Assessing the importance of car meanings and attitudes in consumer evaluations of electric vehicles
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This paper reports findings from a research study which assesses the importance of attitudinal constructs related to general car attitudes and the meanings attached to car ownership over evaluations of electric vehicles (EVs). The data are assessed using principal component analysis to evaluate the structure of the underlying attitudinal constructs. The identified constructs are then entered into a hierarchical regression analysis which uses either positive or negative evaluations of the instrumental capabilities of EVs as the dependent variable. Results show that attitudinal constructs offer additional predictive power over socioeconomic characteristics and that the symbolic and emotive meanings of car ownership are as, if not more, effective in explaining the assessment of EV instrumental capability as compared to issues of cost and environmental concern. Additionally, the more important an individual considers their car to be in their everyday life, the more negative their evaluations are of EVs whilst individuals who claim to be knowledgeable about cars in general and EVs in particular have a lower propensity for negative EV attitudes. However, positive and negative EV attitudes are related to different attitudinal constructs suggesting that it is possible for someone to hold both negative and positive assessments at the same time.
KeywordsElectric vehicles Attitude measurement Psychometric modelling
This research was made possible by a PhD studentship funded by the UK Research Councils (Grant No: NERC NE/G007748/1) as part of the Energy Demand Theme of the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC).
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