Driving green: Employment effects, policy adoption, and public perceptions of electric vehicles
MetadataShow full item record
Energy for usage in the transportation sector is primarily derived from petroleum products and accounts for 14% (EPA 2017a) of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide and 28% (EPA 2018b) of total emissions in the US. In the US. 60% of these emissions are from light-duty vehicles and passenger vehicles (EPA 2018a). A major push has been made towards alternative fuel vehicles such as electric vehicles (EVs) to mitigate the environmental impact of the transportation sector. This dissertation explores the implications of a growing EV sector by analyzing the employment effects, policy effectiveness, and public perception of EVs. EV adoption stands to affect the overall employment in the automotive sector and allied industries. A typical EV has fewer parts and requires less maintenance than a comparable internal combustion engine (ICE) model. This differential would inevitably change the traditional model of car sales by dealers who also rely on repairs and maintenance revenues. The dissertation uses input-output modeling to examine the implications of growing EVs on employment under different scenarios and cost assumptions. The study finds that while overall employment numbers might not change significantly, the composition of jobs shifts towards more battery production and electricity generation and distribution. The second study in the dissertation examines the effectiveness of different policy choices in increasing EV adoption across states. A supportive policy environment stands to increase EV adoption. In addition to federal-level policies in the US, states have introduced several policies to increase the adoption of EVs by individual consumers and fleets. The study applies econometric analysis to a panel dataset combining EV policies with sales to examine effectiveness and design choices across states. Finally, public perception of EVs must be understood to anticipate whether these vehicles are adopted at a large scale to make an impact on the traditional industry structure. Like any new technology, EV adoption hinges on the current and potential consumers' opinions and acceptance. The dissertation uses survey data and examines the external and internal determinants of public interest in EVs. The study concludes that factors such as political affiliation, environmental efforts of respondents affect their level of interest in EV technology.