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Evolution of the household vehicle fleet : anticipating fleet composition, plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) adoption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Austin, Texas.
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  • Abstract:
    Automobile ownership plays an important role in determining vehicle use, emissions, fuel

    consumption, congestion and traffic safety. This work provides new data on ownership decisions

    and owner preferences under various scenarios, coupled with calibrated models to microsimulate

    Austin’s household-fleet evolution. Results suggest that most Austinites (63%, populationcorrected

    share) support a feebate policy to favor more fuel efficient vehicles. Top purchase

    criteria are vehicle purchase price, type/class, and fuel economy (with 30%, 21% and 19% of

    respondents placing these in their top three). Most (56%) respondents also indicated that they

    would seriously consider purchasing a Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) if it were to cost

    $6,000 more than its conventional, gasoline-powered counterpart. And many respond strongly to

    signals on the external (health and climate) costs of a vehicle’s emissions, more strongly than

    they respond to information on fuel cost savings. 25-year simulations suggest that 19% of

    Austin’s vehicle fleet could be comprised of Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs) and PHEVs under

    adoption of a feebate policy (along with PHEV availability in Year 1 of the simulation, and

    current gas prices throughout). In comparison to the base year (2009) total VMT, year 2034

    vehicle miles traveled (VMT) levels are predicted to increase 154% by year 2034 in the TREND

    scenario. Total CO2 emissions fall by 22% in the PRICING scenario relative to the TREND


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