Tracking National Household Vehicle Usage by Type, Age, and Area in Support of Market Assessments for Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles

DOI: 10.4236/jtts.2013.32017   PDF   HTML     3,007 Downloads   4,850 Views   Citations


Plug-in electric vehicle (PHEV) technology is seen as promising technology for reducing oil use, improving local air quality, and/or possibly reducing GHG emissions to support a sustainable transportation system. This paper examines the usage of household vehicles to support assessment of the market potential of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), the higher purchase price of which requires high usage rates to pay off the investment in the technology. According to the 2009 National Household Travel Survey (NHTS), about 40% of household vehicles were not used on the survey travel day [1]. This study analyzed household vehicle use and non-use by vehicle type, age, area type (metropolitan statistical area [MSA] and non-MSA), and population density. Vehicles used on survey day with or without a reported travel time and distance in the survey are considered “vehicles used”. All others are referred to as “vehicles not used”. We divided the “vehicles not used” into three categories: 1) left at home while other household vehicles were used; 2) not used because travelers used other modes; and 3) no household trips. The “vehicle used” consists of two categories: 1) those with distance and time data and 2) those with no travel data. Within these five categories, vehicles were subdivided according to four vehicle types: car, van, SUV, and pickup. Each vehicle type was further subdivided in two age groups: 10 years or less (≤10) and more than 10 years (>10). In addition, vehicle usage was compared in both MSAs and non-MSAs and during weekdays and weekends. Results indicate that most vehicles—especially pickups—are not used because the households own and use other vehicles. Moreover, SUVs—especially newer SUVs (≤10 years)—are the most utilized vehicle type and should be strongly considered as a primary vehicle type for PHEVs, in addition to cars.

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Y. Zhou, A. Vyas and D. Santini, "Tracking National Household Vehicle Usage by Type, Age, and Area in Support of Market Assessments for Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles," Journal of Transportation Technologies, Vol. 3 No. 2, 2013, pp. 174-183. doi: 10.4236/jtts.2013.32017.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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