Demand for electric and hybrid cars - modeling vehicle replacement and type choice


Contact Professor Gerard de Jong to discuss this project further informally.

Project description

Electric and hybrid cars could contribute substantially to the required reduction in emissions and dependence on fossil fuels. The technology to do this is there. Crucial issues for the market penetration of this new technology are:

  • How fast will consumers replace their current cars?
  • How many of the replacement cars will be electric and hybrid cars?

Behavioural data on these important issues are largely missing. This project will develop a combined revealed/stated preference household survey which includes:

  • Questions on actual attributes of the households, its persons and its cars;
  • Retrospective questions on the car ownership history of the household;
  • Stated choice experiments on car type choice, including attributes that are especially relevant for electric and hybrid cars, such as fuelling range, top speed and luggage space.

As part of this project, the questionnaire will be used to interview several hundreds of UK households. The resulting data will then be used to estimate models for:

  • The timing of vehicle replacement (hazard-based duration models or Markov models) and other changes in the household car ownership status (e.g. moving to more cars or fewer cars);
  • Vehicle type choice (discrete choice models, including mixed logit), focussing on electric and hybrid cars;
  • Vehicle use.

Finally, the estimated models will be used to carry out policy simulations, such as on the effect of measures to accelerate replacement (e.g. scrappage schemes), subsidies on the purchase of electric and hybrid cars, and emission taxes.

Suggested reading:

Jong, G.C. de (1996); A disaggregate model system of vehicle holding duration, type choice and use; Transportation Research B, 30-4, pp 263-276.

Jong. G.C. de, J. Fox, A.J. Daly, M. Pieters and R. Smit (2004); Comparison of car ownership models, Transport Reviews, 24-4, pp 379-408, 2004.

Rashidi, T.H., K. Mohammadian and F. Koppelman (2009); A dynamic hazard-based structural equations model of vehicle ownership with endogenous residential and job location changes incorporating group decision making; Paper presented at the International Choice Modelling Conference 2009, Harrogate.

Entry requirements

Applications are invited from candidates with or expecting a minimum of a UK upper second class honours degree (2:1), and/or a Master's degree in the relevant subject area.

If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence that you meet the University’s minimum English Language requirements.

How to apply

Formal applications for research degree study should be made online through the university's website. Please state clearly in the research information section that the PhD you wish to be considered for is the ‘Demand for electric and hybrid cars - modelling vehicle replacement and type choice' as well as Professor Gerard de Jong as your proposed supervisor.

We welcome scholarship applications from all suitably-qualified candidates, but UK black and minority ethnic (BME) researchers are currently under-represented in our Postgraduate Research community, and we would therefore particularly encourage applications from UK BME candidates. All scholarships will be awarded on the basis of merit.

If you require any further information please contact the Graduate School Office e:, t: +44 (0)113 34 35326.