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Exploring the factors influencing electric vehicle adoption: an empirical investigation in the emerging economy context of India

Som Sekhar Bhattacharyya (Department of Strategic Management, Faculty of Strategic Management, National Institute of Industrial Engineering, Mumbai, India)
Shreyash Thakre (Department of Industrial Engineering, National Institute of Industrial Engineering, Mumbai, India)

Foresight

ISSN: 1463-6689

Article publication date: 5 October 2020

Issue publication date: 24 May 2021

1197

Abstract

Purpose

The Indian automotive industry was witnessing a transition from conventional vehicles to greener battery-operated electric vehicles (EVs). However, the acceptance of these EVs was still muted and brought significant challenges for the industry. Literature regarding the adoption of EVs was scarce in the Indian context. It was thus imperative to explore and comprehend the distinct perceptions of industry managers and consumers regarding the adoption of EVs in India. The purpose of this study is to comprehensively analyze the entire Indian EVs ecosystem to address this research gap.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors carried out an empirical investigation starting with a structured literature review to identify the researchable gaps. Subsequently, the authors conducted semi-structured open-ended interviews with 38 experts including automotive industry experts and EV consumers. The authors further performed a thematic content analysis of the expert interview responses to document critical insights regarding the adoption of EVs.

Findings

The authors identified 11 key factors influencing the adoption of EVs in this study. The vital considerations regarding the availability of charging technologies, its associated selection dilemma, emerging business models and public policy support were presented and discussed. Market penetration of EVs was found to be influenced mostly by the choice of charging technology. Further, the switching intention of consumers was deliberated upon to highlight the specific technological and psychological preferences of consumers. The accessibility of charging stations emerged as the most influential factor. The research findings indicated that harmony among stakeholders was missing in the Indian EVs ecosystem. Instead, there were discrete efforts by organizations. The EVs ecosystem required collaboration for improved adoption of the EVs. Further, the necessity to rectify the chaotic charging infrastructure in the country was highlighted as a major pain point for customers to adopt EV.

Research limitations/implications

This study theoretically contributed to push–pull–mooring (PPM) framework for understanding the adoption of EVs in India. This enabled the authors to extensively analyze consumers’ psychological and technological considerations regarding their switching intention toward EVs.

Practical implications

The findings of this study would help managers in decision-making toward the establishment of charging infrastructure involving multiple considerations such as the accessibility of charging, multi-dimensional competence at charging stations and servicing capabilities. Managers could also use the insights from this study to secure supportive recommendations for improving the overall EV infrastructure. The results of this study would benefit policymakers to set strategic directions through an integrated view of the entire EVs ecosystem involving management of bus and taxi fleets, two-wheelers and three-wheelers and such others.

Originality/value

Generally, in extant research, either firm managers’ or customers’ perspectives are considered separately. This study deliberated upon the PPM framework and switching intention accommodating both the industry and consumers’ perspectives. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this was, thus, one of the first research articles which integrated insights from both the industry and consumers. This established the PPM framework for understanding the adoption of EVs. Further, it helped in comprehending the specific technological and psychological preferences of consumers regarding switching intention toward EVs.

Keywords

Citation

Bhattacharyya, S.S. and Thakre, S. (2021), "Exploring the factors influencing electric vehicle adoption: an empirical investigation in the emerging economy context of India", Foresight, Vol. 23 No. 3, pp. 311-326. https://doi.org/10.1108/FS-04-2020-0037

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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