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Realizing the electric-vehicle revolution


Full battery electric vehicles (BEVs) have become an important policy option to mitigate climate change, but there are major uncertainties in the scale and timing of market diffusion. Although there has been substantial work showing the potential energy and climate benefits of BEVs, demand-side factors, such as consumer behaviour, are less recognized in the debate. We show the importance of assessing BEV diffusion from an integrated perspective, focusing on key interactions between technology and behaviour across different scales, including power-system demand, charging infrastructure, vehicle performance, driving patterns and individual adoption behaviour.

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Figure 1: Global transport carbon emissions and energy use.
Figure 2: Proportion of passenger-car tailpipe CO2 emissions as a function of trip journey purpose in the UK for 1996 and 2006.
Figure 3: Consumer price expectations for BEV adoption.


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We acknowledge generous support from the Oxford Martin School for funding this research at the Institute for Carbon and Energy Reduction in Transport (ICERT), University of Oxford, UK.

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Correspondence to Martino Tran.

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Tran, M., Banister, D., Bishop, J. et al. Realizing the electric-vehicle revolution. Nature Clim Change 2, 328–333 (2012).

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