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Forecasting the Market for Electric Vehicles in California Using Conjoint Analysis

Beginning in 1998 a percentage of large auto companies' sales in California must include zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs), which at this time art! synonymous with electric vehicles. Data on consumer values and the level of consumer acceptance for alternative fuel vehicles are necessary to determine the practicality of the State's policy. This paper presents the results of a forecast for alternative fuel vehicle purchases in California. This forecast uses conjoint analysis, a multi-attribute utility market forecast methodology developed within the field of marketing research. The forecast yields several types of results, including market simulations of the alternative fuel vehicle market, relative preferences among vehicle attributes, and the identification of market segments most likely to purchase each type of vehicle. The research suggests a market for electric vehicles too small to support California's ZEV sales mandate, and a very, large market for natural gas vehicles. This paper concludes with a discussion of automobile and electric utility industry interests with regard to these forecast market consequences.

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Energy Specializations: Energy Modeling – Forecasting and Market Analysis; Electricity – Policy and Regulation

JEL Codes: Q41: Energy: Demand and Supply; Prices, Q40: Energy: General, Q54: Climate; Natural Disasters and Their Management; Global Warming

Keywords: Electric vehicles, ZEVs, Conjoint analysis, California, electric utilities

DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol16-No3-4

Published in Volume16, Number 3 of the bi-monthly journal of the IAEE's Energy Economics Education Foundation.


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