Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Environment, Economics, and Politics (EEP)

Reader 1

William Ascher

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As the need to reduce carbon emissions becomes more urgent, electric vehicles are becoming an increasingly popular solution. Last year, California, a leader in climate policy, mandated that 100 percent of new vehicle sales must be zero emission vehicles (ZEVs) by 2035. ZEVs will rule the freeways of California eventually, but uncertainty remains in terms of when and how this shift will occur. This thesis delves into the barriers still at hand in order to accelerate and promote an equitable and effective transition to ZEVs, primarily looking at total cost of ownership (TCO), lack of adequate charging infrastructure, and slow vehicle turnover. Creating a model to estimate TCO, this thesis finds that electric vehicles (EVs) and internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEVs) will reach cost parity this year for some models. Used vehicles are expected to achieve price parity between EVs and ICEVs by 2029, while it is anticipated that price parity for new vehicles will be reached after 2030. Finally, it evaluates and recommends policy options for California, concluding that charging infrastructure investment should be a top priority.