Reid (Rusty) Heffner
Reid (Rusty) Heffner is a researcher at the University of California - Davis, Institute of Transportation Studies. His research focuses on the consumer response to advanced-technology vehicles, including hybrid-electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles. Currently, Rusty is investigating the meaning in advanced vehicles: that is, how these automobiles serve as symbols to their owners. Hybrids, for example, make a statement about their owners. They can identify these individuals not just as "green" consumers, but as people who are tuned into the larger issues facing society, and who are willing to make personal sacrifices in order to make the future world a better place. In conjunction with ITS-Davis faculty Dr. Kenneth Kurani and Dr. Thomas Turrentine, Rusty investigates how the symbolism of advanced vehicles affects consumers' decisions to purchase these vehicles.
Rusty has seven years of experience designing, building, and marketing new technology products. Before joining ITS-Davis in 2003, Rusty was a Senior Product Manager at supply-chain software maker Manugistics, where he managed collaborative development projects with transportation clients that include Mitsubishi Motors and Harley-Davidson.
Rusty is a member of the editorial board of the World Electric Vehicle Association (WEVA) journal, and is a regular contributor of content on automotive sites including hybridcars.com and Yahoo! Autos. His monthly wrapup of U.S. hybrid sales appears in the hybridcars.com/R.L. Polk Hybrid Market Dashboard. Rusty holds a B.A. from Colgate University (1993) and an M.B.A. from Georgetown University (1997), and a Ph.D. from UC Davis (2007).
Rusty is interviewed by NPR's Wendy Kaufman in a story about consumer interest in hybrids, August 2007
Cultural anthropologist Grant McCracken blogs on our analysis of symbolic meaning in hybrid vehicles, May 2007.
Rusty is quoted in a release from AAA of Northern California on the AAA/ITS study examining the environmental impact of hybrid vehicles, November 2006.
Rusty is interviewed during AAA of Northern California's Greenlight Initiative Road Rally, July 2006
Ken describes ITS-Davis research on hybrid buyers in Wired magazine's Rise of the Neo-Greens, May 2006.
Ken and Rusty are quoted in About Hybrid Culture, Hybrid Synergy View, Winter 2006.
Hybridcars.com's Brad Berman interviews Ken Kurani and Rusty in What Powers the Hybrid Buyer? Business Week Online, January 5, 2006.
Heffner, Reid R. Semiotics and Advanced Vehicles: What Hybrid Electric Vehicles Mean and Why it Matters to Consumers. University of California Dissertation. August 2007
Heffner, Reid R., Kenneth S. Kurani, Thomas S. Turrentine. (2007) Symbolism and the Adoption of Fuel Cell Vehicles. World Electric Vehicle Association (WEVA) Journal. Volume 1.
Heffner, Reid R., Kenneth S. Kurani, Thomas S. Turrentine Symbolism In California's Early Market For Hybrid Electric Vehicles. Transportation Research Part D. Accepted, publication pending.
Turrentine, T.; Delucci, M.; Heffner, R.; Kurani, K.; Sun, Y. (2006)Quantifying the Benefits of Hybrid Vehicles. Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California Davis. UCD-ITS-RR-06-17
Heffner, R.; Turrentine, T.; Kurani, K. (2006)A Primer on Automobile Semiotics. Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California, Davis, Research Report UCD-ITS-RR-06-01
Kurani, K.; Turrentine, T.; Heffner, R. (2006) "Narrative Self-Identity and Societal Goals: Automotive Fuel Economy and Global Warming Policy" in A Policy Agenda for Global Climate Change. Canon, J. and Sperling, D., eds. Elsevier Academic Press
Heffner, R.; Kurani, K; Turrentine, T. (2005)Effects of Vehicle Image in Gasoline-Electric Hybrid Vehicles. 21st Worldwide Battery, Hybrid, and Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle Symposium and Exhibition (EVS-21), Monaco.
Kurani, K.; Turrentine, T.; Heffner, R.; Congleton, C. (2003) "Prospecting the Future for Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle Markets" in The Hydrogen Energy Transition. Canon, J. and Sperling, D., eds. Elsevier Press
Symbolism and the Adoption of Fuel Cell Vehicles. 22nd Worldwide Battery, Hybrid, and Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle Symposium and Exhibition (EVS-22). Yokohama, Japan. October 28, 2006.
Fuel Cell Vehicle Adoption: Lessons from Early Hybrid Buyers. (Poster Presentation) Hydrogen Pathways Advisory Board Meeting. Davis, CA. July 25, 2006.
The Meaning of Hybrids. (Poster Presentation) University of California Transportation Center (UCTC) Conference. Berkeley, CA. February 10, 2006.
The Role of Symbolism in Early Markets for Hybrid-Electric Vehicles. Transportation Research Board 85th Annual Meeting. Washington, DC. January 25, 2006.
Effects of Vehicle Image in Gasoline-Electric Hybrid Vehicles. 21st Worldwide Battery, Hybrid, and Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle Symposium and Exhibition (EVS-21). Monaco. April 4, 2005.