While large scale diffusion of alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) is widely anticipated, the mechanisms that determine their success or failure are ill understood. Analysis of an AFV transition model developed at MIT has revealed that AFV diffusion dynamics are particularly sensitive to consumers’ decisions as influenced by social exposure to AFVs. While some empirical research in this area exists, uncertainty in these parameters remains high. Following principles of partial model testing in this paper we report on research that examines the social exposure parameters. We focus on empirical accounts of diffusion involving diesel passenger vehicles in Europe using the historical data of diesel vehicle registrations and installed base in six European countries - France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom. To complete diffusion data sets we generate synthetic data from 1970 to 2005. Confidence interval testing for model parameters is conducted using the bootstrapping method. The results from the calibrations yield parameters that are in line with other marketing studies and help reduce uncertainty in the social exposure parameters. Further, the analysis suggests applicability of this model for alternative fuel vehicle markets and provides further lessons for other AFV technology transition. We discuss challenges and avenues for further research.