Civil Engineering Graduate Seminar: Oct 18

Civil Engineering Graduate Seminar Series: Thursday, October 18, 4:05 PM, Dow 641

Analysis of an Electric Vehicle Subscription Service Business Model that Includes Battery Swapping

By Jeff Lidicker, PhD, Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering


One proposed strategy for facilitating the introduction of electric-drive vehicles is for vehicle purchasers to own the vehicle but to lease the battery from a third party, in order to help reduce the “first cost” hurdle to consumers. A further extension of this concept for all-battery electric vehicles (EVs) would include the ability for consumers to exchange their discharged batteries for charged ones, using “battery swap stations.” These would allow for extended driving range for EV service subscribers, but with increased costs to build and operate the stations. Our analysis centers around a “base case” scenario from 2012–2027 that includes a set of assumptions about subscriber membership levels, gasoline and electricity prices, corporate level expenditures, and the capital costs of batteries, charging stations, and battery swap stations. Our analysis suggests that the economics of this business model are challenging with current gasoline prices and the “base case” scenario assumptions, but that the economics can be favorable under certain circumstances.