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Consumer Preferences for Alternative Fuel Vehicles: A Discrete Choice Analysis

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Document pages: 49 pages

Abstract: In this paper we analyze the potential demand for privately used alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs), based on a nationwide survey in Germany among (potential) car buyers. For this purpose, we applied a stated preference discrete choice experiment, using a wide range of vehicle alternatives (gasoline diesel, natural gas, hybrid, plug-in hybrid, electric, biofuel, hydrogen) and vehicle attributes. By applying both a multinomial logit model and a mixed (error components) logit model, we estimate the attributes’ influence on vehicle choice and calculate consumers’ willingness-to-pay for the improvement of these attributes. Furthermore, in a scenario analysis, we simulate the impact of monetary and non-monetary policy measures on vehicle choice probabilities. We find that the most promising target group for the adoption of all kinds of AFVs is that of younger, well-educated, and environmentally aware car buyers, who, in the case of electric vehicles, also have the possibility to plug-in their car at home, and who have a high share of city trips and thus need a small car. Moreover, we find that, depending on the vehicle alternative, environmental awareness, and budget constraints for the next vehicle purchase, households are willing to pay substantial amounts for the improvement of fuel cost, driving range, charging infrastructure, CO2 emissions, vehicle tax exemptions, and free parking or bus lane access. Furthermore, the scenario results suggest that conventional vehicles will maintain their dominance in the market, whereas electric and hydrogen vehicles will remain unpopular. The market share of the latter is only expected to rise markedly if massive and multiple policy interventions are implemented. Finally, we find evidence that an increase in the fully electric vehicle’s driving range to a level comparable with all other vehicle alternatives has the same impact on its choice probability as would a market-based, multiple measures policy intervention package.

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