1 Department of Management, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University2 unknown3 Department of Management, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University
A large degree of public and private funding is being allocated to accelerating the introduction of Ultra Low Emission powertrains for passenger cars, especially plug-in Hybrid and Pure Battery Electric Vehicles (EVs). If these new vehicles are to make a significant contribution towards increasing energy security whilst decreasing levels of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, a detailed understanding of the likely consumer demand for them is a fundamental requirement. The success of these new vehicles will be as much dependent on their desirability to customers as to their technical ability. This paper draws upon Roger’s Diffusion of Innovation Theory to understand the potential importance of consumer ‘innovativeness’ as a precursor to at least the early adoption of new vehicle technology. It presents preliminary results from a household self completion survey conducted over two case study sites (Newcastle upon Tyne and Dundee) in which respondents were asked questions relating to both conventional vehicles and Ultra Low Emission Vehicles (e.g. electric powertrains). These questions included aspects of Consumer Culture Theory in addition to an innovation scale that covers the three main variations of innovativeness that have been identified in the literature: (1) personality traits (also referred to as innate innovativeness), (2) adoptive innovativeness that has further been segmented into (a) general adoption of consumer technology and (b) specific preferences towards Low Emission Vehicles. The results will be presented using Factor and Regression analysis and will aim to understand the relative importance of the constructs with respect to consumer preference towards Ultra Low Emission Vehicles. The results will contribute to understanding dynamic processes of consumer adoption of EVs including likely success of a variety of policy measures aimed at influencing electric mobility.