Science + Technology

UCLA study predicts L.A. will be a top market for electric vehicles

Los Angeles will be a U.S. leader in the market for electric vehicles, with such vehicles accounting for nearly one out of every 10 automobiles purchased in the city in 2015, according to a new study published by the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation and the UCLA Anderson School of Management. The study is part of yearlong collaboration with Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's Office for Environment and Sustainability, and with the support of the City Council and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.
The analysis, conducted by UCLA Anderson School of Management M.B.A. students Ross Barney, Annamaria Csontos, Jonathan Um and Nini Wu under the direction of Jeffrey Dubin, adjunct professor of economics and statistics at UCLA Anderson, used data from hybrid vehicle registrations, "green" initiative voting results, a market survey of 2,000 Los Angeles residents supported by polling firm YouGov, U.S. Census figures and a variety other sources to arrive at the estimate.
"This is cutting-edge and will be critical to informing Los Angeles' electric vehicle strategy going forward," Villaraigosa said. "Los Angeles has demonstrated itself repeatedly as a leader in this industry, and through this collaboration with UCLA, we have further strengthened L.A.'s commitment to become the EV capital of the world."
"Given the price of gas, the instability in oil-producing regions and Los Angeles' air quality, electric vehicles are clearly a wise investment for policymakers," Los Angeles City Council President Eric Garcetti said. "Making Los Angeles a leader in electric vehicles is not only a way to clean our air but to position ourselves at the forefront of an industry that will create high-quality manufacturing, research and technology labs."
"For many buyers, electric vehicles will be hard to ignore," said J.R. DeShazo, director of the Luskin Center and an associate professor of public policy. "However, the analysis predicts only about 2,000 electric vehicles will be sold in Los Angeles in 2011. This number is due to the limited supply; even if more residents are inclined to purchase them, it just isn't possible right now."

The supply of electric vehicles will be limited until 2013 or 2014, the research team said, at which point it will increase to meet demand. In 2015, the researchers predict, electric vehicles will make up 9 percent of new vehicles — an estimated 30,000 vehicles — purchased by Los Angeles residents. By the end of 2020, they say, Angelenos will have purchased roughly 229,000 electric vehicles.
The analysis, which looked at 127 Los Angeles ZIP codes, allowed the team to identify which areas of the city would ultimately see the greatest number of electric vehicles, with the Westside and the Wilshire Corridor leading the pack.

The study also identified several opportunities for the city of Los Angeles to support and help boost the electric vehicle market with policies and education. One area in which the city could have a significant impact, the researchers said, would be in helping renters and residents of multi-family housing — about 70 percent of the city's residents — access electric vehicle charging areas. Many of these residents do not own their garages and face difficulties in installing charging equipment at home. Those who park on the street have even greater difficulty accessing charging at home.
Over the coming year, the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation will research options to increase home charging access for these residents.
The research team worked with the city of Los Angeles and the Clinton Climate Initiative to conduct the study.

To read the full study, visit
The UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation, founded with a generous gift from Meyer and Renee Luskin, unites the intellectual capital of UCLA with forward-looking civic leaders to address pressing issues and translate world class research and expertise into real-world policy solutions. Research initiatives are supported by teams of faculty and staff from a variety of academic disciplines. The Luskin Center supports these initiatives by funding original research, scholars, conferences, technical internships and solution-oriented speaker series.

The UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, founded in 1994, incorporates best practices in scholarship, research and teaching in the fields of social work, urban and regional planning, and policymaking. The unique intersection of these disciplines allows for academic cross-collaboration and a graduate education that values perspectives at the macro- and micro-organizational levels. Graduates of the master's degree and doctoral programs are well prepared to take leadership roles and effect change as practitioners, researchers, and policymakers in the public, private, and non-governmental sectors.  Faculty of the Luskin School of Public Affairs are actively engaged in research that addresses pressing national and regional issues, including immigration, drug policy, prison reform, health care financing, transportation and the environment, national security, economic development, and an aging U.S. and world population. The school is named for philanthropists Meyer and Renee Luskin, half of whose $100 million gift to UCLA funded endowments in the school.
The UCLA Anderson School of Management: Celebrating 75 years of "business beyond usual," the UCLA Anderson School of Management is regarded among the leading business schools in the world. UCLA Anderson faculty members are globally renowned for their teaching excellence and research in advancing management thinking. Each year, UCLA Anderson provides a distinctive approach to management education to more than 3,600 students enrolled in its M.B.A., fully-employed M.B.A., executive M.B.A., UCLA–NUS Global Executive M.B.A., master of financial engineering, doctoral and executive education programs. Combining highly selective admissions, varied and innovative learning programs, and a worldwide network of 37,000 alumni, UCLA Anderson develops and prepares global leaders.    
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