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Open Access Publications from the University of California

A Personal Vehicle Transactions Choice Model for Use in Forecasting Demand for Future Alternative-Fuel Vehicles


A discrete choice model has been developed in which the choice alternative consist of vehicle transactions rather than portfolios of vehicle holdings. The model is based on responses to customized stated preference questions involving both hypothetical future vehicles and the household's current vehicle holdings. The stated choices were collected from 4747 survey respondents located throughout most of the urbanized portions of the state of California. Respondents were asked what their next vehicle transaction would most likely be (replace a current vehicle, add another vehicle, or dispose of a current vehicle), and respondents who wanted to replace or add vehicles were asked to indicate their most preferred vehicle from a set of six hypothetical vehicles. The hypothetical vehicles were described in terms of fourteen attributes, manipulated according to an experimental design. 

The transactions model is a multinomial logit model of the choice of the hypothetical vehicles and whether or not the hypothetical vehicle will be a replacement or addition to the household fleet. The model is conditioned on the household's current vehicle stock. and the characteristics of the current vehicles are important explanators of the stated preference choices. In addition to the model estimates, forecasts are given for a base case scenario in 1998. 

This model is one component in a micro-simulation demand forecasting system being designed to produce annual forecasts of new and used vehicle demand by type of vehicle and geographic area. The system will also forecast annual vehicle miles traveled for all vehicles and recharging demand by time of day for electric vehicles. These results are potentially useful to utility companies in their demand-side management planning, to public agencies in their evaluation incentive schemes, and to manufacturers faced with designing and marketing alternative-fuel vehicles. 

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