Electric car

The impact of learning and short-term experience on preferences for electric vehicles

Peer Reviewed
30 November 2021

C. Aravena, E. Denny


The transport sector is a key contributor of global greenhouse gas emissions and electric vehicles have become a focus in striving to achieve decarbonisation and efficiency in the sector. This study uses a stated preference methodology, specifically choice experiments, to investigate the attitudes and preferences of potential buyers for a number of technical, environmental and policy attributes of electric vehicles in Ireland. We specifically focus on whether learning through provision of information and a brief vehicle experience affects preferences and welfare measures. Previous studies have examined the role of lengthy electric vehicle demonstration trials, for example 3 month trials, on preferences. This paper addresses a gap in the literature by considering the role of much shorter scale experience (minutes rather than months) on attitudes which more closely represents the experience that a potential purchaser will have at the point of investment. Using random parameter models, our results show that people are willing to pay more for certain technical and environmental features of electric vehicles, however, policy measures such as preferential parking rates are seen to have a non-significant effect on utility of participants. The learning process increases the significance of the environmental component, and produces significantly higher willingness to pay for increased battery range and vehicle size.

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Publication reference
Aravena, C., & Denny, E. (2021). The impact of learning and short-term experience on preferences for electric vehicles. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 152, 111656. doi:10.1016/j.rser.2021.111656
Publication | 7 October 2021