On the heterogeneity in consumer preferences for electric vehicles across generations and cities in China

Huang, Youlin and Qian, Lixian and Tyfield, David and Soopramanien, Didier (2021) On the heterogeneity in consumer preferences for electric vehicles across generations and cities in China. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 167. ISSN 0040-1625

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China is currently the world’s biggest electric vehicle (EV) market, in which mostly mature consumers in first-tier cities are buying EVs. However, the changing market and policy environment are challenging the sustainability of this trend. This study conducts a nationwide stated preference (SP) experiment in China to examine preference heterogeneity towards EVs across (1) different generations and (2) different tiers of cities. Discrete choice analysis reveals that the tier of cities has a significant effect on adoption preferences for EVs. Surprisingly, consumers in smaller cities exhibit stronger preference for EVs, while an insignificant difference in preference is found between consumers of different generations. The interaction effect between the tier of cities and the generations further demonstrates that younger consumers in small cities most prefer EVs. This can be explained by their evaluations of the psychosocial advantages of EVs and their aspiration for a future of EV-based mobility. This research contributes to the broad literature of technology adoption, but more specifically, the research offers new insights on consumers’ EV preference heterogeneity with respect to geographic and demographic dimensions. The study has important business and policy implications relating to the EV transition in China in consideration of the two tested dimensions.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Technological Forecasting and Social Change
Additional Information:
This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Technological Forecasting and Social Change. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 2021 DOI: 10.1016/j.techfore.2021.120687
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Deposited On:
17 Feb 2021 12:03
Last Modified:
19 Sep 2023 02:35