Changes of Japanese consumer preference for electric vehicles (EVs) with new EV commercialisation and subsidy implementation has been quantitatively evaluated by applying conjoint analysis to the respondents choice experiment data collected by internet questionnaire survey that have been conducted in February 2009 and 2010. Powertrains (battery electric vehicle (BEV), gasoline hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) and gasoline plug-in HEV (PHEV)), vehicle price, vehicle range, driving cost and passenger capacity have been chosen as attributes of vehicles and marginal utility and its monetary measure of each attribute have been calculated by setting the gasoline vehicle (GV) with typical specifications as baseline. The estimated results indicate that the vehicle range of BEVs under the current battery technology level lead to utility decline and that those EVs with fewer seats by mounting devices for electric driving would not be accepted by consumers. In terms of powertrain selection, consumers express strong preference for HEVs, whereas for BEVs and PHEVs they express low / negative preference or hold their judgment for choosing. From the comparison of the estimated marginal utilities for powertrain in 2009 and 2010, significant statistical differences are found for HEVs and Kei passenger type BEVs. Moreover, it is confirmed that implementation of has played an important role to enhance consciousness of HEVs and Kei passenger type BEVs as environmentally friendly vehicles. It is true that the current subsidy has played an important role to raise awareness of some kind of EVs. However, in order to improve environment by diffusing other kinds of EVs that have higher environmental performance than HEVs, not only the commercialisation of those kinds of vehicles that satisfy consumer needs at acceptable vehicle price levels but also further schemes should be required to gain consumer recognition especially for BEVs and PHEVs.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited