Argonne National Laboratory

Light Duty Vehicle Consumer Choice Model (LVChoice)

Argonne National Laboratory, in collaboration with analysts at TA Engineering, Inc., and other national laboratories, develops and uses models of consumer vehicle choice behavior to understand how new vehicle technologies, future fuel prices, and other factors influence the adoption of advanced-technology vehicles. Of particular interest is the adoption of vehicle technologies being developed by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO).

While the Energy Information Agency (EIA) is tasked with providing official energy projections for the U.S. DOE, such as the Annual Energy Outlook (AEO), Argonne and others develop alternative scenarios to explore how vehicle markets and consumer adoption might be influenced by future technology developments, future fuel prices, and other future conditions. TA Engineering developed a model of consumer vehicle choice to allow quick scenarios of light duty market adoption of different vehicle types that are of interest to VTO.

The model, LVChoice, was originally developed by TA Engineering, Inc., primarily by Alicia Birky (now of Energetics, Inc.), for use in the National Petroleum Council’s Future Transportation Fuels Study, with subsequent modifications made under funding provided by DOE-VTO. This model estimates future market penetration of advanced or alternative vehicle technologies based on vehicle and fuel attributes, including price. The model calculates market shares separately within five vehicle size classes at annual time steps from 2007 through 2050. The model provides only estimates of market share (percentage of sales) and does not estimate total sales nor track in‐use stock. However, the LVChoice outputs are compatible with Argonne’s VISION Model, which projects the in‐use stock of vehicles by applying historical scrappage rates and estimates of future sales.

The LVChoice model is based on a simplified version of the consumer choice model used in the National Energy Modeling System (NEMS) used by the EIA to develop light-duty market projections in the AEO. A simplified version runs separately from NEMS without interaction with the various economic and energy sector modules in NEMS. The LVChoice model is a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet with multiple input, calculation, and output worksheets. It uses a nested multinomial logit algorithm that applies the methodology, structure, and coefficients used in the EIA NEMS vehicle consumer choice model. As in NEMS, it assumes a single set of utility coefficients representing the average consumer. The model:

  • Calculates consumer utility based on 10 vehicle characteristics
  • Allows analysis of up to 11 vehicle platforms within 5 size classes, with projection through 2050
  • Allows the user to apply various default inputs and parameters from the latest EIA AEO or to specify alternatives

Model inputs include:

  • Fuel prices
  • Availability of fuels and vehicle make I model availability by vehicle technology
  • Vehicle purchase incentives

Model outputs include:

  • Market shares for 11 technologies within 5 size classes.
  • New light-duty vehicle fleet fuel economy.

In addition to the model, an interface file is also available that automates use of inputs for vehicle attributes in a standard format specified by Argonne National Laboratory.

Model Availability

The download link at the right side of this page provides access to the following:

More Information

Modeling for Market Analysis: HTEB, TRUCK, and LVChoice, 2014 Annual Merit Review presentation