The Impact of Decarbonized Electricity on the Adoption of Electric Vehicles in Texas
Transportation electrification is playing an important role in reducing Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions. However, the GHG mitigations from electric vehicles is largely determined by the carbon intensity of the power system. This research is to investigate how a decarbonized electric grid would affect the environmental performance and economic competitiveness of the plug-in electric vehicle by combining an economic dispatch power system model with a passenger car comparison model. In the power system part, accounting for the economic dispatch of generators, I derive collective mitigation cost curves with Matlab to identify the least-cost strategies for Texas to meet the mass-based emission targets of EPA’s Clean Power Plan (CPP) from 2022 to 2030. The model outputs, indicating capacity additions and retirements under each scenario, was used to estimate changes to generation mix, carbon emissions, and production costs for the electric grid in each model year. In the passenger car model, I compile recent studies on the technology progress and cost projection of vehicle technologies to identify their capital costs and efficiency in 2030. The result shows that, the capital costs and the GHG emissions of the electric vehicle will largely decrease, making it more attractive in the market. However, the risk of the increased electricity rates from electric grid upgrading may weaken the market competitive position of electric vehicles.