An As the environment continues to be worsening,

An empirical Study of Innovation
Perception and the Effect of Consumer Characteristics, Innovation Exposure, and
Buying Incentives

 

1.       INTRODUCTION

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Background

As the environment continues to be worsening, Climate
change and its consequences have become a significant aspect in political
agendas worldwide. It is evident that government, media and other avenues are
in the process of educating people the importance of having concerned about the
environmental pollution.CO2 emission is one of the gases that has a dramatic
impact on the environment resulting in rising coastal flooding, reduction in
water supplies and increase malnutrition (IEA, 2010).

 

The transportation sector is one of the largest CO2
contributors, which is responsible for 23% of EU greenhouse gas emissions,
which makes it the second largest greenhouse gas emitting

sector
after energy.(Eurostat,2015)  According
to the United States Agency  International
Development, World Resources Institute Climate Analysis Indicators Tool
(WRICAIT), Energy sector which is the major contributor of 40% for green house
gas emissions, consist of transportation sector which amounts to 15% of green
house gas emissions.

 

Electric
vehicles are considered as a promising alternative on the pathway towards low
/zero emission vehicles that could enable the transport sector to reduce
emissions significantly. However consumer acceptance of electric vehicles has
not been taken in to consideration (Yeh, 2007) despite the effort that has been
put in the research and development of e-mobility. Majority of the consumers
perceive that Electric vehicles (EV) are disadvantageous compared to
traditional (petrol/diesel) vehicles. It is said that without consumer
acceptance there will be no technological shift and long-term success of
sustainable transport systems (Wiedmann et al.,2011). Hence it is important to
gain in-depth insights in consumers’ perception towards EVs that affect
preferences for and the adoption of alternative fuelled vehicles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.1  
Problem Statement

 

Despite
the fact that Electric Vehicles (EV) is a solution to many issues related to
climate change & resource scarcity, its adoption is still at a lower level
and only few car manufacturers have already introduced EVs

at
small production volumes in the market. Much attention has been paid to supply
of EVs to the market which leads to development in sustainable mobility
solutions where as less attention has been paid to demand aspect which reflects
consumer’s willingness to adopt EV’s.

 

It
is argued that understanding of why people do not adopt is at least as vital as
knowing about

those
who do adopt. In fact, one of the major causes for market failure of innovations
is the

resistance
they encounter from consumers. Yet, little research has been conducted on this
subject.

 

Innovation
resistance could take more than one form and its marketers should be aware of

the
range of situational and personality factors that lead to resistance. In the
research

it
is expected to apply the concept of innovation resistance on e-mobility, which
leads us to the following

research
problem:  Why do consumers resist to purchase electric vehicles?

 

Research
Problem will be divided into two Research questions.

 

RQ1. 
How does EV perception influence resistance?

 

RQ1a)
Identify the general consumer perception of EVs as an innovation.

 

RQ1b)
Examine the actual innovation resistance towards EVs.

 

RQ1c)  identify EV adoption barriers.

 

RQ2. What are relevant drivers of EV
perception?

 

RQ
2a) Identify the effect of consumer characteristics.

 

RQ
2b) Identify the effect of EV exposure.

 

RQ
2c) Identify the effect of buying incentives.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.2  
Objectives

The objective of this research is to get an understanding of
why consumers resist purchasing electric vehicles in western province, Sri
Lanka.  The goal is to overcome existing
adoption barriers and attract a larger number of consumers to electric cars as an
eco friendly move. The findings of this research may be useful for vehicle importers
/ retailers of the automobile industry, government, as well as other public /
private institutions dealing with e-mobility, sustainability or green business solutions
in Sri Lanka.

 

2.      
Method and Design

A quantitative survey is preferred for this research as it
allows the researcher to obtain quick data from a large number of respondents in
order to determine attitudes, believes & values consumers have with regard
to electric vehicles.