Projecting California Light-Duty Vehicle Attributes (2019-2035)

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


In this report, we estimated a set of future vehicle attribute scenarios for new light-duty vehicles for the California market using the Automotive Deployment Options Projection Tool (ADOPT). ADOPT starts simulations with all existing vehicle makes and models and endogenously creates new vehicle models over time based on assumed technology improvements and market conditions. For this study, we simulated four scenarios with varied technology, policy, and electric vehicle infrastructure assumptions. We aggregated simulation results into up to 30 vehicle classes (covering size and price classifications) for each powertrain, for six powertrains. We simulated model years 2019 to 2035. We present results for four vehicle attributes: vehicle acceleration, fuel economy (including electric and gasoline for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles [PHEVs]), vehicle range, and vehicle purchase price. We also present results showing the estimated number of vehicle models available in each vehicle class over time. In the Mid scenario, which contains conditions between our most conservative and most optimistic assumptions for emerging electric and hydrogen technologies, we observe improvements in acceleration, range (for battery-electric vehicles [BEVs]), and vehicle purchase price for electric and hydrogen powertrains. In some cases, we project that consumer preferences lead to trade-offs between vehicle attributes, such as reduced fuel economy in exchange for improved acceleration. Conventional vehicles show modest improvements in fuel economy in these scenarios due to the high numbers of BEV and PHEV sales, which reduce the improvements required in conventional vehicles to meet fleet fuel economy standards. In scenarios with advanced technology assumptions (including reduced battery price and improved energy density), we observe further improvements in BEV range and price relative to the improvements in the Mid scenario.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages58
StatePublished - 2022

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-5400-82493


  • ADOPT model
  • light duty vehicles
  • vehicle attributes


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