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Economic, Functional, and Social Factors Influencing Electric Vehicles’ Adoption: An Empirical Study Based on the Diffusion of Innovation Theory

Zhengwei Xia (), Dongming Wu () and Langlang Zhang ()
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Zhengwei Xia: School of Information Management, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072, China
Dongming Wu: Economics and Management School, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072, China
Langlang Zhang: Economics and Management School, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072, China

Sustainability, 2022, vol. 14, issue 10, 1-22

Abstract: Although electric vehicles (EVs) have been heavily promoted as an effective solution to sustainable problems such as environmental pollution and resource constraints, the market penetration of EVs remains below expectations. By viewing EVs as innovative products that are different from traditional fuel vehicles, this study proposes a research model based on the diffusion of innovation theory, in which a series of factors influencing the adoption of EVs are identified. We collected 375 valid responses through an offline survey, and the structural equation modeling technique was used to empirically test the proposed model. The empirical results indicate that consumer adoption of EVs can be effectively predicted by three important innovation characteristics, namely perceived compatibility, perceived complexity, and perceived relative advantage. Furthermore, the results also suggest that factors in the economic aspect (monetary subsidy and risk of a price reduction), functional aspect (intelligent function and risk of sustainability), and social aspect (status symbol and risk of reputation), exert significant impacts on the adoption of EVs by influencing consumers’ perceptions of innovation characteristics. Theoretically, this study contributes to the literature by providing an appropriate theoretical perspective for understanding consumer adoption of EVs and identifying numerous significant antecedents of such behavior. Practically, the findings of this study can be applied to promote the market penetration of EVs.

Keywords: electric vehicle; adoption; diffusion of innovation theory; structural equation model (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O13 Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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