Academic journal article Journal of Social Sciences

Gender Preferences for Alternative Energy Transport with Focus on Electric Vehicle

Academic journal article Journal of Social Sciences

Gender Preferences for Alternative Energy Transport with Focus on Electric Vehicle

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT

Transportation has become an important part of our day to day life. Due to changing lifestyle, frequent travels whether related to work or leisure has become a common phenomenon. Such lifestyle also demands comfortable transport medium and reasonable availability of fuels. As need of vehicle for transportation is rising, it has put pressure of fuel supply, fuel prices and environment as well. The rising prices of fuel, increasing pressure on resources and threatening environment pollution is driving the need for alternative and clean sources of energy. Increasing competition among nations to own the resources is becoming a serious threat for many developing countries. This paper empirically examines the gender preference for alternative energy sources and related technologies for vehicles. In total, 1168 questionnaires were received from respondents (male-711, female-442, not disclosed-15) from eleven cities in India viz. Bengaluru, Chennai, Cochin, Coimbatore, Hyderabad, Pune, Imphal, Rohtak, Sagar and Tiruvanathpuram in India and one city from Bhutan-Thimpu. Respondents who did not disclose their gender were excluded from the study. The study was conducted from October 2013 to June 2014. The objective of the study was to understand the social dimensions and gender preferences of the respondents regarding their preference for electric vehicle as an alternative energy transport for personal and public use. The primary data was collected through a structured questionnaire. The data was analyzed through the Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS®). Findings indicate that in general fueled vehicles are still preferred over electric vehicles. However there is a strong interest in electric vehicles. It was observed that more than 66% of the respondents in the age group of 18-30 can become prospective customers in the near future, if the electric vehicles meet their expectations. In this age group, 59% of the respondents were male and 41% were female. Most of the respondents indicated that they would purchase the electric vehicle as it would save operating costs, it is environment friendly and less dependent on fossil fuel. It was observed that as compared to female, male respondents were more inclined towards the influential factors like fuel efficiency, safety, vehicle power and reliability and early availability of vehicle in the market. In all 93% of respondents confirm that they are willing to pay the premium price and among them, 61% were male and 39% were female.

Keywords: Gender Preferences, Electric Vehicles, Attitudes and Perceptions, Environment, Alternative Fuel Vehicles, Education, Age Group, Income Group

1. INTRODUCTION

Conventional transportation technologies use fossil fuels as the main source of energy for vehicle propulsion. However in the recent times, the rising prices of oil and petroleum products, along with environmental awareness, are forcing nations to look for alternative transportation technologies. Over the past few years, high oil prices, fossil fuel depletion and climate change have accelerated the need for Alternative Energy Transports (AETs). Competition is also rising among automobile companies; and they are on a continuous quest for developing more sustainable vehicles in order to combat fuel costs and the harmful environmental effect of petroleum products.

In India also, a new generation of quality conscious, price conscious and environment conscious consumer has evolved. The younger generation, especially in the age group of 18-30, is on one hand technology savvy and on the other hand conscious about making investment. A customer today has become conscious and believes in intelligent purchasing. The decision is dependent on thorough research and market responses.

A study was conducted by involving 1168 respondents belonging to different age groups. Persons from various companies, colleges and universities were asked about their views on a range of transportationrelated issues and their level of acceptance of new technologies. …

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