Diffusion Analysis of the Emerging Market for Low Emission Vehicles

Craig Morton, Jillian Anable, John Donald Nelson, Geertje Schuitema

Research output: Contribution to conferenceUnpublished paper

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A large degree of public and private funding is being allocated to accelerating the introduction of 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 moving the UK to a more sustainable personal transportation system, 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 pre-cursor to at least the early adoption of new vehicle technology. It presents preliminary results from an extended household pilot self completion survey conducted in Aberdeen City which respondents were asked questions relating to both conventional vehicles and 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 and communication 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 Correlation analysis and will aim to understand the relative importance of the constructs with respect to consumer preference towards Low Emission Vehicles. Our findings suggest that innovativeness can be measured both through adoptive behaviour, psychological inclination and communication activity with these 3 constructs showing a degree of interaction. It proved more challenging to identify interactions between these 3 constructs and the local measure of innovativeness in the LEV market suggesting that innovative behaviour has yet to be “switched on” in this setting.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jan 2012
EventUTSG 44th Annual Conference - Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Duration: 4 Jan 20126 Jan 2012


ConferenceUTSG 44th Annual Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • Electric Vehicles
  • Consumer Behaviour
  • Diffusion
  • Low Emission Vehicles


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