Suggested Citation

Barkenbus, Jack, The Transition to Electric Vehicles: Incremental or Rapid? (March 22, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3809827 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3809827

Jack Barkenbus (Contact Author)

Vanderbilt University, Institute for Energy & Environment ( email )

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