Alternative Fuel Demand and Adoption Behavior of Heavy-duty Vehicle Fleets in California

Research Lead: Stephen Ritchie

Research Team: Craig Rindt

University: UC Irvine

Problem Statement: On-road medium and heavy-duty vehicles account for approximately 20% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in California’s transportation sector and the air pollutants emitted from these vehicles have detrimental effects on the health conditions of local residents. At the same time, the freight transportation system is responsible for one-third of the jobs in the California economy. Thus, it is imperative to implement mitigation strategies for reducing truck-generated emissions so that these harmful emissions can be decoupled from economic growth. While encouraging HDV fleet operators to purchase alternative fuel vehicles is one of the promising solutions, alternative heavy-duty are still only a very marginal share of the vehicle population. Efforts to increase the share of vehicles using alternative fuels depend on obtaining a better understanding of fleet decision-making behavior as it relates to alternative fuel vehicle choice.

Project Description: There is scant research focusing on heavy-duty alternative fuel vehicle (AFV) adoption behavior. This aims to fill this gap by investigating the demand for alternative fuels in HDV fleets as well as AFV adoption behavior based on a stated preference survey targeting HDV fleet operators in California. The survey questionnaire will be designed based on the results from an on-going research projects, that include in-depth qualitative interviews for heavy-duty fleet operators in California, to build a theory of heavy-duty alternative fuel fleet adoption behavior by revealing the attitudes, preferences, and behavior of fleet operators towards alternative fuel vehicles.

Status: In Progress

Budget: $122,476

Project Partner(s): California Energy Commission