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Consumers’ Willingness to Pay for Alternative Fuel Vehicles: A Comparative Discrete Choice Analysis

Makoto Tanaka, Takanori Ida, Kayo Murakami, and Lee Friedman, “Consumers' Willingness to Pay for Alternative Fuel Vehicles: A Comparative Discrete Choice Analysis between the U.S. and Japan,” Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 70, 2014, pp. 194-209.


This paper conducts a comparative discrete choice analysis to estimate consumers' willingness to pay (WTP) for electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) on the basis of the same stated preference survey carried out in the US and Japan in 2012. We also carry out a comparative analysis across four US states. We find that on average US consumers are more sensitive to fuel cost reductions and alternative fuel station availability than are Japanese consumers. With regard to the comparative analysis across the four US states, consumers’ WTP for a fuel cost reduction in California is considerably greater than in the other three states. We use the estimates obtained in the discrete choice analysis to examine the EV/PHEV market shares under several scenarios. In a base case scenario with relatively realistic attribute levels, conventional gasoline vehicles still dominate both in the US and Japan. However, in an innovation scenario with a significant purchase price reduction, we observe a high penetration of alternative fuel vehicles both in the US and Japan. We illustrate the potential use of a discrete choice analysis for forward-looking policy analysis, with the future opportunity to compare its predictions against actual revealed choices. In this case, increased purchase price subsidies are likely to have a significant impact on the market shares of alternative fuel vehicles.

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