Exploring Factors that Influence Individuals’ Choice Between Internal Combustion Engine Cars and Electric Vehicles
The adoption of electric vehicles has the potential to help decarbonizing the transport sector if they are powered by renewable energy sources. Limitations commonly associated with e-cars are their comparatively short ranges and long recharging cycles, leading to anxiety when having to travel long distances. Other factors such as temperature, destination or weekday may influence people in choosing an e-car for a certain trip. Using a unique dataset of 129 people who own both an electric vehicle (EV) as well as one powered by an internal combustion engine (ICE), we analyze tracking data over a year in order to have an empirically verified choice model. Based on a wide range of predictors, this model tells us for an individual journey if the person would rather choose the EV or the ICE car. Our findings show that there are only weak relations between the predictor and target variables, indicating that for many people the switch to an e-car would not affect their lifestyle and the related range anxiety diminishes when actually owning an electric vehicle. In addition, we find that choice behavior does not generalize well over different users.