Institut for Forretningsudvikling og Teknologi

From Flying Cars to Tesla: Examining the Personal Automobile Preferences of Primary Schoolchildren in Denmark and the Netherlands

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The need to study current and future car perceptions and electric vehicle (EV) knowledge of children is not directly obvious, but they are a core group of passengers and they are future potential buyers. Moreover, many of an adult's values and worldviews around energy and mobility develop during childhood and later extend into corresponding consumption patterns. Furthermore, as children are not directly concerned with the choices, information and administration of car owners, measuring their EV awareness and knowledge could serve as a proxy for popular EV awareness and knowledge. This paper therefore offers an international explorative comparison on the car perceptions and EV knowledge of 587 surveyed schoolchildren, aged 9-13 years, from Denmark and the Netherlands. The results indicate that EV knowledge, car preferences and future car policies are associated to national and regional contexts, gender and the children's level of exposure to EVs. A cluster analysis further finds four distinct future orientations centering around traditional automobility, reductions in automobility, a shift to alternative fuels, and overall vehicle safety and efficiency improvements. In general, the children in our sample rank the environmental impact of cars as a core disadvantage and they seem aware of EVs and their main benefits. They also know that they are costlier to purchase. Most important, the majority of children agrees on a future direction of car-based transport with cars that are safe, more energy efficient and alternatively fueled.

TidsskriftEnergy Research and Social Science
StatusUdgivet - okt. 2019

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