Numerous studies have already demonstrated the benefits and social relevance of electric vehicles. But why EVs are not yet visible in our streets? To provide an answer to this question the Flemish government has set up five living labs for the deployment of electric vehicles in 2011. Several studies presented in literature are focused on the consumer and his/her perception, but rarely take into account whether the consumer actually drove an EV. Therefor the iMove- and EVA-platform, as part of The Living Labs, form the ideal environment to investigate the perception of test users. Test drivers were asked to fill-in a same questionnaire before and after the test. Questions included inter alia judging the possible advantages and disadvantages, purchase potential. Many people were interested to test an electric car, although there basic knowledge about EVs was poor. Consumers confirm that the lower cost per kilometer is an important advantage, although it became less crucial after testing. Charging at home is perceived as an important advantage. The limited electric range still remains the main disadvantage, followed by the high purchase price. Consumers clearly underestimated the effect of a limited range. The willingness to purchase an EV within the future is related to the consumer’s idea of when an EV will be a full alternative. The majority consider buying an electric car in the near future (within 4 years). Related to this, one-third of the test population is willing to pay more for an electric car.
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