February 23, 2022 - 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM Eastern Time (ET)

The Economics of Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles

Bolstered by generous incentive programs, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) have seen steady growth in sales. Despite their expanding market-share, the economic costs and benefits of PHEVs are not yet fully understood, including the cost of ownership, their effects on fuel consumption and tail-pipe emissions, and their cost-competitiveness without support through subsidies and other government interventions. Questions also arise with regard to the implications of PHEVs for driving behavior and consumer vehicle choice preferences. To address these and related questions, this installment of the MIT CEEPR Fall/Winter Webinar Series brings together three leading experts on the topic: Dr. T. Donna Chen, Assistant Professor in Engineering Systems and Environment at the University of Virginia School of Engineering and Applied Science; Dr. Kenneth P. Laberteaux, Senior Principal Research Scientist at the Toyota Research Institute–North America, and Dr. Frances Sprei, Associate Professor of Physical Resource Theory at Chalmers University of Technology.


T. Donna Chen
University of Virginia

Dr. Chen joined the Engineering Systems and Environment Department's Civil and Environmental Engineering Program at University of Virginia in August 2015. Her research focuses on sustainable transportation systems (in particular modeling the impacts of new vehicle technologies systems on traveler behavior and the environment), travel demand modeling, transportation economics, and crash safety. Prior to joining academia, Dr. Chen worked in the consulting industry as a transportation planning engineer and has experience with roadway design, cost estimation, and traffic operation analyses. Dr. Chen is involved in the Transportation Research Board (TRB), the American Society of Civil Engineers Transportation & Development Institute (ASCE TD&I), Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America), Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE), and Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS).
Ken Laberteaux
Toyota Research Institute - North America

Ken Laberteaux is a Senior Principal Research Scientist at the Toyota Research and Development in Ann Arbor, MI. In his 27 years in the automotive and telecommunication industries, Ken has produced 41 scholarly publications and 18 patents. Ken’s current research focus is sustainable mobility systems, including Mobility as a Service, vehicle electrification, automated driving, and US urbanization and transportation patterns. Ken completed his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame, and B.S.E., in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
Frances Sprei
Chalmers University of Technology

Frances Sprei’s research assess different personal mobility options, such as alternative fueled vehicles and electric vehicles as well as innovative mobility forms such as car sharing and ride sharing. Economic, political, technical and behavioral aspects are taken into account. Her research methods are interdisciplinary combining quantitative methods such as econometrics with qualitative methods such as interviews. She has been the co-chair of the Behavior Energy and Climate Change conference and received in 2010 the Jan-Eric Sundgren Award.
Christopher Knittel

Christopher Knittel is the George P Shultz Professor of Energy Economics and a Professor of Applied Economics in the Sloan School of Management at MIT. He directs the Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research (CEEPR) at MIT. CEEPR, established in 1977 is the hub for social science work related to energy and the environment. Knittel is also the Deputy Director for Policy of the MIT Energy Initiative, the hub for energy research at MIT. Finally, along with Meredith Fowlie at UC Berkeley, he co-directs the Environmental and Energy Economics Program at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Formerly, Knittel was on the faculty at UC Davis and Boston University. He is the former co-editor of the Journal of Public Economics, and an associate editor of the Journal of Transportation Economics and Policy, and Journal of Energy Markets, having previously served as an associate editor of The American Economic Journal — Economic Policy and The Journal of Industrial Economics.