Perceived Uncertainty in the Demand for Electric Vehicles: A qualitative assessment

Perceived Uncertainty in the Demand for Electric Vehicles: A qualitative assessment

University of AberdeenThe transition to Electric Vehicles (EVs) is considered to represent a primary means by which significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and improvements to energy security will be achieved in the transport sector of the United Kingdom. EVs are now available for purchase in the mainstream automotive market though sales rates, whilst growing annual, remain markedly low. This paper investigates the prevalence of uncertainty in the emerging market for EVs in an effort to consider its likely implications. A conceptual framework is applied which illustrates the locations of uncertainty in the EV market. A series of qualitative interviews with thirteen stakeholders form the basis of the research with thematic analysis being employed in order to identify common themes and to contemplate the location of these themes.

Specific attention is paid to how uncertainty is a perceived concept, with the perceptions of different stakeholders often being in conflict with each other and objective reality. Moreover, these perceived uncertainties are compared to an assessment of UK and EU government policy to evaluate the degree to which policy has so far mitigated perceived uncertainty. Results of the analysis suggest that uncertainty is present in a number of different locations inclusive of [1] consumer, [2] policy, [3] infrastructure, [4] technical, [5] economic and [6] social uncertainties. In places, UK and EU government policy provides a partial match to the perceived uncertainties, indicating that policy makers are responded to developments in the EV market. Some notable divergences between perceived uncertainty and government policy have also been identified.

Full Paper: Morton, Anable and Brand 2014b [UKERC Working Paper]


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