Acceptance of alternative fuel and hybrid vehicles in Australia: results based on survey data, choice modelling and elasticity estimation

Zeenat Abdoolakhan

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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[Truncated abstract] This thesis is set in the context of falling oil reserves and rising prices. It deals first with the complexity of the oil market and the evidence that peak oil is already here. As demand increases, the adoption of substitutes and more efficient technologies can be expected to reduce the heavy reliance of the transport sector on oil-based fuel. LPG is widely available in Australia while ethanol and biodiesel are commercially available on a small scale. LPG and blends of ethanol (E20) and biodiesel (B20) were included in the choice scenarios presented to survey respondents. Hybrid petrol electric vehicles were included as a new technology and also potentially viable hybrids using LPG and E20. A household survey with optional on-line or mail back response provided the data for stated choice modelling and elasticity estimation. The results were used to address the following questions: 1. Are major changes in vehicle choice likely to occur among households? 2. Are fleets changing their vehicle mix to include alternative fuel vehicles and hybrid vehicles? 3. What impact would rising fuel prices have on household vehicle demand? 4. Are alternative fuel vehicles and hybrids likely to become mainstream vehicles in the near future? The Nested Logit model results indicate the importance of fuel price and vehicle purchase price in the choice of vehicles. In absolute magnitude, the estimated choice elasticities with respect to fuel price are much bigger than those for vehicle purchase price. Females are more likely to choose alternative fuels as well as hybrid cars while males are more attracted to diesel engines. As for the age coefficient, it supports the common perception that as people get older they tend to rely on long experience and are reluctant to try new options especially if little is known about them. The results from a two-class Latent Class Model for households show that there is a substantial group of people (Class 1) who take more
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Publication statusUnpublished - 2010


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