Climate change perception, behaviour, and willingness to purchase alternative fuel vehicles: the missing dots

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Ana Paula Jesus
Marta Ferreira Dias
Margarida Coelho


This paper explores the correlation between respondents concerns regarding climate change, their eagerness to adopt an AFV and their responsiveness to incentives. Seen as the solution for a cleaner mobility and greenhouse gas reduction in urban areas globally, alternative fuel vehicles (AFV) still own a modest market share in Europe. Among many reasons, the purchase price seems to be one of the most challenging to overcome. Incentives are considered a solution to mitigate the price barrier. The results of a survey carried out by the authors to 444 respondents led the authors to conclude that participants agree that AFVs contribute to tackle climate change. They also deduced that the vehicles price represents an offside for the lower-income households. Furthermore, the study revealed that the latter are less prone to buy an alternative fuel vehicle than higher-income families (59% against 80%). The authors also inferred that generally, households are more receptive to incentives or benefits based on up-front discounts or exemptions, directly impacting price and immediate savings, such as taxes exemption (value added tax and circulation tax), fuel discounts and purchase incentives. However, some differences were observed between income segments. For instance, the reduction or exemption of loan interests is among the most popular incentives for lower revenues, whilst higher revenues favour scrappage and non-financial incentives. Finally, in line with other studies, as upper incomes are less dependent on incentives and benefits to carry out the purchase, the authors put forward a differential and progressive approach for incentive instruments targeting lower revenues, allowing broader and equitable access to low carbon technology.

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Jesus, A. P., Ferreira Dias, M., & Coelho, M. (2023). Climate change perception, behaviour, and willingness to purchase alternative fuel vehicles: the missing dots. International Journal of Sustainable Energy Planning and Management, 38, 130–140.


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