Date of Award

2016

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.Sc.

Department

Civil and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Maoh, Hanna

Keywords

Canada, Electric Vehicles, Experimental Design, Latent Class Model, Rental Vehicles, Stated Preference

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

In recent years, there have been increasing concerns regarding energy sustainability and climate change. Despite the key role in alleviating these environmental burdens, the introduction of alternative fuel vehicles, particularly electric vehicles (EV), has been difficult, especially in Canada. To date, numerous studies have been conducted to develop a clear understanding of the different factors influencing EV ownership in the household context, with less attention given to commercial fleets. This thesis addresses this limitation in the literature by focusing on the demand for rental vehicles, which constitute around 54% of the total commercial fleet cars and light trucks registrations in Canada. An online stated preference survey is developed to identify and evaluate the potential determinants influencing Canadian consumers’ rental vehicle preference. Each respondent is presented with a series of hypothetical choice scenarios to enable them to assess EV rental fleets (i.e. hybrid electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, and battery electric vehicles) relative to their conventional counterparts (i.e. internal combustion engine vehicles). Their responses, along with other collected survey data, were used to estimate and compare different discrete choice models, specifically the multinomial logit (MNL), the nested logit (NL), and the latent class (LC) models, to understand potential consumer demand behavior in the rental market. The results indicate that rental vehicle price, fuel cost, vehicle performance, and trunk size are the key factors in determining the choice decision of rental vehicles. In addition, the NL model results indicate that the respondents perceive the presented alternatives independent from each other, while the results from a four-class LC model suggests that a substantial group of individuals highly favor plug-in electric vehicles.

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