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Do we have a car for you? Encouraging the uptake of electric vehicles at point of sale

Lindsay Matthews, Jennifer Lynes, Manuel Riemer, Tania Del Matto and Nicholas Cloet

Energy Policy, 2017, vol. 100, issue C, 79-88

Abstract: This study investigates shopping experiences at dealerships selling electric vehicles (EVs) in Ontario, Canada. In 2014, twenty mystery shoppers were trained and sent into 24 EV-certified dealerships (with a total of 95 shopping experiences) to observe the sales approach towards EVs. Results show that a common barrier for shoppers is the unavailability of EVs at the dealership – including a lack of EV models on site to view or test-drive as well as a three- to four-month waiting period to receive the vehicle once ordered. A multiple regression model was developed to explore which factors influence the likelihood of deciding to purchase an EV. Findings suggest that, controlling for brand, the key success factors are a salesperson's positive attitude and the availability of an EV on site. It is important for future policy makers to acknowledge the influential role of market intermediaries, such as dealerships, in the adoption of EVs. The research findings demonstrate a potential for government agencies to work with dealerships and/or salespeople to improve EV uptake by encouraging the presence of floor models and vehicles for test-driving on site, and by increasing the accuracy of information being provided to customers.

Keywords: Consumer behaviour; Barriers to adoption; Electric vehicles; Mystery shopping (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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