The Present and Future Market for PEVs in Canada: Evidence from a Mixed-Method Research Program

  • Jonn AxsenEmail author
  • Zoe Long
Part of the Lecture Notes in Mobility book series (LNMOB)


Understanding the current and future market for plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) requires an understanding of consumers, technology suppliers, policy, and the interplay between. We illustrate a mixed-method research program that explores this interplay, using the case of Canada. Our approach is “reflexive” in two ways. As researchers, we connect insights from several research methods, including qualitative interviews, quantitative surveys, choice models, technology adoption models, and policy evaluation. For consumers, we prompt reflexivity by helping them to learn about PEVs, and how the technology may (or may not) connect with their lifestyle. Consumer data were collected from samples of “Pioneers” (the earliest buyers of PEVs), and “Mainstream” new-vehicle buyers. Results show that Mainstream consumers have low awareness of PEVs, though one-quarter demonstrate interest in purchasing one after learning about it. Interview and survey results indicate diverse consumer perceptions and motivations, including orientations towards new technology, the environment, and practicality. We combine these survey data with technological constraint data (supply and charging access) to construct a technology adoption model, which can help explain limited market share (1–2% PEV sales) and simulate how policy might increase future sales. Finally, we demonstrate how insights from this research can be used to evaluate PEV-supportive policies.


Consumer research Plug-in electric vehicles Consumer behaviour Technology forecasting Policy evaluation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Simon Fraser UniversityBurnabyCanada

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