Alternative fuel vehicles, such as battery electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, support the imperative to decarbonise the transport sector, but are not yet at a stage in their development where they can successfully compete with conventional fuel vehicles. This paper examines the influence of knowledge and persuasion on the decision to adopt or reject alternative fuel vehicles, a novel and original application of Rogers’ Theory of Diffusion of Innovations. A household questionnaire survey was undertaken with respondents in the Sutton Coldfield suburb of the United Kingdom city of Birmingham. This suburb was previously identified as having a strong spatial cluster of potential early adopters of alternative fuel vehicles. The survey results provide some useful empirical insights around the issues pertaining to the wider adoption of alternative fuel vehicles, even though the data is a bit dated as the survey was conducted in 2013. It is confirmed that respondents have limited knowledge of alternative fuel vehicles and perceptions have led to the development of negative attitudes towards them. The reasons largely relate to three problems: purchase price, limited range and poor infrastructure availability. Most respondents passively rejected alternative fuel vehicles, which confirms that a concerted effort is required to inform the general public about the benefits alternative fuel vehicles.
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