This paper describes the methodology we set up to gather appropriate data to study the impact of real life experience with electric vehicles (EVs) over a relatively long period of time on individual preferences and attitudes. We used stated choices (SC) to elicit individual preferences because EVs and their associated charging infrastructure are not yet fully integrated onto the market. Furthermore, to measure the extent to which the experience of using an EV may affect individual preferences and attitudes, we set up a “long panel” survey, where data was gathered before and after individuals experienced an EV in real life during a three-month period. We also measured attitudinal effects (AE) that might affect the choice of an EV by individuals. To our knowledge, this represents the first example of a “long panel” SC/AE and the first attempt to measure the formation of preferences and attitudes for this emerging product. Our results show that preferences and attitudes are indeed affected by real life experience. In the SC experiment, the respondents only chose the EV half as often as compared to the situation where they had not yet tried it. Furthermore, we measured a change in attitude for statements regarding the use of EVs. On the whole, respondents got a more positive view of the EV driving performance and this change is significantly greater for women than for men. However, respondents expressed more concern about being able to maintain current mobility with an EV. The data gathered in this survey should also serve to analyse the changes generated by direct experience with EVs, and eventually to formulate and estimate advanced discrete choice models that allow insights into factors relevant for improved understanding of market behaviour.
Transportation, 2014, Vol 41, Issue 5, p. 973-993
Electric vehicles; Before and after experience; Stated preference; Long panel data