The Present and Future Market for PEVs in Canada: Evidence from a Mixed-Method Research Program
- 21 Downloads
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.
KeywordsConsumer research Plug-in electric vehicles Consumer behaviour Technology forecasting Policy evaluation
- Axsen, J., Goldberg, S., Bailey, J., Kamiya, G., Langman, B., Cairns, J., et al. (2015b). Electrifying vehicles: Insights from the Canadian plug-in electric vehicle study. Burnaby, BC: Simon Fraser University.Google Scholar
- Axsen, J., Goldberg, S., & Melton, N. (2016b). Canada’s electric vehicle policy report card. Burnaby, BC: Simon Fraser University.Google Scholar
- Bourdieu, P., & Wacquant, L. (1992). An invitation to reflexive sociology. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
- Creswell, J. W. (2011). Controversies in mixed method research. In N. K. Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.), The SAGE handbook of qualitative research (4th ed.). London, UK: SAGE Publications.Google Scholar
- Environment and Climate Change Canada. (2017). Canadian environmental sustainability indicators: Greenhouse gas emissions Gatineau. QC: Government of Canada.Google Scholar
- Giddens, A. (1991). Modernity and self-identity: Self and society in the late modern age. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
- Government of Quebec. (2017). Analyse d’impact réglementaire du projet de règlement d‘ application de la Loi visant l’augmentation du nombre de véhicules automobiles zéro émission au Quebec afin de réduire les émissions de gaz à effet de serre et autres polluants.Google Scholar
- Greenblat, C. S. (1981). Seeing forests and trees: Gaming-simulation and contemporary problems of learning and communication. In C. S. Greenblat & R. D. Duke (Eds.), Principles and practices of gaming-simulation. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
- Guba, E. G., & Lincoln, Y. S. (1994). Competing paradigms in qualitative research. In N. K. Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.), Handbook of qualitative research. SAGE: Newbury Park, CA.Google Scholar
- International Energy Agency. (2015). Energy and climate change: World energy outlook special report. Paris, France: OECD/IEA.Google Scholar
- Klippenstein, M. (2018). Canadian EV sales. www.tinyurl.com/CanadaEVsales. Accessed July 6, 2018.
- Lee-Gosselin, M. (1996). Scope and Potential of interactive stated response data collection methods. In Conference on Household Travel Surveys: New Concepts and Research Needs, Transportation Research Board Conference Proceedings (pp. 115–133). Irvine, CA.Google Scholar
- Long, Z., Axsen, J., & Kormos, C. (2019). Consumers continue to be confused about electric vehicles: Comparing awareness among Canadian new car buyers in 2013 and 2017. Environmental Research Letters, 14(11), 114036.Google Scholar
- Melton, N., Axsen, J., & Goldberg, S. (2017). Evaluating plug-in electric vehicle policies in the context of long-term greenhouse gas reduction goals: Comparing 10 Canadian provinces using the “PEV policy report card”. Energy Policy, 107, 381–393. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enpol.2017.04.052.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Melton, N., Axsen, J., & Sperling, D. (2016a). Moving beyond alternative fuel hype to decarbonize transportation. Nature Energy, 1(3). https://doi.org/10.1038/nenergy.2016.13.
- Rogers, E. (2003). Diffusion of innovations (5th ed.). New York, NY: Free Press.Google Scholar
- Stevens, M. (2016). Electric vehicles sales in Canada: 2015 final numbers.Google Scholar
- Teddlie, C., & Tashakkori, A. (2011). Mixed methods research: Contemporary issues in an emerging field. In N. K. Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.), The SAGE handbook of qualitative research (4th ed.). London, UK: SAGE Publications.Google Scholar
- Williams, J. H., Debenedictis, A., Ghanadan, R., Mahone, A., Moore, J., Iii, W. R. M., et al. (2012). 2050: The pivotal role of electricity. Science (New York, N.Y.), 335, 53–60.Google Scholar