How to road price in a world with electric vehicles and government budget constraints
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionTransportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment. 2018, 65 (December), 635-657. 10.1016/j.trd.2018.10.002
In this paper we examine what characterizes second-best road prices targeting external costs from driving electric (EV) and conventional (ICEV) vehicles when there are distortionary labor taxes and binding government budget constraints. Further, we examine how this second-best pricing fits with government set goals of reducing CO2 emissions. The paper further develops an analytical framework for assessing first- and second-best road prices on vehicle kilometers, extending it to include EVs and externalities that vary geographically and by time of day. We find that optimal road prices largely vary with external cost, but are also significantly affected by the interactions with the rest of the fiscal system. Not surprisingly, the highest road prices should be for ICEVs in large cities during peak hours due to high external costs. More surprisingly, we find that the road price for ICEVs in rural areas should be lower than that for EVs due to large fiscal interaction effects. These road prices give large welfare gains, but they lead to no reduction in carbon emissions when applying the currently recommended social cost of carbon.