Multi-agent simulation of adoption of alternative fuels

Oscar van Vliet*, Bert de Vries, Andre Faaij, Wim Turkenburg, Wander Jager

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


We have formalized and parameterized a model for the production of six transport fuels and six fuels blends from six feedstocks through 13 different production chains, and their adoption of by 11 distinct subpopulations of motorists. The motorists are represented by agents that use heuristics to choose a fuel on the basis of three attributes and a social feedback loop. Adoption of specific fuels is mostly driven by price differences, but other factors play a role if prices are similar. The results are not always intuitive and do not always show up immediately. We find that sustained combinations of interventions are required to bring about a transition away from petrol or diesel. Adoption of alternative fuels was most often confined to niche markets with a share of 5% or lower. Only in a single case was a complete fuel transition observed. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)326-342
Number of pages17
JournalTransportation Research. Part D: Transport and Environment
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Aug-2010


  • Agent-based modelling
  • Energy transition
  • Innovation diffusion
  • Automotive fuels
  • Biofuels

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