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An agent-based model to study market penetration of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles

Author

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  • Eppstein, Margaret J.
  • Grover, David K.
  • Marshall, Jeffrey S.
  • Rizzo, Donna M.

Abstract

A spatially explicit agent-based vehicle consumer choice model is developed to explore sensitivities and nonlinear interactions between various potential influences on plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHEV) market penetration. The model accounts for spatial and social effects (including threshold effects, homophily, and conformity) and media influences. Preliminary simulations demonstrate how such a model could be used to identify nonlinear interactions among potential leverage points, inform policies affecting PHEV market penetration, and help identify future data collection necessary to more accurately model the system. We examine sensitivity of the model to gasoline prices, to accuracy in estimation of fuel costs, to agent willingness to adopt the PHEV technology, to PHEV purchase price and rebates, to PHEV battery range, and to heuristic values related to gasoline usage. Our simulations indicate that PHEV market penetration could be enhanced significantly by providing consumers with ready estimates of expected lifetime fuel costs associated with different vehicles (e.g., on vehicle stickers), and that increases in gasoline prices could nonlinearly magnify the impact on fleet efficiency. We also infer that a potential synergy from a gasoline tax with proceeds is used to fund research into longer-range lower-cost PHEV batteries.

Suggested Citation

  • Eppstein, Margaret J. & Grover, David K. & Marshall, Jeffrey S. & Rizzo, Donna M., 2011. "An agent-based model to study market penetration of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(6), pages 3789-3802, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:39:y:2011:i:6:p:3789-3802
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    References listed on IDEAS

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