Consumer Preferences for Alternative Fuel Vehicles: A Discrete Choice Analysis

FCN Working Paper No. 20/2011 (revised December 2012)

49 Pages Posted: 21 Mar 2013

See all articles by André Hackbarth

André Hackbarth

RWTH Aachen University - Institute for Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN)

Reinhard Madlener

RWTH Aachen University

Date Written: December 2012

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.

Keywords: discrete choice model, alternative fuel vehicles, willingness-to-pay, mixed logit model, scenario analysis

JEL Classification: C25, D12, M38, Q58, R41

Suggested Citation

Hackbarth, André and Madlener, Reinhard, Consumer Preferences for Alternative Fuel Vehicles: A Discrete Choice Analysis (December 2012). FCN Working Paper No. 20/2011 (revised December 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2236286 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2236286

André Hackbarth (Contact Author)

RWTH Aachen University - Institute for Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN) ( email )

Mathieustrasse 6
Aachen, 52074
Germany

Reinhard Madlener

RWTH Aachen University ( email )

School of Business and Economics / E.ON ERC
Mathieustraße 10
Aachen, 52074
Germany
+49 241 80 49 820 (Phone)
+49 241 80 49 829 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.eonerc.rwth-aachen.de/fcn

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