Vehicle Technology and Public Policy

Vehicle Technology and Public Policy

Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards have been a mainstay of federal policy in the U.S. for 40 years, but recently have been augmented at the state and federal level with credits and mandates for zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs). Assessing the feasibility of future CAFE targets requires a clear understanding of how quickly vehicle technology can improve and how it is affected by policy. And the success or failure of ZEV policies depends on whether consumers are willing to adopt these new powertrains.

Recent Projects

  • Working with Toyota, we have used detailed consumer survey data to explore whether an unsatisfactory dealership experience could explain slow growth in electric vehicle sales, and to understand consumers’ reasons for considering but ultimately rejecting an electric vehicle.
  • We have used detailed vehicle specification data to quantify the pace of fuel efficiency improvements in US cars, controlling for differences in performance, feature content, and related attributes.