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KAPSARC Vehicle Fleet Model: Cost of Electrification

About the Project

After decades of development and false starts, electric vehicles have now become commercial. However, they still rely on strong policy support for their further development and adoption.

The project assesses the effectiveness of current electric vehicle policy in leading the technology toward self sustained market competitiveness. The multi-method approach chosen involves techno-economic, strategy and innovation systems analysis. In particular, we have developed a bottom-up electric vehicle fleet cost model in order to assess the economic implications of electric vehicle policy.


This paper discusses the model we have developed at KAPSARC for estimating the relative costs of passenger car fleets containing low-emission vehicles of different types, particularly with emphasis on electric vehicles. The main purpose of the model is to enable analysis of low-emission vehicle policy; in particular, we have so far applied it to the analysis of the cost implications of supporting different types of EVs and battery charging infrastructures. The model has been designed for simplicity, transparency and ease of use by non-expert stakeholders. As such the approach taken is inspired by metamodelling, i.e.,: we draw on the results of different existing pieces of techno-economic analysis and we bring them together in a simple modelling framework, which allows for the testing of the highlevel cost implications in a transparent way. The model has also been designed such that it can be easily updated when new evidence becomes available or adapted to analyze different vehicle and infrastructure technologies.

The model calculates the Relative Cost of Ownership (RCO) of individual vehicles, selected as representative of main market segments in the passenger car fleet that is the subject of our study. For each of these vehicles, we model both its internal combustion engine (ICE) version and all main electric powertrain types, i.e.,: battery electric (BEV), range-extended electric (RE-EV) and plug-in hybrid (PHEV). In the case of the electric powertrain vehicles, the user can select the desired battery size and charging infrastructure coverage. The user can then also select fleet penetration levels of each powertrain type by market segment, and the model adds up all the RCO of the individual vehicles over the whole fleet to return the incremental annual cost of passeng

In addition to the total cost of the fleet, the model can also estimate fleet average CO2 emissions, both tailpipe and Well-to-Wheel, and overall infrastructure utilization levels. Analysis of vehicle cost and emissions at segment level is also possible. A quick guide on how to use the simplified version of the model, which is available online is provided at the end of the paper.

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