Do Public Chargers Accelerate Mass EV Adoption? Evidence from California

Robert Huang, University of Southern California

In the United States, the transportation sector contributes to 30% of the total emissions, 58% of which are produced by private passenger vehicles. One barrier of mass electric vehicle adoption is the lack of public chargers. Using a panel dataset on over 1800 Californian ZIP codes from 2010 to 2021, I employ a shift-share instrumental variable to estimate the EV demand elasticity with respect to chargers and the heterogenous treatment effects of public charger deployments. I document that a 1% increase in charger counts leads to a 0.7% to 1.1% increase in EV sales on average, with a larger increase in upper-middle income suburbs. I also use the difference-in-differences strategy to estimate the differential treatment effect of fast versus regular chargers. While PHEVs are incompatible with fast chargers, early deployments of fast chargers significantly boost BEV sales.

Read the full paper here.

Leave a Reply