University of California Transportation Center
The Target Market for Methanol Fuel
- Author(s): Sperling, Daniel
- et al.
A survey of vehicle owners was conducted in New York State and California to explore the potential target market for methanol in the household sector. Data were collected on revealed and reported premium gasoline purchase behavior and willingness to pay for cleaner fuels and more power. We found that drivers are willing to pay slightly more for cleaner fuels than for more power, although we do not interpret this to mean that when confronted at a fuel pump with two choices, one fuel cleaner but more expensive than the other, a motorist would select the more expensive cleaner-burning fuel. We found that income is not an important variable in predicting the purchase of cleaner fuels and that female drivers and Californians are willing to spend more on cleaner fuels than are male drivers and New Yorkers, respectively. Current premium gasoline users are willing to pay more for additional power and cleaner fuels than are regular gasoline users, indicating that premium gasoline users are likely to be initial buyers of methanol fuel and methanol-powered vehicles.