1.6.1 Summary

Course subject(s) Module 1. Policy Ambitions

In this module we have given a broad introduction into the field of policies for electric vehicles. This module has taken a high-over approach to discuss the several policy fields that are relevant. In the first lecture we have looked at the justification of making policies to promote electric vehicles. We showed that investments in accelerating electric vehicle adoption can be well motivated from several domains. These include the climate, public health, the mobility and the energy domain.

In the second lecture we had a more specific look at what types of policy measures are available. By discussing some major examples such as the Californian zero emission vehicle mandate, the European Clean Mobility package and the European Emission Trading System this lecture provided some basic options to design policies at the broader level.

In the remaining three lectures we took a more systematic approach and envisioned a larger picture on how a future of electric vehicles driven on renewable energy should look like. To envision the grander picture we discussed three different dimensions in each of the lectures: The physical, the social and the institutional dimension.

In the third lecture we had a look at all the physical components needed in such a system. We looked at how the energy generated for electric vehicles differs between countries. Prof. Margot Weijnen explained the concept of residual load in a system with more abundant clear energy.Three different solutions were provided, which included ramping up fossil fuel plants, providing large scale energy storage and load balancing. In this last option electric vehicles can play a vital role. In current recharging habits their peak load on the electricity system coincides with the current demand peak. Shifting recharging the vehicle to a later moment in time could help to balance the system in general.

In the fourth lecture we explained that even if all the physical components are in place, it will not function without the social component. The social component exists out of actors, which are companies, governments, individual users etc. The complex interactions between these actors and the physical components are studied using the complex adaptive systems approach. To make further sense of how some actors behave and why sometimes interests are not aligned, the competing values framework was introduced.

In the last lecture we discussed the institutions: the formal and informal rules that govern the interactions between the social and the physical system. Examples from the EV system were given such as the standardisation process for fast charging cables and how the processing of charging transactions at public charging stations happens. In the next module we will have a closer look at those institutions.

Further reading

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Electric Cars: Policy by TU Delft OpenCourseWare is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at https://online-learning.tudelft.nl/courses/electric-cars-policy/.
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