Factors Affecting Electric Car Uptake - an Exploratory Study
F Tsang, D Potoglou, J Pedersen, S Patil, S Wooding, RAND, UK
Based on data collected from 300 adults living in the East of England, we examined participants' car buying intentions, their preferences for different types of electric cars and their views on various vehicle characteristics.
Electric cars have the potential to decarbonise transport and reduce urban air pollution. Electric cars are also a rapidly developing technology with the potential to provide new markets and economic growth. Car transport contributes 19% to the UK's carbon emissions (HM Government, 2009) and up to 70% of urban air pollution in the UK which is connected to 35,000 premature deaths per year (House of Commons, 2010), so there is clearly a need to reduce these impacts. The potential of electric cars to mitigate these problems depends on overcoming two challenges - the generation of electricity from carbon-neutral sources and the wide spread adoption of electric cars. The current study concentrates on the second of these challenges. The study focuses on identifying key factors that are likely to influence the adoption of electric cars (including hybrid-electric, plug-in hybrid and battery-only electric). We carried out a survey to better understand the preferences of potential car buyers. Three hundred adults living in the East of England, UK, participated. Based on the data collected, we examined participants' car buying intentions, their preferences for different types of electric cars and their views on various vehicle characteristics. Additionally, using logistic regression, we identified personal characteristics that correlate with survey participants' willingness to consider buying an electric car. These include: being male, holding a drivers licence, working part-time, living in a household with more than two adults and two or more cars, and tending to exhibit pro-environmental behaviours. Also, our indicative findings suggested the uptake of electric cars at the current time is likely to be small, i.e. no more than four percent, with the current large purchase-price difference between electric and conventional cars.
Association for European Transport