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Refueling and New Fuels: An Exploratory Analysis

UCD-ITS-RP-86-01

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Suggested Citation:
Sperling, Daniel and Ryuichi Kitamura (1986) Refueling and New Fuels: An Exploratory Analysis. Transportation Research Part A 20 (1), 15 - 23

One of the factors impeding the introduction of new transportation fuels is the absence of retail outlets selling those fuels. Surveys of gasoline and diesel car drivers were conducted to explore several hypotheses regarding refueling attitudes and motivational concerns of motorists, and the importance of fuel availability in the decision to purchase nonpetroleum vehicles. Some insights and findings included the following: Attitudes toward refueling and the weighting of refueling considerations in the use and purchase of nongasoline vehicles are apparently better explained by situational and locational variables than by demographic and socioeconomic variables; some drivers are willing to accomodate sparse networks of fuel outlets with little compensation, but more typically drivers would only travel the additional time required to reach the fewer outlets if compensated with reductions in fuel prices roughly comparable in value to the additional travel time required to reach an outlet; and that predictability of fuel station location compensates for reduced fuel availability to the extent that a network about 1/10th the size of the gasoline retail network appears to be sufficiently large to relegate refueling concerns to a relatively insignificant role in the vehicle-purchase decision.