INTEGRATED CHARGING INFRASTRUCTURE – COGNITIVE INTERVIEWS TO IDENTIFY PREFERENCES IN CHARGING OPTIONS



INTEGRATED CHARGING INFRASTRUCTURE – COGNITIVE INTERVIEWS TO IDENTIFY PREFERENCES IN CHARGING OPTIONS

Authors

Stephan Daubitz, TU Berlin, Germany, Ines Kawgan-Kagan

Description

The special research method ‘repertory grid’ gives the opportunity to get to the bottom of cognitive perceptions and emotions relating to electric mobility combining qualitative and quantitative approaches.

Abstract

Electric mobility comprises a variety of transportation systems, notably the combination of public transport and electrically powered vehicles. It serves as an inherent part of future urban integrated mobility concepts. For the users’ perspective electric mobility has been discussed by a comparison of cars with internal combustion engines (ICE) and battery electric vehicles (BEV) so far. Therefore the focus of these considerations has been put on the range, costs and charging times. However, cognitive perceptions and experience play a significant role for the formation of preferences in modal choices. The potential for a shift towards electric mobility can therefore only be successfully identified if these perceptions and emotions are considered in the development of products and business models. Traffic behaviour as the implemented translocations is mostly routinized. Being part of these routines, the process of refuelling or recharging a vehicle is usually considered as being known and familiar and proceeding unconsciously. Thus, our main question concerns the acceptance of electric mobility by focussing on eliciting the perception of charging and fuelling options as a part of the mobility routine.
The special research method ‘Repertory Grid Technique’ based on the Personal Construct Theory by Kelly gives the opportunity to get to the bottom of subjective perceptions and emotions relating to electric mobility. A grid interview consists of four parts: a Topic – in this case charging and fuelling options, a set of Elements, which are examples or instances of the Topic, a set of Constructs and a set of ratings of Elements on Constructs. The respondent is asked to consider the elements three at a time, and to identify a way in which two of the elements might be seen as alike, but distinct from the third. Thereby, these cognitive interviews motivate respondents to reflect beyond the insights that regular interview forms can provide. Especially for the topic of BEVs prejudices for instance generated by media are discarded and actual requirements and patterns of mobility become visible. The special tasks in the interviews provide cogitation about how to integrate charging processes in existing mobility patterns. Another advantage of this method is the combination of qualitative and quantitative approaches to gain insights about acceptance of e-mobility.
Integrating charging into the daily routines provides an acceptable option of e-mobility for the majority of our sample. Integrating charging into the daily routines provides an acceptable option of e-mobility for the majority of our sample. Charging processes while shopping groceries, while being at work or while participating in leisure activities are quite attractive alternatives to fuelling cars with an internal combusting engine. Charging processes are supposed to happen in the background without being noticed. Charging BEVs at home provides the most interesting option for the respondents. Early adopters of BEVs are yet able to integrate the charging processes into their daily life and develop new routines of traffic behaviour.
This special method is part of the study of transition potentials on electro-mobility grant-aided by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology in the research project "E3 - Combined Charging System". The focus of this research project is the development and demonstration of combined AC-DC stations for charging BEVs at several selected locations in Berlin. To answer these questions a first step of ten open qualitative Interviews allows to identify how many and which attributes of different aspects of mobility and car usage have an impact on the preference formation. Based on these findings the attributes were specified in cognitive interviews with the repertory grid method. By requesting to differentiate and describing attributes and rating different elements according to the attributes, interpersonally comparable data was collected in twenty interviews. The next step builds the transformation of the findings into Adaptive Choice Based Conjoint. The main objective is to identify realistic offer packages from the perspective of non-users to create incentives for a shift to a sustainable mobility in metropolitan regions.

Publisher

Association for European Transport