Function, symbolism or society? Exploring Canadian consumer interest in electric and shared mobility

Author: 
Date created: 
2022-02-22
Identifier: 
etd21795
Keywords: 
Technology adoption
Consumer research
New mobility
Electric vehicle
Ride-hailing
Car-sharing
Abstract: 

Electric and shared mobility offer alternatives to the dominance of privately-owned, fossil fuel powered vehicles. I explore consumer perceptions and motivations regarding these innovations, using survey data from a sample of Canadian (n = 529) adopters and non-adopters of electric vehicles (EVs), car-sharing and shared ride-hailing. I apply a framework with four perception categories: private-functional (e.g., costs and convenience), private-symbolic (e.g., making good impressions), societal-functional (e.g., protecting the environment) and societal-symbolic (e.g., spreading inspiration). Using a theory-based approach, I regressed the four perception categories noted above as predictors of adoption for each innovation. Results show that positive private-functional perceptions are consistent predictors across all three innovations, while private-symbolic perceptions are only associated with EV adoption. Societal-functional and societal-symbolic perceptions have no association with adoption. I also apply a data-based approach using factor analysis to identify unique perception categories. Findings are largely consistent with the first method, with some nuanced insights.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
Rights: 
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes. Copyright remains with the author.
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Jonn Axsen
Department: 
Environment: School of Resource and Environmental Management
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.R.M. (Planning)
Statistics: