Concerns over climate change and the state of ozone layer depletion influence global discussions on environment . Environmental conservation is at the epicenter of major international discussions given the rate of its depletion. In an effort to manage the challenges of energy, emission of greenhouse gas (GHG) into the environment, and the transport problems, the U.S. encourages a transition to the Electric Vehicles (Silvia & Krause, 2016, p. 105). Policy makers have tried the aspects of EVs as significant prototypes that manage the diverse effects of environmental degradations and as mitigation to escalating energy needs (105). However, challenges such as barrier to consumer adoption, particularly on high EV costs, limited charging infrastructure, and the uncertainty of technology among other aspects have impeded the attainment of this noble objective (Silvia & Krause, 2016, p. 105; Egbue & Long, 2012, P. 717). Silvia and Krause (2016) illustrate that public policy administration can be utilized to remove obstacles that affect the accomplishment of EVs adoption. Among the notable attempts, was the Federal Government’s plan to ensure that a million plug-in vehicles would be on road by 2015 (Carley, Krause, Lane, & Graham, 2013, p. 39). The authors aver that sincethe establishment of this national goal in 2009, supporting companies have developed policy frameworks to expedite its attainment. States, such as California and New York implement improved zero emission vehicle (ZEV) policies that encourage vehicle manufacturers to offer EVs for sale, other nations in Europe and other parts of the world such as Japan, China, and South Korea are adopting similar trends to develop pro-plug in vehicle policies (Carley et al., 2013, p. 39). Although several concerns have been raised regarding the state of emission of GHG from the transportation sector, the implementation of effective policy frameworks to implement mitigation approaches is yet to achieve success hence the need for well-researched public policy to encourage the utilization of EVs on major global road networks.
Background and Significance of Study
GHG emission has escalated to unprecedented levels. According to Egbue and Long (2012), the transport sector alone contributed to almost 14% of GHG emission, and this trend is estimated to grow to 50% by 2030 (P. 717, cited in International Energy Agency [IEA], 2007). She, Sun, Ma, and Xie (2017) confirm that the rapid growth of the motor vehicle sector has improved energy consumption and significantly increased the emission levels with consequential effects of the environmental resources (as cited in Zhou et al., 2013, p. 29). Further, She et al. (2017) add that the transport sector accounted for 49.9% of oil consumed and a national carbon dioxide emission of 8.4% in 2015. Growth in the emerging economies necessitates the doubling to international fleet of light-duty vehicles (LDV), which is likely to raise the demand for fuel by 2050 (Jochem, Gómez Vilchez, Ensslen, Schäuble, & Fichtner, 2018, p. 322 cited in However, the authors demonstrate that if LDV will still apply the conservative drivetrain technology, achieving the objectives to mitigate GHG emission to manage global warming to acceptable targets of two degrees will remain a mirage (p. 322, cited in Therefore, managing GHG emission from motor vehicles should resolvethe current environmental challenges related to global warming.
The Electric Vehicles have significant benefits to the environment. Yuksel and Michalek (2015) explain that BEVs have the potential to reduce GHG emission and the energy needs from petroleum (p. 3974). The authors also discuss the barriers to adoption of BEVs that have key influence to consumer preparedness to adopt the technology (p. 3974). Although Yuksel, and Michalek (2015) seek to address the battery as one of the significant challenges of the BEVs, their approach to demystify the perception on EVs can develop effective public policy relevant to the industry. The authors illustrate that BEVs battery efficiency is determined by temperatures. In this case, cooler temperatures reducethe efficiency levels compared to normal or hot weather. However, Egbue and Long (2012) provide a broader perspective of the various differentiations manufactures employ in the EV industry (p. 718). According to the authors, alternative fuel vehicle (AFV) differs from conventional vehicles (CVs) since they are designed to operate on an alternative to diesel or petrol source of fuel (p. 718). Other differentiation of hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) embraces categories, such as the Honda Civic Hybrid, Ford Escape Hybrid, and the Toyota Prius (Egbue & Long, 2012, p. 718). Notably, other plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) have smaller combustion engines with enhanced battery capacity able to power operations of between 20 and 60 miles ( Technology has delivered various options in attempts to satisfy the demand of the environment and the consumer interest such as financial implications, social class, and sustainability.
The most challenging sector in the implementation EVs is the limitations or failure of effective policy frameworks. Initiating discussion on public models of transport and their effect on the environment is a significant approach to manage environmental concerns. Boussauw and Vanoutrive (2017) agree that the past quarter century discussions on public transport and environmental concerns have achieved sustainable and green transport policyFor example, according to Egbue and Long (2012), one of the key determinant of the viability of the EVs is the cost of the battery, which retails between $800 to $1000/kW h. The objective of the United States Department of Energy (DOE) is to reduce the cost of high-energy battery in 2008 from Implementing such public interest policies occasions significant gains to the environment, which translates into better lives for the American people.
Statement of the Research Problem
Transport sustainability is a topic of discussion in the U.S. The previous overreliance on fossil fuels, which reached a high of 95% in the transportation sector alone in 2015 and its effects on GHG emission have gained considerable publicity (Onat, Noori, Kucukvar, Zhao, Tatari, & Chester, 2017, p. 632). The authors reveal that the limitation in various transport studies fail to capture real issues that can provide significant insights to policy formulation, and hence, deterEVs technology adoption (p. 632). According to Onat et al. (2017), the adoption of alternative vehicle technologies has failed due to poor technology assessments and ineffective government policies in the sector. Notably, EVs remain the solution of the current environmental challenges. Shareef et al. (2016) posit that the technology does contaminate the earth and significantly reduces the challenges of escalated oil prices, which is a major challenge to global economies (p. 404). Despite the numerous gain of EVs to the environment, some challenges to implement the technology still exist. The battery-charging infrastructure is major deterrent to this technology (Shareef et al., 2016, p. 404; Egbue & Long, 2012, p. 718). Therefore, although EVs can achieve greater environmental and economic sustainability, public policies that enhance its adoption by providing incentives for the growth of the industry have remained ineffective.
Aims and Objectives of the Study
The aim of the study is to investigate the influence of government in promoting efficient policy on EVs. The study focuses on understanding the mobility and transport systems and environment of the major cities of the U.S. The empirical investigation seeksto answerthe question; does government policy and other related factors increase adoption of electricity cars in the major cities of the U.S.
The objective of the study is to investigate the effectiveness of public policies in implementing the desired changes in the transport sector to achieve environmental sustainability. To ground the study within its broad objectives as elucidated above, it tests a set of hypotheses and analyzes their influence in the transport sector. Principally, the study seeks to understand the propensity of public policies on transport sustainability, to influences or limit customer decisions to purchase or use EVs and determine how such policies resonate with manufacturers’ interests.
Framework and Hypothesis
The study will apply the Institutional Analysis and Development (IAD) framework for its empirical research. The theories include. IAD provides an opportunity to study institutional arrangement. It helps to organize analytical and prescriptive capabilities for policymakers and scholars interested in issues related to how different governance systems enable individuals to solve problems. Therefore, the theory is appropriate for this study. Accordingly, the study will utilize IAD to explicate the relationship between the customers as the decision makers who purchase the EV and affected the global environmental issues. In addition, the study will investigate what influences decision-making arrangements that lead to adoption of EVs. Finally, the research will evaluate the criteria that apply to the outcomes received. When applying SES framework, the research will emphasize the interactions between customers (actors) and ecological systems.
H1: The government subsidy affects sales of electric vehicle
H2: The number of electric vehicle charging stations affects adoption of electric vehicle
H3: Benefit of public parking charges for electric vehicle makes consumers to purchase EV vehicle
H4: Highway toll fee reduction policy affects sales of electric vehicle
Electric vehicles have several advantages. Shareef, Islam, and Mohamed (2016) explain that environmental challenges such as carbon dioxide (CO2) emission have severe implications on earth (p. 404). The authors aver that internal combustion engines (ICE) are a major source of CO2 emmisisons to the environment. The depletion of fossil fuels is a great concern within the transport industry, hence the stakeholders should reduce the overdependence on fossil fuels to eliminate GHG emissions and other pollutants. Shareef et al. (2016) reveal the findings of the Copenhagen environmental conference on escalation of global temperatures of 2 degrees centigrade due to delays to implement policies that can reduce carbon foot prints (404). Given that the conventional petroleum or diesel-operated vehicles have such significant effects on the environment, alternative transport technology has a higher potential to achieve environmental sustainability. Hence, stakeholders should develop a system, whichresponds to the current technological and environmental needs.
EV technology has better approaches and remains a solution to emission and pollution witnessed in the transport sector. Countries should develop progressive public policies that will influence adoption of the EVs technology. Boussauw and Vanoutrive (2017) demonstrate that sustainable transport initiatives are used to authenticate policies with doubtful results (p. 11). In their investigations, the authors present seven scenarios of questionable policy frameworks developed to achieve sustainable mobility. Policy makers and technologist approach both social and technical concerns separately in regards to technological advancement in the EVs (Egbue & Long, 2012, p. 718, cited in Sovacool, 2009). However, according to them, social barriers also pose a significant challenge just as the technical barriers do when developing EVs for the consumer market (p. 718). Such assumptions have implications on effectiveness of the policies developed since they occasion failures in the EVs sector.
The EVs adoption in European countries is supported by effective policy frameworks. She et al. (2017) examines the efficiency of the EVs industry in Europe and North America. Notably, the authors trace the success of EVs infiltration in the markets on the implementation of an incentives and privileges policy (p. 32). Hence, such incentive model enhanced the acceptance of cleaner vehicles in Hamilton and Canada, while the policy on purchase tax relief and reduced costs encouraged the adoption of the vehicles (p. 32, cited in Based on the above findings, it was evident that public policy on mobility, access to EVs vehicles, developments of an effective and enabling infrastructure for green vehicles and the implementation of incentives program to influence both manufactures and consumers of EVs have contributed to the current challenging situation. Therefore, it is important that a review of public policies on EVs and all its subsectors is scheduled to identify the questionable commitments and policy frameworks currently implemented for further re-analysis and adjustment.
The EVs technology faces challenges, especiallypolicy support to both manufacturers and potential individual consumers. Notable challenges to EVs are the limitation and contradictions in the enabling policy frameworks. According to Carley et al. (2013), consumers consider three main disadvantages of Plug-in electric vehicles, including long recharging times, high purchase price, and limited driving range (p. 41; cited in Graham-Rowe et al., 2012). In their findings, the three aspects may affect the customers willingness to purchase or lease the EVs. However, their findings revel that recharging time was the least concern of the consumers. Whereas battery frameworks of the technology is a technical factor, price and driving ranges can be managed through effective policies such as incentives to manufactures and potential customers to promote the development and adoption of the technology. She et al. (2017) illustrate that several studies have pointed to high purchase price as a major barrier to the adoption of the EV technology (p. 31; cited in Egbue and Long (2012) establish that the preliminary cost of an EV is higher compared to gasoline powered vehicles (p. 719). The authors add that when discussions are held about battery capability and range perspectives of an EV, the costs escalates further. However, studies have indicated that government incentives and the rise of gas prices may affect the decisions to purchase HEVs (Egbue & Long, 2012, p. 720, as cited in Gallagher & Muehlegger, 2011). Policy makers should collaborate with stakeholder to develop policies that enhance the adoption of EVs.
Developing effective policy manages efficient transitions into sustainable energy levels. Furthermore, Lammers and Hoppe (2019) illustrate that “The authors’ recommendation illustrates the need for a collective and holistic approach in public policy formulation that applies to the EVs scenarios in major U.S. cities. It also confirms that the limitation of a collective approach in the Netherlands yielded to blander decision. For example, their findings reveal that the project leader in their scenario took a dominant position while consortium members remained passive (p. 244). In addition, the main stakeholders did not involve end users in smart energy systems development stages. Such flaws within policy development and implementation process leads to significant failure or non-adoption of sustainable energy frameworks such as EVs.
An increase of the electric charging stations can fast track the adoption of EV technology. Carley et al. (2013) reveal that although more participants reported to have seen PEV ads, only a significant number of respondents (11.94%) had seen charging stations (p. 41). Additionally, She et al (2017) agree that EVs suffer infrastructural barriers such as charging facilities, which is a requisite facility and a major obstacle to the adoption of EVs in the urban areas (p.31). Yuksel and Michalek (2015) confirm that the charging problem is affected by battery efficiency, which is dependent on temperatures (p. 3947). For instance, the authors exemplify that battery efficiency, available energy, and discharge capability decrease at cold temperatures. Such factors have significant effects to the EVs adoption rates. Yuksel, Tamayao, Hendrickson, Azevedo, and Michalek (2016) agree that temperatures have a significant effect on the efficiency of EVs, especially on applications such as ventilations, heating, and air conditioning. In addition, Egbue and Long (2012) indicate that “Negative associations with EVs included high purchase cost, limited battery longevity, battery range, long recharging time, and environmental impacts from increased fossil fuels use at power plants to generate electricity for charging EVs” (p. 721). Therefore, the absence of adequate charging infrastructure affects the adoption of EVs.
Institutional Analysis and Development (IAD)
IAD is a framework developed to support microanalysis of a range of social challenges (The model support governance systems, norms, rules, and concept strategies for implementing institution. According to McGinnis and Ostrom (2014), IAD framework emphases on “action situation in which individuals (acting on their own or as agents of formal organizations) interact with each other and thereby jointly affects outcomes that are differentially valued by those actors” (p. 2). Therefore, the IAD framework is based on a progressive approach to policy processes as models. Accordingly, biophysical, social, and institutional factors enhance decisions of individual who are either representative of organization or act as independent agents (McGinnis & Ostrom, 2014, p. 3). Notably, the specific decisions made by the various players feed back to the continuous processes after internal and external assessments by other observers (McGinnis & Ostrom, 2014, p. 3). Therefore, IAD is a framework that support microanalysis of challenges within a sector and help to realize change.
IAD framework has provided success in the various sectors. Lammers and Hoppe (2019) illustrate that its application in researches on energy transitions has realized success (p. 234). According to the authors, based on the seven rules linked to the IAD model, institution and administrative strategies impact on the set-up of renewable energy projects (p. 234). A logical framework that describes the process and systemic progression of the action situation illustrate the seven rules of IAD.
Figure 1. Seven Rules of IAD Model
Further, Lammers and Hoppe (2019) demonstrate that importance of IAD framework as a model that decompose sociotechnical models into sections (p. 234). Accordingly, IAD framework is successful in the analysis of multifaceted polycentric organizational systems and ideal for smart energy systems and smart grid that have similar polycentric characterizations (Lammers & Hoppe, 2019, p. 234). Given that IAD model is effective in managing such complex energy perspectives involving various industry players such as government, manufacturing companies, and potential EV customers, it is most suitable in analyzing the expectations of the research question.
The implementation of IAD frameworks requires rules that support the application of effective changes. As illustrated in the logical framework, the seven rules include boundary, position, scope, choice, aggregation, information, and payoff rules (Ostrom, 2011, p. 19). According to the authors, boundary rules affect the populations of participants, resources, and attributes, while position rules establish positions in the situation. Accordingly, choice rules allocate set of action points that actor in positions may or must not take. For instance, when implementing the EVs for the U.S. case scenario, it will require understanding the position of stakeholders in regards to their technological capability, the strategy, and incentive from the government to influence adoption and choice of the potential consumers. Bringing together the seven rules will provide an effective framework to analyze the pros and cons that limit the adoption of EVs and enable better approaches to the situation.
Institutional policy and regulations can realize enhanced adoption of EVs. Stokes and Breetz (2018) explain that there are 438 incentives for EVs in the U.S. The policies include tax rebates, reduced parking fee, subsidies for charging, registration exemptions, and admittance to high occupancy lanes among other initiatives. The frameworks have a broader objective to ensure that the adoption of EVs is accelerated to deliver sustainability. Lammers and Hoppe (2019) demonstrate the application of IAD frameworks in the Dutch, Netherlands to provide a perspective of institutional conditions that enable or restrict decision-making systems in the adoption of smart energy systems such as EVs (p. 243). From the authors’ findings, applying the IAD model helps to identify institutional factors that affect decision-making, including the understanding of how the conditions are correlated (p. 234). IAD is an effective framework that supports decision making at institutional levels and can be applied in the EVs sector to define, manage, and support stakeholder to adoptsustainable energy technology.
The study adopts the deductive approach for its investigations. The deductive model seeks to identify common views between results and finding of the study and ascertain their correlations with academic models. Accordingly, the research findings are compared to published works and other recently concluded researches on the topic to ascertain the level of concurrences. Möller, Vurm, and Petr (2003) aver that quantitative research focuses on gathering information that utilizes survey data, frequency distribution, and statistics to test the hypothesis (p. 34). Accordingly, the authors posit that qualitative studies emphasizes on subjective interpretations such as peoples written or spoken words and discernable behavior or attitudes. Therefore, when a qualitative model is employed, inductive logic is pre-eminent to build a conceptual framework (Möller et al., 2003). As such, the study will apply both qualitative and quantitative techniques in its primary and secondary researches.
Primary Research Methods
The approach to primary research utilizes data collections techniques that arrive at numeric results. The study employs a quantitative model to develop a survey that it administers on respondents. The survey is developed with open-ended questions meant to achieve a stimulated response and generate ethical discussions. The assessment will be based on the monkey survey platforms where a link will be sent to the identified respondents.
The study will apply a multifaceted approach for empirical investigations. Therefore, it targets individual at policy influence levels within organizations and the government. Accordingly, the study also targets potential consumers of EVs and others influential individual in decision-making within the society. For instance, whereas the study appreciates that potential consumers have the financial power to purchase, it recognizes that influence to buy may come from other parties, including children or spouses. The research takes a holistic approach by engaging all the potential stakeholders to the adoption of EVs in the U.S market. The study targets 50 respondents to fill the questionnaires.
Secondary research forms the foundation of the study. It will involve in-depth analysis of literature of the existing materials, such as publications from peer reviewed articles, academic journals, books, and newspapers among other credible sources. The study utilizes data from virtual libraries, online journals, and previous surveys conducted on the adoption of EVs in the US, and those that answer the hypotheses. The study seeks to test the extent the primary and secondary data agree and record the variances, whichwill form part of the recommendations for future research. While the study investigates through the published works of professional and academicians both within influential policy positions in government and motor vehicles manufacturing sectors, it compares the effectiveness and limitations of existing policies that facilitate the adoption of EVs in the U.S. market. Thus, the secondary literature review will offer the current position to help in making recommendations after comparing the outcome of the primary research.
Ethical Considerations in the Study
The study complies with ethical expectations of research involving respondents and literature analysis. Firstly, the study acknowledges illustrations, ideas, and recommendations from various publishers and academicians utilized in the research. However, it does not provide signed consents to publishers or academicians whose works was consulted since information wasavailable to the public either through open access or closed at subscription levels. Conversely, the study provides consent forms for respondents who express their willingness to participate in the research. The study seeks to ensure that participants have no obligation to the research after its completion or so declares at the beginning of the investigations. The study anticipates keeping the identity of the stakeholders who are mentioned adversely in the course of its investigations.
Data Analysis and Presentation
Raw data received from the study are analyzed to provide coherent information to the study. Möller et al. (2003) explain that to analyze quantitative data, they should be organized into tables or charts (p. 37). The authors further aver that statistical analysis tests hypothesis and answers the research questions. When conducting empirical research that utilize datasets from different samples, the findings are studied and compared either based on descriptive or inferential statistics (Möller et al., 2003, p. 37). Further, the authors describe descriptive statistics as a model that presents quantitative data within manageable forms, whereas inferential statistics indicates the extent to which two or more groups or ideologies differ (cited in Bunker et al., 1975, p. 50). In addition, the study employs descriptive statistics to summarize univariate data to manageable sets, such as mean, modes, and medians. The study also presents the findings into charts and tables to provide better perspectives that reveal the variances within the findings. Thus, the study applies inferential statistics, bivariate univariate, and multivariate analyses to draw conclusions from the observations of the study based on the respondent population. Therefore, the study applies both models to present its findings and draw conclusions.
EVs have considerable benefits on the sustainability of the environment. However, policies that should enhance its adoption levels do not address issues that deter the achievement of broad objectives. Notably, the state of GHG emission from the transportation sector alone continues to escalate to unprecedented levels. It is significant that the effective policy frameworks are developed using a collective approach to enhance adoption of Evs Properly researched and defined public policies have the potential to encourage the utilization of EVs on the U.S. road networks. Therefore, to manage major deterrence to the adoption of EV technology, government subsidy on EV sales should be enhanced, the number of electric charging stations should be increased, and incentives, such as free parking of EV and admittance to high lanes should be ainstreamed in the transportation sector.
Boussauw, K., & Vanoutrive, T. (2017). Transport policy in Belgium: Translating sustainability discourses into unsustainable outcomes. Transport Policy, 53, 11-19. doi:10.1016/j.tranpol.2016.08.009
Carley, S., Krause, R. M., Lane, B. W., & Graham, J. D. (2013). Intent to purchase a plug-in electric vehicle: A survey of early impressions in large US cites. Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment, 18, 39-45. doi:10.1016/j.trd.2012.09.007
Cote, M., & Nightingale, A. J. (2012). Resilience thinking meets social theory: Situating social change in socio-ecological systems (SES) research. Progress in Human Geography, 36(4), 475-489. doi:10.1177/0309132511425708
Egbue, O., & Long, S. (2012). Barriers to widespread adoption of electric vehicles: An analysis of consumer attitudes and perceptions. Energy policy, 48, 717-729. doi:10.1016/j.enpol.2012.06.009
Jochem, P., Gómez Vilchez, J. J., Ensslen, A., Schäuble, J., & Fichtner, W. (2018). Methods for forecasting the market penetration of electric drivetrains in the passenger car market. Transport Reviews, 38(3), 322-348. doi:10.1080/01441647.2017.1326538
Lammers, I., & Hoppe, T. (2019). Watt rules? Assessing decision-making practices on smart energy systems in Dutch city districts. Energy Research & Social Science, 47, 233-246. doi:10.1016/j.erss.2018.10.003
McGinnis, M., & Ostrom, E. (2014). Social-ecological system framework: initial changes and continuing challenges. Ecology and Society, 19(2). doi:10.5751/ES-06387-190230
Möller, P. H., Vurm, V., & Petr, P. (2003). Scientific research: Methodological guidelines for the social sciences. Journal of Applied Biomedicine, 1, 29-40. Retrieved from http://www.zsf.jcu.cz/jab_old/1_1/5science.pdf/at_download/file
Onat, N. C., Noori, M., Kucukvar, M., Zhao, Y., Tatari, O., & Chester, M. (2017). Exploring the suitability of electric vehicles in the United States. Energy, 121, 631-642. doi:10.1016/j.energy.2017.01.035
Ostrom, E. (2011). Background on the institutional analysis and development framework. Policy Studies Journal, 39(1), 7-27.
Shareef, H., Islam, M. M., & Mohamed, A. (2016). A review of the stage-of-the-art charging technologies, placement methodologies, and impacts of electric vehicles. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 64, 403-420. doi:10.1016/j.rser.2016.06.033
She, Z. Y., Sun, Q., Ma, J. J., & Xie, B. C. (2017). What are the barriers to widespread adoption of battery electric vehicles? A survey of public perception in Tianjin, China. Transport Policy, 56, 29-40. doi: 10.1016/j.tranpol.2017.03.001
Sierzchula, W., Bakker, S., Maat, K., & Van Wee, B. (2014). The influence of financial incentives and other socio-economic factors on electric vehicle adoption. Energy Policy, 68, 183-194. DOI:10.1016/j.enpol.2014.01.043
Silvia, C., & Krause, R. M. (2016). Assessing the impact of policy interventions on the adoption of plug-in electric vehicles: An agent-based model. Energy Policy, 96, 105-118. doi:10.1016/j.enpol.2016.05.039
Stokes, L. C., & Breetz, H. L. (2018). Politics in the US energy transition: Case studies of solar, wind, biofuels and electric vehicles policy. Energy Policy, 113, 76-86. doi: 10.1016/j.enpol.2017.10.057
Yuksel, T., & Michalek, J. J. (2015). Effects of regional temperature on electric vehicle efficiency, range, and emissions in the United States. Environmental science & technology, 49(6), 3974-3980. doi:10.1021/es505621s
Yuksel, T., Tamayao, M. A. M., Hendrickson, C., Azevedo, I. M., & Michalek, J. J. (2016). Effect of regional grid mix, driving patterns and climate on the comparative carbon footprint of gasoline and plug-in electric vehicles in the United States. Environmental Research Letters, 11(4), 044007.