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Modeling the Choice of Clean Fuels and Clean Fuel Vehicles


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Suggested Citation:
Kitamura, Ryuichi, Mark Bradley, David S. Bunch, Thomas F. Golob (1991) Modeling the Choice of Clean Fuels and Clean Fuel Vehicles. Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California, Davis, Presentation Series UCD-ITS-RP-91-23

Proceedings of Seminar 14, 19th Planning and Transport Research and Computation (PTRC) Annual Meeting

Reducing vehicle emissions levels is particularly important in the South Coast Air Basin of California, which includes the Los Angeles Metropolitan Area and the adjacent and interdependent Orange County, Riverside, and San Bernardino Metropolitan Areas. The climate and topography create ideal conditions for the area's infamous smog; and cars, trucks and buses contribute 88 percent of carbon monoxide emissions and about 50 percent of the ozone components: oxides of nitrogen and reactive organic gases. It is apparent that air quality can be greatly improved if gasoline-powered personal vehicles can be replaced in substantial numbers by vehicles powered by electricity or alternative fuels, such as methanol, ethanol, propane, or compressed natural gas (CNG). While none of these alternative fuels has zero-level emissions (even electricity, if generation is taken into account), they all have lower overall emissions levels than currently available gasoline and diesel fuels; they are considered "clean" fuels for the purposes of this market research study. Personal vehicles are defined for the purposes of the study to be cars or light trucks owned or leased by private individuals.

The objective of this study is to determine the effect on personal vehicle purchase and fuel use of a few important attributes that potentially differentiate clean-fuel vehicles from conventional gasoline or diesel vehicles. By concentrating on quantitative estimation, it is intended that this study complement others aimed at qualitative assessments of the roles of information and uncertainty in consumer acceptance of clean-fuel vehicles.