The Study of Battery Electric Vehicle DiffusionConsidering  Technology Development Impact : A model based study of Swedish market

University essay from KTH/Hållbarhet och industriell dynamik

Abstract: Battery Electric Vehicle as an environmental friendly transportation alternative has already emerged as well as fade out of the market twice. It has been reintroduced along with the increasing concern about the environment issue. This recent diffusion is surrounded by lots of dynamic changes and uncertainties. However, most current studies focus on political, financial as well as infrastructure factors but neglect factors like the technology especially how people perceived it. Therefore, this study mainly research into how the technology development impact on the diffusion of battery electric vehicle.To achieve this aim, a model based study was conducted targeting Swedish electric vehicle market. In the research, customers are considered to be the target objective because they are the one  who perceive the technology and make decision for adoption directly. In order to know the relationship between them, researches have been conducted through qualitative and quantitative approach. Empirical work including interviews and survey were conducted through tripartite aspect to investigate the customer needs and related technology. The investigation indicates the environmentally friendly performance is the key driving force perceived by the early adopters. Meanwhile, range issue, total cost of ownership and safety & technology reliability are identified as the top three critical concerns that  hold back customer purchasing decision. A modified classic model for the innovation diffusion has been proposed which is used to evaluate the technology’s perception based on historical data. Two BEV- related technologies were chosen as examples to prove and illustrate the relationship between technology development and electric vehicle diffusion.The results showed that the BEV-related technologies, which have potential ability to address critical customer demand, are able to impact on the customer adoption positively through valid perception by customer. Taking technology development and perception into consideration, the diffusion process should be accelerated to some extent. Technologies which can be more easily perceived tend to have more impact in the diffusion process.

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