The Road Forward for Electric Vehicles

The electric vehicle market seems poised to take off, with high demand for Tesla’s Model 3 and growing attention from big automakers. Yet challenges that stalled EV growth in the past, namely sparse charging infrastructure and high costs, persist. A Wharton School expert looks at the role policymakers can take to support, or sink, the EV renaissance.

Thanks for joining the Energy Policy Now podcast for our first episode of Season 2.

These are exciting times for fans of electric vehicles.  Tesla, the Silicon Valley electric car maker, recently introduced its long awaited, relatively affordable Model 3, complete with a huge order backlog.  Also recently, the governments of France and the UK announced their goal to phase out the sale of new gas and diesel cars within a generation, opening the door to electrics.   

Yet in the US the electric vehicle market has looked poised for breakthrough in the past, only to disappoint.  In the 1990s General Motors developed a promising electric car, the EV1, that it subsequently sought to erase from common memory.  And a century ago, around the time that Henry Ford introduced the Model T, electric cars were common. Yet they ultimately all but disappeared.

John Paul MacDuffie, an expert on EV policy at the Wharton School, takes a look at policies that might help electric cars stick this time around, and at innovative government interventions that are already fueling EV markets abroad.


John Paul MacDuffie

Professor, The Wharton School
John Paul MacDuffie is a professor of Management at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, and Director of the Program on Vehicle and Mobility Innovation.

Andy Stone

Energy Policy Now Host and Producer
Andy Stone is producer and host of Energy Policy Now, the Kleinman Center’s podcast series. He previously worked in business planning with PJM Interconnection and was a senior energy reporter at Forbes Magazine.