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The electric vehicle and the consumer: From environmentalists to innovators?

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Due to enduring technical limitations, the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) across most automotive markets has been sluggish, despite many national governments providing generous incentives for consumers. As a result, EVs have been positioned as a 'niche' product mainly targeted at 'consumers with a conscience' who are willing to overlook the technical limitations in order to purchase an 'eco-friendly' vehicle. However, recent advances in battery technology, as well as the arrival of new players such as Tesla, provides the basis for an alternative approach to emerge. Instead of seeing these vehicles as 'eco-friendly' products, EVs can be positioned as desirable high-tech 'gadgets' which appeal to a wider base of consumers. Like tablet computers or smartphones, securing mass-adoption for EVs may be possible if these products are promoted as a must-have gadget or badge of honour.
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Keywords: ADOPTION; AUTOMOTIVE; CONSUMERS; ELECTRIC VEHICLES; GADGETS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 March 2018

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