The paper introduces an innovative utility-based approach to model customer choice for alternative powertrain technologies within a dynamic scenario tool. The study covers a wide portfolio of different powertrain concepts from conventional combustion engines to advanced hybrid and electric cars. The assessment of their economic and technical attributes builds on a large set of vehicle simulation data and detailed cost models. In contrast to previous cost-based studies the applied methodology maps the observed diversity of user characteristics more realistically. Therefore, the driving behaviour and preferences of car buyers are analysed empirically based on major representative surveys and the resulting distribution functions are integrated in the model. After testing and validation with historic data the model is applied to the German vehicle market and a potential scenario for the prospective composition of the new passenger car fleet by 2030 is presented. The scenario simulation shows that a significant reduction of CO2 emissions is feasible especially by the introduction of plug-in hybrids and range extended electric vehicles. However, the growing technical complexity and the additional effort for efficiency improvements also result in increasing total costs of ownership for the customer.
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