Davis, Lucas “Electric Vehicles in Multi-Vehicle Households” (Revised October 2021) | WP-322R | Blog

Abstract:
This paper uses U.S. nationally representative data from the 2017 National Household Travel Survey to present a series of facts about electric vehicles in multi-vehicle households. First, as of the time of the survey, 89% of households with an electric vehicle also had a gasoline or diesel vehicle in addition to the electric vehicle. Second, 60% of households with an electric vehicle also had a gasoline or diesel SUV, truck, or minivan – in most cases with fuel economy below the average for the U.S. vehicle stock. Third, 66% of households with an electric vehicle also had a gasoline or diesel vehicle that was driven more miles per year than the electric vehicle. The paper argues that these patterns have implications for the environmental impact of electric vehicles and underscore the importance of better understanding how multi-vehicle households substitute between vehicles. The paper also points out that within-household substitution between electric and gasoline vehicles will tend to increase the price elasticity of demand for gasoline.