Assessing the influence of policy factors on alternative fuel vehicle adoption in Georgia

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Martin, Tyler Allen
Ross, Catherine L.
Guensler, Randall L.
Welch, Timothy F.
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To make a compelling case for government incentives as a stimulus for alternative fuel vehicle adoption, this thesis assesses the preliminary impacts associated with the elimination of Georgia’s income tax credits for low-emission and zero-emission vehicle purchases. The thesis identifies policy factors that appear to impact alternative fuel vehicle (AFV) adoption in the United States, with a focus on government incentives. Specific policy factors are discussed in the context of state and federal laws. For Georgia, motor vehicle registrations were collected to track AFV adoption rates before and after the change in law. Electric and hybrid vehicle registrations in Georgia have plummeted since the income tax credits were eliminated on June 30, 2015. Income tax credit data were collected to chart the significant increase in zero-emission and low-emission vehicle purchases and leases since electric vehicles started flooding the market. The primary outcome of this research is a set of distinct, measurable policy factors that influence AFV adoption in the United States. The factors identified include: 1) reward amount to income ratio, 2) ease of policy comprehension, 3) consumer awareness, 4) fuel/vehicle coverage of incentives, 5) incentive user groups, 6) forms of incentives (grants, income tax credits, etc.), 7) number of incentives available, and 8) dollar values of incentives. The conclusion presents factors for use in choice model estimation. These factors should be useful by policymakers who are trying to understand the true value of government incentives for alternative fuel vehicles.
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