Test driving an electric vehicle boosts some prospective buyers’ personal self-identity as being early user of latest technologies, finds a new study.
The strengthened sense of being a timely user of new machinery was associated to a higher likelihood that the test-driver would be inclined to buy the car, the study suggests.
While the test drive increased impression of the study participants that an electric vehicle could work as a status symbol, the expectation did not convert into interest to make a purchase.
The findings help increase understanding what triggers consumer behaviour behind purchases that are related to sustainability and offers insights to guide marketing efforts of electric vehicle, stated senior author of the study.
“Meanwhile, an electric vehicle symbolizes different things to different people – it’s not the same across the board. Therefore, it’s important to look at the variety of different qualities electric vehicle can reflect,” added the senior author. Test drive of EV has lot of possibility to change how people think of themselves – and that was linked to an increased inclination to buy.
The research was recently published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology.
The authors of the study set out to determine how test drive of an electric vehicle affects two types of symbolic interpretation: private interpretation, which supports an individual’s self-perception, or public interpretation – influencing how others would opine the electric vehicle owner. And if the two meanings change, how does it affect the potential buyer’s plan to make a purchase?
This involved two studies, first a randomized trial using a virtual test drive and the second partnering with Smart Columbus to survey people who chose to participate in an EV test-driving exercise.