This study evaluates the degree to which consumers value fuel economy, as well as whether or not consumer valuation of fuel economy depends on the metrics by which it is presented. We contribute a novel approach to existing literature by employing a methodology that integrates the strengths of stated choice experiments – which allow for the estimation of economic models of valuation and willingness-to-pay using implicit measures of preference – with the strengths of randomized controlled trials (i.e., robust experimental assessment of causal effects) and surveys (i.e., collecting data on demographics and explicit vehicle preferences). Please note that all differences reported are statistically significant, p < .05 (95% confidence intervals), unless otherwise noted.

Prepared for Consumers Union by Dr. Christine Kormos, Postdoctoral Fellow, Sustainable Transportation Action Research Team and the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy