Science China Technological Sciences

, Volume 61, Issue 10, pp 1483–1491 | Cite as

Future penetration and impacts of electric vehicles on transport energy consumption and CO2 emissions in different Chinese tiered cities

  • Qian Zhang
  • XunMin OuEmail author
  • XiLiang Zhang


This study focuses on the penetration of electric vehicles (EVs) within the private passenger vehicle market in selected Chinese cities categorized into different tiers. It presents an analysis of factors driving the market diffusion of EVs and the reasons for varying results across the investigated cities and provides estimates of related EV impacts on local energy consumption and CO2 emissions. A nested multinomial model incorporating technological attributes of vehicles, energy prices, charging conditions, and incentive policies was developed for conducting a scenario analyses covering six cities. The results indicated that in a stagnation scenario in which policy support was absent, the market share of electric vehicles would be less than 7% in all six cities under investigation by 2030. In medium growth and rapid growth scenarios, the market share of EVs across the six cities was projected to be within the ranges of 29%–68% and 49%–80%, respectively. The impacts of EVs on gasoline demand depended not just on their cumulative sales but also on the share of electrified vehicle distance, and the CO2 emission reduction effect was influenced by local EV stocks and the mix of local electricity sources. Battery costs, charging conditions, and energy prices were primary driving factors. Charging conditions and energy prices were key reasons for differences in the penetration curves among cities. These driving factors were further affected by differences in local income levels, housing and parking conditions, and availability of land resources. Subsidies were found to be effective in the short term, whereas in the medium term, tax breaks could serve as the main monetary incentive. In the long term, national policy should focus on technology-related R&D, whereas local policies should focus on the operational phase and be tailored to specific local situations.


clean vehicles electric vehicle penetration CO2 emissions China 


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Copyright information

© Science China Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.China Automotive Energy Research Center (CAERC)Tsinghua UniversityBeijingChina

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