On 20 April, Dr. Ken Kurani of the UC Davis Institute of Transportation Studies will present findings from a study commissioned by the California Air Resources Board (ARB) assessing consumer attitudes, barriers, and motivators toward purchasing zero, near-zero, and low-emission vehicles.
The project produced a statistically robust representation of California’s new car buying population to identify the factors that influence new-vehicle purchase decisions and the areas where additional policies, incentives, or outreach could be implemented to facilitate greater adoption rates of cleaner cars.
New car buyers’ valuation of ZEV technologies and vehicles was assessed through an on-line survey and follow-up interviews. After answering survey questions about their awareness, knowledge, experience, and consideration of these technologies, respondents were asked to design a plausible next new vehicle.
After choosing their next vehicle, respondents were asked why they had, (or had not), included ZEV technologies in their next new vehicles. The survey was administered in California and several other states.
Analysis of survey results uncovered surprising differences between new car buyer valuation of ZEVs and marketplace behavior, as well as significant variation in consumer motives for choosing—or not choosing—to include ZEV technologies in their next new vehicles.
Nearly one in four California respondents designed a PHEV (21%), BEV (11%), or FCEV (6%) in the survey’s design game, despite continued low new car buyer awareness, knowledge and experience of ZEV technologies.
Among new car buying households not designing ZEVs, follow-up interviews revealed a litany of questions and concerns affecting how they value ZEVs.