Factors influencing the adoption of Electric vehicles in Bengaluru

Factors influencing the adoption of Electric vehicles in Bengaluru

Meghna Verma1, Ashish Verma2, Mahim Khan3


1Assistant Professor, Ramaiah Institute of Management, Bangalore – 560012, Karnataka, India, Email id: meghnaverma75@gmail.commeghna@msrim.org


 2Associate Professor, Department of Civil Engineering and Robert Bosch Centre for Cyber-Physical Systems, Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore-560012, Karnataka, India. Email: ashishv@iisc.ac.in 


3Ex-JRF, Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore 560012, India2

Email: kmahim32@gmail.com



The emission of carbon dioxide from the Transportation sector is raising concerns about global warming at an alarming rate. India ranks fourth among the top emitters, accounting for 7.1% of the total global emission. The government of India (GoI) is now taking several initiatives to shift towards sustainable mobility and thereby curbing its fossil fuel consumption on a large scale. The electrification of transport and ensuring renewable sources of electricity, together, will notably cut CO2 emissions. In this direction, India had unveiled the “National Electric Mobility Mission Plan 2020” and as a part of the mission, under which India is now witnessing the stupendous transition of interest in electric mobility. Norway being the world’s largest electric vehicle market has achieved high market penetration of EVs not only through wide packages of incentives but they found it necessary to reduce the cost difference between conventional vehicles(CVs) and electric vehicles (EVs). Therefore, for the success of the EVs market, it is important to understand the consumer's perception of benefits and barriers associated with the adoption of EVs. The factors influencing EV adoption may differ from place to place and not many studies, investigating these factors, have been conducted in the Indian context. Therefore, it is imperative to study and understand the preferences of people living in urban areas of India. Based on this motivation, the study undertakes the following objectives: 1) To carry out an extensive literature survey and identify the potential factors influencing the EV purchase behavior.2) To identify the key motivating factors and deterrents associated with EV adoption in the Indian context.3) To formulate policies that may drive commuters’ towards EV adoption and forsake their conventional vehicles.

Adoption and dissemination of new technology or a product is a process that happens over a period of time. Innovation diffusion theory (IDT) explains the parameters influencing the adoption and spread of a new idea among the masses. It mainly depends on five major factors i.e., Relative Advantage, Compatibility, Complexity, Trialability, and Observability. The current study uses this theory to identify the perception of a consumer towards EVs. Fig. 1 demonstrates the conceptual model used to design the questionnaire. Since EVs is a pretty much new technology in India, trialability was therefore not addressed in the existing study. The most important attitudinal factors related to Relative advantages, compatibility, and complexity, and observability-associated with EV adoption (PD) were identified in the existing literature and a comprehensive well-structured questionnaire was developed. The questionnaire begins with the inquiry of the respondent’s socio-economic details, including age, gender, education, family income, marital status. The questionnaire had 4 sets of questions as discussed below:

  1. Relative Advantages: The rate of adoption surges with Financial incentives, by increasing relative advantages of new technology and therefore the second section analyzed the influence of demand incentives on the EV purchasing behavior; literature shows that financial incentives like Govt. subsidy and tax exemption drive more people towards EV adoption and therefore the role of incentives is measured by five questions, including cheap road tax, low cost of ownership, High resale value and Government subsidy.
  2. Compatibility: Compatibility tests the degree to which new technology is consistent with the values and beliefs of respondents. This factor tests the environmental consciousness of the respondents as well as the technical attributes that may influence their purchasing behavior. This was done by asking indirect questions like checking the level to which people are aware of the escalating cost of fossil fuels, and related environmental and health impacts caused due to the exhaust emissions from motorized vehicles. The impact of technical attributes is measured using 8 questions including style, price, size, Fuel efficiency, performance, Environmental friendly, brand, and technological features. Respondents were asked to rate them on a scale from 1 to 5 (1=Very influential to 5=I don’t know).
  3. Complexity: Complexity being the ease or difficulty one perceives, using new technology, This factor addresses the deterrents that a consumer may consider before shifting to battery-driven vehicles. Seven possible deterrents (Recharging takes time, recharging is inconvenient, Initial cost of purchase, Limited choice, Style, Lower number of charging stations, and power delivery) were listed and respondents were asked to mark all the options which they think can act as an obstacle for them before making PD of EV.
  4. Observability: EVs, still being an inchoate sector in India, the results that this technology brings, are not yet evident. However, if consumers’ have enough EV awareness they would perceive the benefits it would bring after adoption. Therefore, in the 5th section respondents were asked a question based on their knowledge of EV and the benefits they think comes along with EV adoption. The Multiple response analysis identifies the potential motivating factors of EV usage over conventional vehicles.

Based on the above-mentioned factors, a few hypotheses were made and tested:

Hypothesis 1: There is a significant association between age, gender, and income with the willingness to purchase EV.

Hypothesis 2: Consumers' environmental concern has a significant association with their willingness to adopt EVs.

Hypothesis 3: Consumers' awareness of air pollution due to CVs is significantly associated with their willingness to purchase EVs over CVs.

Hypothesis 4: Consumers' perception of the potential environmental benefits of EVs is significantly associated with their willingness to purchase EVs over CVs.

Hypothesis 5: Consumers' perception of potential improvement in the quality of life due to EVs is significantly associated with their willingness to purchase EVs over CVs.


It was found that environmental awareness and consciousness have a significant impact on the consumers’ behavioral intention but although people seem to recognize the environmental benefits of EV adoption, they still seemed concerned about inadequate charging stations and time-consuming recharging. On one hand, the low cost of ownership and price of EV was recognized as the least appealing and doubtful attribute, fuel efficiency, on the other hand, was ranked number one as the most appealing attribute for EV adoption. Therefore, the relative advantages of EVs pertaining to their fuel efficiency are evidently affecting the adoption behavior of the consumers. Govt. subsidy is found to be the second most important financial incentive for early adopters. This clearly indicates the uncertainty of the respondents towards the total cost of ownership of EVs and Govt. subsidy to be an important motivating factor for adoption. Further respondents showed their ambiguity towards the style, size, brand, and performance of EVs indicating that consumers are-sure of the technical superiority of EVs over CVs. In addition, a large number of the population still seems to be unaware that EV batteries can be charged at home.

Fig. 1. Conceptual framework: Purchase Decision of EV

Full Reference of the article:

Verma M., Verma A., Khan M., (2020). “Factors influencing the adoption of Electric vehicles in Bengaluru”. Transportation in Developing Economies. DOI:10.1007/s40890-020-0100-x