Publication Detail

New Car Buyers' Valuation of Zero-Emission Vehicles: California


Research Report

Sustainable Transportation Energy Pathways (STEPS), Electric Vehicle Research Center

Suggested Citation:
Kurani, Kenneth S., Nicolette Caperello, Jennifer TyreeHageman (2016) New Car Buyers' Valuation of Zero-Emission Vehicles: California. Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California, Davis, Research Report UCD-ITS-RR-16-05

New car buyers’ awareness, knowledge, experience, consideration, and valuation of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), battery electric vehicles (BEVs), and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) as well as respondents’ attitudes toward the public policy goals of vehicles were assessed via an on-line survey and in-person interviews with a subset of the survey respondents. Questions about awareness, knowledge, experience, and consideration were asked prior to the valuation measure—the drivetrain type of a plausible next new vehicle designed by each respondent. The survey was administered in California, Oregon, Washington, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, and the other member states of the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM). Interviews were conducted in California, Oregon, and Washington. This report focuses on the results for California, though these are compared to results from other states. Even in California, prior awareness, knowledge, experience and consideration of PHEVs, BEVs, and FCEVs were low. Still, 38% of CA respondents—representing nearly 1.5 million new car-buying households—designed a PHEV (21%), BEV (11%), or FCEV (6%) in a “design world” that does not allow battery-powered all-electric drive in full-size vehicles but does offer incentives modeled on those available at the time of the survey. Respondent clusters are identified by motivations for or against designing a PHEV, BEV, or FCEV. The overarching conclusion is the first barrier to achieving emissions and energy goals of zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) is few new car-buying households in California have yet to ask themselves whether and how they value ZEVs.
Key words: electric vehicles, zero emission vehicles, consumers, markets, policy, charging, hydrogen, fuel cell