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World Electric Vehicle Journal is published by MDPI from Volume 9 issue 1 (2018). Articles in this Issue were published by The World Electric Vehicle Association (WEVA) and its member the European Association for e-Mobility (AVERE), the Electric Drive Transportation Association (EDTA), and the Electric Vehicle Association of Asia Pacific (EVAAP). They are hosted by MDPI on as a courtesy and upon agreement with AVERE.
Open AccessArticle

Early adopters of electric vehicles in Germany unveiled

Institute of Transport Research, German Aerospace Center, Rutherfordstrasse 2, 12489 Berlin, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
World Electr. Veh. J. 2015, 7(4), 722-732;
Published: 28 December 2015
PDF [202 KB, uploaded 21 May 2018]


The socioeconomic characteristics of early adopters of electric vehicles (EVs) differ from those of buyers of conventional vehicles, as do their attitudes towards new technologies, their mobility, and their awareness of ecological issues. They are found to have a higher average income, a higher level of education and more cars at their disposal per household. However, most of the existing studies are based on small samples, or used stated preference surveys which attempted to describe potential purchasers of EVs. Furthermore, when it comes to the kind of EV, most of the studies analyse the adoption of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) only, with just a few looking at the adoption of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). An analysis of representative data collected from more than 3,000 owners of BEVs and PHEVs in Germany partially confirms the findings mentioned, but finds that aspects such as socioeconomic characteristics and their attitudes vary greatly among EV users.
First the paper gives an overview of the socioeconomics of EV drivers in Germany, and key facts about their driving and charging behaviour. Subsequently, the main factors motivating people to buy an EV are identified and analysed for owners of BEVs and PHEVs. This is complemented by an analysis of general attitudes of EV owners towards factors such as the image of EVs, environmental awareness and mode choice. To conclude, the willingness to pay for technologies such as fast-charging, inductive charging and battery size selection is analysed.
Keywords: early adopters; electric vehicles; user segments; empirical analysis early adopters; electric vehicles; user segments; empirical analysis
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 (CC BY 4.0).

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Trommer, S.; Jarass, J.; Kolarova, V. Early adopters of electric vehicles in Germany unveiled. World Electr. Veh. J. 2015, 7, 722-732.

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