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AFV - Alternative Fuel Vehicles

Title: AFV - Alternative Fuel Vehicles

Principal investigator: Nuno Sousa

Research team: Luis Miguel Tomás Alçada de Almeida, Arminda Maria Marques Almeida, John Current

Dates start/end: 6-2018 / 12-2018


Transport is responsible for almost a quarter of Europe’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, with the road transport being the biggest emitter, with more than 70% of all GHG emissions from transport in 2014 [1]. Pressed by climate change fears and consequent emissions regulations demands, alternative fuel vehi- cles have emerged as a mitigation strategy to reduce GHG emissions from road transport [2]. Many auto- mobile brands have invested in the development of different propulsion and powertrain technologies, of which Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), hybrid (HEV), plug-in hybrid (PHEV), and battery electric vehi- cles (BEV) are the most common examples.

However, although a considerable supply of alternative fuel vehicles is currently being offered on stock, in practice the consumer acceptance of these technologies is still low, as shown by low market penetra- tion rates [3]. Overall in 2016, 65.1% of all new passenger cars registered in Portugal ran on diesel fuel and 32% on petrol, while HEV accounted for 1.6% of new cars, electrically chargeable vehicles (PHEV and BEV) for 0.9% and other alternative fuels (such as LPG, natural gas and E85) for 0.5% [4].

The purpose of this project is to use multi-criteria decision methods (MCDM) to estimate how the various criteria consumers take into account when buying a new vehicle may influence their acceptance for al- ternative fuel vehicles, in particular private automobiles, using the Portuguese scenario as a case-study. Then, through a sensitivity analysis, to try and understand what would be the necessary changes to the status-quo to increase the attractiveness of these vehicles, from a potential buyer’s point of view.