For the market share of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) to continue to grow and reach 100% of new vehicle sales, adopters of the technology, who initially buy PEVs, will need to continue choosing them in subsequent purchases. Although much research has focused on the reasons for, and barriers to, initial PEV purchase, less has been devoted to the reasons for discontinuance—abandoning a new technology after first purchasing it. Here, on the basis of results from five questionnaire surveys, we find that PEV discontinuance in California occurs at a rate of 20% for plug-in hybrid electric vehicle owners and 18% for battery electric vehicle owners. We show that discontinuance is related to dissatisfaction with the convenience of charging, having other vehicles in the household that are less efficient, not having level 2 (240-volt) charging at home, having fewer household vehicles and not being male.

Nature Vol. 6 – nº5

Scott Hardman & Gil Tal

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