Mobility of the Future - Vehicles and Fuels

While many of our parameter values are derived from the experience of the developed countries in North America and Europe, we are particularly interested in the much larger changes that will happen in China over the next three decades.

China is in a fast growing stage of mobility development, and this increasing demand for private cars comes with growing energy consumption and pollutant emissions. Uncertainty in Chinese parameterization of car ownership models makes forecasting these trends a challenge. We are developing a new application of the Monte Carlo method, conditioned on historical data, to sample parameters for a model depicting distributions of outcomes in private car diffusion, such as the mix of new and replacement sales. By incorporating multiple uncertainties into projections, we find while uncertainty in projected per-capita car ownership grows continually, the share of first-time purchases in sales is most uncertain in the near term and then narrows as the market saturates. Replacement purchases will increasingly capture the sales market from 2025. Our results from national-level analysis suggest that stakeholders have a narrow window of opportunity to regulate the fuel economy, pollution and other attributes of vehicles sold to first-time buyers.

This work was supported through the MIT Energy Initiative’s Mobility of the Future study.

For more details of this project, please refer to the main Mobility of the Future website- For more details of EPPA model, please refer to the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change website-