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Technology Adoption and Critical Mass: The Case of the U.S. Electric Vehicle Market

Yiyi Zhou and Shanjun Li

Journal of Industrial Economics, 2018, vol. 66, issue 2, 423-480

Abstract: The interdependence between electric vehicle (EV) adoption and charging station deployment could lead to multiple equilibria. Under certain market conditions, the issue of critical mass arises and a market failing to overcome this hurdle would revert to a no‐adoption outcome. Using panel data of EV sales and charging stations across U.S. Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA's), we find that more than half of the MSA's face critical mass constraints and that a subsidy policy targeting these critical‐mass constrained MSA's could be much more effective in promoting EV adoption than the current uniform policy.

Date: 2018
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Journal of Industrial Economics is currently edited by Pierre Regibeau, Yeon-Koo Che, Kenneth Corts, Thomas Hubbard, Patrick Legros and Frank Verboven

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