Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Building an alternative fuel refueling network: How many stations are needed and where should they be placed?
by Nicholas, Michael Anselm, Ph.D., University of California, Davis, 2010, 117; 3404963
Abstract (Summary)

Gasoline stations are so numerous that the fear of running out of fuel is likely not a top concern among drivers. This may not be the case with the introduction of a new alternative fuel such as hydrogen or electricity. The next three chapters, originally written as peer reviewed journal papers[1,2,3], examine the characteristics of refueling in today's gasoline network and compares these characteristics to hypothetical new alternative fuel networks. Together, they suggest that alternative fuel networks with many fewer stations than exist in the gasoline network could be acceptable to future consumers.

This acceptability is measured in three ways. The first chapter examines the distance from home to the nearest station and finds that if alternative fuel stations were one-third as numerous as gasoline stations, the travel time to the nearest station was virtually identical to that of gasoline stations. The results suggest that even for station networks numbering only one-twentieth the current number of outlets, the difference in travel time with respect to gasoline is relatively small.

Acceptability was examined in the second chapter by analyzing the spatial refueling patterns of gasoline. This reveals that the volume of fuel sold is greater around the highways and that the route from home to the nearest highway entrance may account for a large portion of refueling. This suggests that the first alternative fuel stations could be sited along the highway near entrances and could provide acceptable access to fuel for those who use these highway entrances to access the wider region. Subsequent stations could be sited closer to the homes of customers.

The third chapter estimates acceptability, measured in terms of initial vehicle purchase price, of refueling away from one's own town. A pilot survey using a map-based questionnaire was distributed to 20 respondents. Respondents chose ten stations locations to enable their most important destinations. The alternative fuel vehicle was then compared to the equivalent gasoline vehicle. The effect on initial purchase price of the vehicle is estimated when some or all of these stations are available. Single-vehicle households put a higher premium on station availability than multi-vehicle households.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Ogden, Joan M.
Commitee: Fan, Yueyue, Kurani, Kenneth S.
School: University of California, Davis
Department: Transportation Technology and Policy
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 71/06, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Alternative Energy, Geography, Transportation planning, Energy, Operations research
Keywords: Alternative, Alternative fuel, Charging, Fuel, Hydrogen, Refueling network, Siting, Station, Station availability
Publication Number: 3404963
ISBN: 9781124026497
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