The Demographics of Decarbonizing Transport: The Influence of Gender, Education, Occupation, Age, and Household Size on Electric Mobility Preferences in the Nordic Region

Global Environmental Change 52 (2018) 86–100

15 Pages Posted: 7 Sep 2019

See all articles by Benjamin K. Sovacool

Benjamin K. Sovacool

Science Policy Research Unit; Department of Business Technology & Development

Lance Noel

Nuvve

Johannes Kester

University of Oxford - Oxford University Transport Studies Unit

Gerardo Zarazua de Rubens

Aarhus University

Date Written: August 30, 2017

Abstract

Many researchers, policymakers and other stakeholders have explored and supported efforts to transition towards more sustainable forms of low-carbon mobility. Often, discussion will flow from a narrow view of consumer perceptions surrounding passenger vehicles — presuming that users act in rationalist, instrumental, and predictable patterns. In this paper, we hold that a better understanding of the social and demographic perceptions of electric vehicles (compared to other forms of mobility, including conventional cars) is needed. We provide a comparative and mixed methods assessment of the demographics of electric mobility and stated preferences for electric vehicles, drawing primarily on a survey distributed to more than 5000 respondents across Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. We examine how gender influences preferences; how experience in the form of education and occupation shape preferences; and how aging and household size impact preferences. In doing so we hope to reveal the more complex social dynamics behind how potential adopters consider and calculate various aspects of conventional mobility, electric mobility, and vehicle-to-grid (V2G) systems. In particular, our results suggest that predominantly men, those with higher levels of education in full time employment, especially with occupations in civil society or academia, and below middle age (30–45), are the most likely to buy them. However, our analysis also reveals other market segments where electric vehicles may take root, e.g. among higher income females and retirees/pensioners. Moreover, few respondents were orientated towards V2G, independent of their demographic attributes. Our empirical results can inform ongoing discussions about energy and transport policy, the drivers of environmental change, and deliberations over sustainability transitions.

Keywords: Sustainability transitions, Low-carbon transport, Electric vehicle adoption, Vehicle-to-grid, Electric mobility

JEL Classification: O33

Suggested Citation

Sovacool, Benjamin K. and Noel, Lance and Kester, Johannes and Zarazua de Rubens, Gerardo, The Demographics of Decarbonizing Transport: The Influence of Gender, Education, Occupation, Age, and Household Size on Electric Mobility Preferences in the Nordic Region (August 30, 2017). Global Environmental Change 52 (2018) 86–100, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3445619

Benjamin K. Sovacool (Contact Author)

Science Policy Research Unit ( email )

Falmer, Brighton BN1 9SL
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.sussex.ac.uk/profiles/373957

Department of Business Technology & Development ( email )

Nordre Ringgade 1
Aarhus C, DK-8000
Denmark

HOME PAGE: http://pure.au.dk/portal/en/persons/id(fca10105-c4eb-4f0f-99a7-a354a8a8a47a).html

Lance Noel

Nuvve ( email )

Johannes Kester

University of Oxford - Oxford University Transport Studies Unit ( email )

School of Geography and the Environment
South Parks Road
Oxford, OX1 3QY
United Kingdom

Gerardo Zarazua de Rubens

Aarhus University ( email )

Nordre Ringgade 1
DK-8000 Aarhus C, 8000
Denmark

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