Dismissive and deceptive car dealerships create barriers to electric vehicle adoption at the point of sale

Zarazua du Rubens, Gerardo, Noel, Lance and Sovacool, Benjamin (2018) Dismissive and deceptive car dealerships create barriers to electric vehicle adoption at the point of sale. Nature Energy. ISSN 2058-7546 (Accepted)

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Abstract

This study investigates the role of car dealerships in the electrification of passenger transport, namely their sales advice about the purchase and use of electric vehicles (EVs). Because most consumers do not have pre-existing knowledge of EVs, and current market conditions favour petrol and diesel vehicles, car dealership experiences may strongly influence EV purchasing decisions. Here we show that car dealerships pose a significant barrier at the point of sale due to a perceived lack of business case viability in relation to petrol and diesel vehicles. In 126 shopping experiences at 82 car dealerships across Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden, we find dealers were dismissive of EVs, misinformed shoppers on vehicle specifications, omitted EVs from the sales conversation and strongly oriented customers towards petrol and diesel vehicle options. Dealer’s technological orientation, willingness to sell, and displayed knowledge of EVs were the main contributors to likely purchase intentions. These findings combined with expert interviews suggest that government and industry signalling affect sales strategies and purchasing trends. Policy and business strategies that address barriers at the point of sale are needed to accelerate EV adoption.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Business, Management and Economics > SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit
Depositing User: Ellie Leftley
Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2018 14:57
Last Modified: 10 Apr 2018 14:57
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/74934

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