Consumer Structure in the Emerging Market for Electric Vehicles: Identifying market segments using cluster analysis

Craig Morton, Jillian Anable, John Nelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)
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This paper presents results from a segmentation analysis of the emerging market for Electric Vehicles (EVs). Data has been sourced through the application of a self-completion household questionnaire distributed over two cities in the United Kingdom (UK). A two stage cluster analysis methodology has been followed to identify market segments in a dataset of UK drivers. Five unique segments have been identified in the analysis and are characterised by their preferences for EVs, socio-economic characteristics, current car details, and socio-psychological profiles. These segments hold a range of different EV preference levels, from those who appear unwilling to adopt an EV to those which are clearly attracted to EVs. Moreover, the features of these segments tend to suggest that segments might be attracted to or repelled from EVs for different reasons. These results demonstrate that a significant degree of consumer stratification is present in the emerging market for EVs, with the possible implications being that policy interventions at the market, as opposed to segment, level may prove ineffective due to their inability to cater for the nuances of important segments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)443-459
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Sustainable Transportation
Issue number6
Early online date14 Dec 2016
Publication statusPublished - 7 Mar 2017

Bibliographical note

This research presented in this paper was made possible by a PhD studentship funded by the UK Research Councils (Grant No: NERC NE/G007748/1) as part of the Energy Demand Theme of the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC). The authors would like to express their gratitude to the anonymous reviewers for their helpful commentary of the paper.


  • electric vehicles
  • market segmentation
  • demand
  • demographic profiling
  • psychographic profiling


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