Publication Detail

State of the Plug-In Electric Vehicle Market: Report II


Research Report

Electric Vehicle Research Center, National Center for Sustainable Transportation

Suggested Citation:
Kurani, Kenneth S. (2018) State of the Plug-In Electric Vehicle Market: Report II. Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California, Davis, Research Report UCD-ITS-RR-18-44

This is the second of two reports gauging the extent to which car-owning households in California have considered purchasing plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, battery electric vehicles, and fuel cell electric vehicles collectively, zero emission vehicles. It seeks insights into how to promote greater consideration across an increased number and broader variety of households. The analysis is based on two on-line surveys of car-owning households in California. The first was conducted in February (n = 1,681) and June 2017 (n = 1,706). Analysis of the February 2017 data is presented in the companion State of the Market Report 1. Nothing in the results for the June data contradicts the general findings from February.

New results from additional analysis of the role of biological sex/social gender is based on a recommendation in the first State of the market report. The lower likeliness that female respondents have considered zero emission vehicles is solely for fuel cell electric vehicles. There appear to be some slight differences in how some explanatory variables are correlated to consideration between males and females: for females, it matters more that they live in a household that has flexible vehicle assignments; for males, it matters more whether they claim familiarity with internal combustion engine vehicles and experience with zero emission vehicles. Still, these differences are marginal and do not contravene the overall finding that across all respondents—female and male—few have paid much attention to any kind of zero emission vehicle.

Zero emission vehicle consideration is a multi-faceted concept and there are several ways in which it can be initiated: personal contact with zero emission vehicle drivers; making visible the signs of the transition, i.e., teaching people which vehicles they see on the road are zero emission vehicles, making visible not merely of specific charger locations but a growing charging network, and marketing the fact incentives exist to buy and use zero emission vehicles; and expanding the number and variety of opportunities to gain direct experience of zero emission vehicles. In doing so, consider differential possibilities to provide targeted messages at the majority of car-owning households who are not opposed to the idea of zero emission vehicles, but simply have paid them no attention.

Key words: Zero emission vehicles, surveying, consumer behavior, consumer preferences