Modelling Demand for Alternative Fuel Commercial Vehicles

Modelling Demand for Alternative Fuel Commercial Vehicles


J Galvan, V Cantillo, Universidad del Norte, CO


We developed models to estimate the demand for buses and lorries based on alternative fuel energy, which was applied to the Colombian context.


Transport systems operation is closely linked to economic and social development of a country. In particular, public passengers transport systems, used daily to move people to their workplaces, schools and universities, and commercial transport systems, lorries, used to move commodities for industry and commerce.

Transport system operation involves a high consumption of energy that is the burning of fossil fuels. In the case of commercial vehicles is mainly focused on diesel fuel, and less in gasoline. This fuel consumption means gas emissions resulting from the combustion process as CO2, CO, NOx and SOx, being them all pollutants to the atmosphere and main cause of the greenhouse effect and global warming. These emissions noticed the important existence of externalities associated with the transport services operation for passengers and cargo.

So far, there have been developed public transport vehicles and commercial freight vehicles that run on alternative energy such as electricity, compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), hydrogen fuel cells and methanol. All this pointed to a rational and efficient use of energy, and mitigate environmental damage by reducing the carbon footprint associated with the operation of heavy vehicles. However, the cost of traditional internal combustion equipment is lower, and fossil fuel is still relatively cheap, so vehicles using cleaner energy have not been widely welcomed by transport companies. The establishment of policies to encourage the use of clean technologies in commercial transactions of cargo and passengers requires analyzing and understanding the behavior of the managers to buy their equipment.

Depending on the described context we developed a model to estimate the demand for urban public and cargo transport service vehicles based on alternative energies, which was applied to the Colombian case, in order to determine what are the most widely accepted energy alternatives and the willingness to pay for them.

This study was developed from a survey of stated and revealed preferences which evaluated the variables cost of vehicle purchase or adaptation of technology, cost of operation, level of greenhouse gas emissions and the proposition of government policies to encourage the use of alternative energy (including subsidies and tax benefits).

The study was conducted in the main cities of Colombia (Barranquilla, Bogota, Cali and Medellin), in which surveys were applied stated and revealed choice surveys to owners and operators of commercial vehicles. The surveys presented different scenarios so that each person could choose between different alternatives, analyzing the study variables. From the results obtained, logit discrete choice models were calibrated to estimate the demand for clean technologies in public transport and commercial service.

The hypothesis states that the target population considered acquisition cost and operating cost as the most important variables. They did not consider level of emissions as a very important issue at the time of vehicle purchase, but they consider that it is important to preserve the environment by the use of clean vehicle technologies. In this case, in addition to estimating the choice, we determined a ?reasonable? cost that the owners of commercial vehicles powered by clean technology. Similarly, it is suggested that appropriate incentives can lead to the decision of buying commercial vehicles with low environmental impact.


Association for European Transport