This paper empirically examines the determinants of the demand for alternative energy sources and propulsion technologies in vehicles. The data stem from a stated preference discrete choice experiment with 598 potential car buyers. In order to simulate a realistic automobile purchase situation, seven alternatives were incorporated in each of the six choice sets, i.e. hybrid, gas, biofuel, hydrogen, and electric as well as the common fuels gasoline and diesel. The vehicle types were additionally characterized by a set of attributes, such as purchase price or motor power. Besides these vehicle attributes, our study particularly considers a multitude of individual characteristics, such as socio-demographic and vehicle purchase variables. The econometric analysis with multinomial probit models identifies some population groups with a higher propensity for alternative energy sources or propulsion technologies in vehicles, which can be focused by policy and automobile firms. For example, younger people and people who usually purchase environment-friendly products have a higher stated preference to purchase biofuel, hydrogen, and electric automobiles than other population groups. Methodologically, our study highlights the importance of the inclusion of taste persistence across the choice sets. Furthermore, it suggests a high number of random draws in the Geweke-Hajivassiliou-Keane simulator, which is incorporated in the simulated maximum likelihood estimation and the simulated testing of statistical hypotheses.
Alternative energy sources and propulsion technologies in vehicles stated preferences discrete choice multinomial probit models unobserved heterogeneity simulated maximum likelihood estimation