Technology progress and clean vehicle policies on fleet turnover and equity: insights from household vehicle fleet micro-simulations with ATLAS

Publication Type

Journal Article

Date Published





This paper documents the design and application of ATLAS (Automobile and Technology Lifecycle-Based ASsignment), a comprehensive household vehicle transaction and technology adoption micro-simulator in the San Francisco Bay Area. ATLAS evolves the fleet mix of individual households by simulating the vehicle transaction and choice decisions in response to co-evolving demographics, land use, and vehicle technology simulations. While most existing literature has focused on the aggregate clean vehicle uptake, this paper differentiates distributional effects and decomposes the underlying mechanisms across heterogeneous sub-populations of households. Using scenarios and sensitivity simulations that vary vehicle technology and policy assumptions, we find that Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEVs) penetrate into higher income groups at a faster rate than into lower income groups, which is intuitive and aligns with expectations. Interestingly, the relative income disparity in ZEV ownership shrinks over time across all scenarios, with a ZEV mandate coupled with declining battery cost leading to the greatest reduction in disparity of ZEV ownership by 2050. Federal, state, and local financial incentives influence the redistribution of ZEV uptake across income groups and contribute to narrowing income disparity. Vehicle transaction frequency and new versus used market dynamics are found to be important factors contributing to the income disparity.


Transportation Planning and Technology

Year of Publication






Research Areas