Ruhr Economic Papers

Ruhr Economic Papers #893

Do More Chargers Mean More Electric Cars?

by Stephan Sommer and Colin Vance

RWI, 02/2021, 23 S./p., 8 Euro, ISBN 978-3-96973-033-1 DOI: 10.4419/96973033

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Abstract

Drawing on panel data from Germany, this paper estimates the relationship between charging infrastructure and the uptake of electric vehicles (EVs). We specify models with fixed effects and instrumental variables to gauge the robustness of our findings in the face of alternative channels through which endogeneity bias may emerge. We find that charging infrastructure has a statistically significant and positive impact on EV uptake, with the magnitude of the estimate increasing with population density. The evidence further suggests that although the incidence of charging points in Germany far exceeds the European Union’s recommended minimum ratio of one point to ten EVs, inadequate infrastructure coverage remains a binding constraint on EV uptake. We use the model estimates to illustrate the relative cost effectiveness of normal and fast chargers by region, which supports a geographically differentiated targeting of subsidies.

JEL-Classification: H54, H71, Q58, R40

Keywords: Transport policy, electric vehicles, charging infrastructure, Germany

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