Publication Detail

Modeling the Choice of Plug-in Electric Vehicles in California: A Nested Logit Approach


Research Report

Sustainable Transportation Energy Pathways (STEPS), Plug-In Hybrid & Electric Vehicle Research Center

Suggested Citation:
Xing, Yan and Gil Tal (2017) Modeling the Choice of Plug-in Electric Vehicles in California: A Nested Logit Approach. Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California, Davis, Research Report UCD-ITS-RR-17-60

The plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) help reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, as well as save energy compared with conventional vehicles. California leads the nation in the PEV adoptions with its sales accounting for almost half of all new PEVs sold in the U.S. Specific supportive policies may help to explain the high level of PEV adoptions in California. However, empirical evidence of influences of public policies on PEV adoptions is still limited. Additionally, most explanatory analyses infer the associations between PEV adoption and relevant factors by using the choice made by individuals under experimental conditions rather than their actual choices. To fill this gap, based on the data collected from California statewide travel survey, which was additionally enriched by a PEV-based sample, a nested logit model was employed to explore factors associated with choices of vehicle technologies including conventional fuel vehicles, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), and battery electric vehicles (BEVs). Model results show that socio-demographics, such as the number of cars per driver, race, income and education level, and the number of children under 12 years old in a household, heavily affect the choice for PEVs. Higher purchase price is associated with PEVs. One policy pertaining to PEVs, allowing PEVs to drive on high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes, emerges to be positively associated with PEV adoptions. This study provides a stronger empirical basis for policy decisions of promoting PEVs by contributing to an improved understanding of potential determinants of PEV ownership.
Presented at Transportation Research Board 96th Annual Meeting, Washington, DC, January 8-12, 2017