Cars and kids: childhood perceptions of electric vehicles and transport in Denmark and the Netherlands

Sovacool, Benjamin K, Kester, Johannes and Heida, Vimke (2019) Cars and kids: childhood perceptions of electric vehicles and transport in Denmark and the Netherlands. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 144. pp. 182-192. ISSN 0040-1625

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What preferences, perceptions, and expectations do children have about current (and future) electric vehicles and conventional cars? The values, worldviews, and patterns of energy (and mobility) consumption that adults come to hold, and perform, become molded and perhaps cemented in childhood. However, given the particular sensitivities in conducting social science research involving children, recent comparative examinations of the perceptions and preferences of kids and cars remains rare. In this article, we offer the first international assessment of how 587 surveyed schoolchildren between 9 and 13 years of age across 15 schools in rural to intermediate regions in Denmark and the Netherlands think about electric mobility, and in examining their perceptions, automobility and transport more broadly. In general, we find that the children surveyed rank the environmental impact of cars just below personal safety and we can conclude that they are aware of innovations such as electric vehicles and their main benefits. Most important, children overwhelmingly seem to agree on the future direction of car-based transport but one with cars that are safer, more energy efficient and alternatively fueled.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: University of Sussex Business School > SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit
Depositing User: Ellie Leftley
Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2019 07:47
Last Modified: 30 Oct 2020 02:00

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