Paving the road for electric vehicles: Lessons from a randomized experiment in an introduction stage market

C. AngeloGuevara, EstebanFigueroa, Marcela A.Munizaga

Abstract

We study attitudes, perceptions, and valuations of a convenience sample of Chilean employees from an electric distribution company who applied for a subsidized electric vehicle (EV) acquisition program. The subsidy was randomly assigned among the interested applicants. We use this data in an experiment to assess the impact that being a user, or a non-user of an EV has on the factors under study, using focus groups and a stated preference (SP) experiment. In the focus groups, users mentioned relatively more benefits and barriers of EVs, while non-users spontaneously stated that a limited charging network at the urban level could be an issue. The SP survey suggested that being a user did not trigger a change in environmental attitudes; on the other hand, it significantly boosted perceptions of maintenance costs and driving range. Additionally, discrete choice models estimated from the SP data suggested a possibly null willingness to pay for urban charging infrastructure, expressed as a percentage of current gas stations, among the user group. We discuss possible policy implications that can be inferred from this analysis, considering the size and source limitations of the available sample.

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