Is consumer valuation of fuel economy influenced by the metric used? A randomized stated choice experiment

This study evaluates the degree to which consumers value fuel economy, as well as whether or not the magnitude of this valuation is influenced by the metrics used to represent fuel economy. Using a nationally representative sample of 1,883 intended vehicle purchasers in the US, we randomly assigned respondents to one of seven experimental conditions, including one control condition (no information presented) and six treatment conditions which display fuel economy information in different as: MPG, annual fuel costs, 5-year fuel costs, lifetime fuel cost, amount saved/spend compared to average, or the full EPA-mandated fuel economy label. The survey instrument elicited preferences via a stated choice experiment, customized for each respondent to depict three new vehicle purchase options which varied by price, fuel economy, safety rating, acceleration, reliability and premium features. On average, consumers were willing to pay more for fuel economy (about $5,000 for an improvement of one gallon per 100 miles) than acceleration and premium features/trim, but less than for safety or reliability. Consumers’ valuation of fuel economy significantly varied based on how the information was presented. They were willing to pay most when the information was presented using multiple metrics in the full fuel economy label (around $9,000 for an improvement of one gallon per 100 miles). Further analysis revealed that valuation of fuel economy was greater among older and higher income-earning respondents.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This paper was sponsored by TRB committee ADC70 Standing Committee on Transportation Energy.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Transportation Research Board

  • Authors:
    • Kormos, Christine
    • Sussman, Reuven
    • Axsen, Jonn
  • Conference:
  • Date: 2019


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01698017
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 19-04625
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Dec 7 2018 9:44AM