Trommer, S., Jarass, J., Kolarova, V. (2015) Early adopters of electric vehicles in Germany unveiled. In: Proceedings of the 28th International Electric Vehicle Symposium and Exhibition. The 28th International Electric Vehicle Symposium and Exhibition, 3.-6. Mai 2015, Kintex, Korea.
The socioeconomic characteristics of early adopters of electric vehicles (EVs) differ from those of buyers of conventional vehicles, as do their attitudes towards new technologies, their mobility, and their awareness of ecological issues. They are found to have a higher average income, a higher level of education and more cars at their disposal per household. However, most of the existing studies are based on small samples, or used stated preference surveys which attempted to describe potential purchasers of EVs. Furthermore, when it comes to the kind of EV, most of the studies analyse the adoption of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) only, with just a few looking at the adoption of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). An analysis of representative data collected from more than 3,000 owners of BEVs and PHEVs in Germany partially confirms the findings mentioned, but finds that aspects such as socioeconomic characteristics and their attitudes vary greatly among EV users. First the paper gives an overview of the socioeconomics of EV drivers in Germany, and key facts about their driving and charging behaviour. Subsequently, the main factors motivating people to buy an EV are identified and analysed for owners of BEVs and PHEVs. This is complemented by an analysis of general attitudes of EV owners towards factors such as the image of EVs, environmental awareness and mode choice. To conclude, the willingness to pay for technologies such as fast-charging, inductive charging and battery size selection is analysed.