Department of Business Development and Technology

Gerardo Zarazua de Rubens

Fear and loathing of electric vehicles: The reactionary rhetoric of range anxiety

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Fear and loathing of electric vehicles: The reactionary rhetoric of range anxiety. / Noel, Lance; Zarazua de Rubens, Gerardo; Sovacool, Benjamin; Kester, Johannes.

In: Energy Research & Social Science, Vol. 48, 02.2019, p. 96-107.

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Author

Noel, Lance ; Zarazua de Rubens, Gerardo ; Sovacool, Benjamin ; Kester, Johannes. / Fear and loathing of electric vehicles: The reactionary rhetoric of range anxiety. In: Energy Research & Social Science. 2019 ; Vol. 48. pp. 96-107.

Bibtex

@article{9a82fb451cdb45a1971a1cb85e9668a1,
title = "Fear and loathing of electric vehicles: The reactionary rhetoric of range anxiety",
abstract = "“Range anxiety,” defined as the psychological anxiety a consumer experiences in response to the limited range of an electric vehicle, continues to be labelled and presented as one of the most pressing barriers to their mainstream diffusion. As a result, academia, policymakers and even industry have focused on addressing the range anxiety barrier in order to accelerate adoption. Much literature recognizes that range anxiety is increasingly psychological, rather than technical, in its nature. However, we argue in this paper that even psychological and technical explanations are incomplete. We examine range anxiety through Hirschman{\textquoteright}s Rhetoric of Reaction, which supposes that conservative forces may oppose change by propagating theses related to jeopardy, perversity, and futility. To do so, we use three qualitative methods to understand the role of range anxiety triangulated via a variety of perspectives: 227 semi-structured interviews with experts at 201 institutions, a survey with nearly 5000 respondents, and 8 focus groups, all across 17 cities in the five Nordic countries. We find evidence where consumers and experts use and perpetuate the rhetoric of reaction, particularly the jeopardy thesis. We conclude with a reexamination of the policies geared to assuage range-based barriers, which a construction of range anxiety as a rhetorical excuse would render as ineffective or inefficient, as well as future implications for diffusion theory.",
keywords = "Electric vehicles, Range anxiety, Reactionary rhetoric, Diffusion of innovation",
author = "Lance Noel and {Zarazua de Rubens}, Gerardo and Benjamin Sovacool and Johannes Kester",
year = "2019",
month = feb,
doi = "10.1016/j.erss.2018.10.001",
language = "English",
volume = "48",
pages = "96--107",
journal = "Energy Research & Social Science",
issn = "2214-6296",
publisher = "Elsevier",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Fear and loathing of electric vehicles: The reactionary rhetoric of range anxiety

AU - Noel, Lance

AU - Zarazua de Rubens, Gerardo

AU - Sovacool, Benjamin

AU - Kester, Johannes

PY - 2019/2

Y1 - 2019/2

N2 - “Range anxiety,” defined as the psychological anxiety a consumer experiences in response to the limited range of an electric vehicle, continues to be labelled and presented as one of the most pressing barriers to their mainstream diffusion. As a result, academia, policymakers and even industry have focused on addressing the range anxiety barrier in order to accelerate adoption. Much literature recognizes that range anxiety is increasingly psychological, rather than technical, in its nature. However, we argue in this paper that even psychological and technical explanations are incomplete. We examine range anxiety through Hirschman’s Rhetoric of Reaction, which supposes that conservative forces may oppose change by propagating theses related to jeopardy, perversity, and futility. To do so, we use three qualitative methods to understand the role of range anxiety triangulated via a variety of perspectives: 227 semi-structured interviews with experts at 201 institutions, a survey with nearly 5000 respondents, and 8 focus groups, all across 17 cities in the five Nordic countries. We find evidence where consumers and experts use and perpetuate the rhetoric of reaction, particularly the jeopardy thesis. We conclude with a reexamination of the policies geared to assuage range-based barriers, which a construction of range anxiety as a rhetorical excuse would render as ineffective or inefficient, as well as future implications for diffusion theory.

AB - “Range anxiety,” defined as the psychological anxiety a consumer experiences in response to the limited range of an electric vehicle, continues to be labelled and presented as one of the most pressing barriers to their mainstream diffusion. As a result, academia, policymakers and even industry have focused on addressing the range anxiety barrier in order to accelerate adoption. Much literature recognizes that range anxiety is increasingly psychological, rather than technical, in its nature. However, we argue in this paper that even psychological and technical explanations are incomplete. We examine range anxiety through Hirschman’s Rhetoric of Reaction, which supposes that conservative forces may oppose change by propagating theses related to jeopardy, perversity, and futility. To do so, we use three qualitative methods to understand the role of range anxiety triangulated via a variety of perspectives: 227 semi-structured interviews with experts at 201 institutions, a survey with nearly 5000 respondents, and 8 focus groups, all across 17 cities in the five Nordic countries. We find evidence where consumers and experts use and perpetuate the rhetoric of reaction, particularly the jeopardy thesis. We conclude with a reexamination of the policies geared to assuage range-based barriers, which a construction of range anxiety as a rhetorical excuse would render as ineffective or inefficient, as well as future implications for diffusion theory.

KW - Electric vehicles

KW - Range anxiety

KW - Reactionary rhetoric

KW - Diffusion of innovation

U2 - 10.1016/j.erss.2018.10.001

DO - 10.1016/j.erss.2018.10.001

M3 - Journal article

VL - 48

SP - 96

EP - 107

JO - Energy Research & Social Science

JF - Energy Research & Social Science

SN - 2214-6296

ER -