Total cost of ownership of electric cars as a tool for the public
Sammanfattning: Sustainability and the role of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) in the shift to more sustainable transportation are gaining more and more attention in society today. However, only 4.3% of new passenger car registrations in Sweden were BEVs in 2019. High purchase prices are considered a major barrier to BEV purchases. But the purchase price alone does not reflect what the consumer pays for owning a vehicle. Previous research shows that BEVs could be cheaper compared to conventional vehicles such as internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEVs) from a Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) perspective. Lack of knowledge about TCO can lead to uneconomical purchase decisions. Moreover, lower adoption rates of BEVs, although BEVs can be more cost-effective and better for the environment in the long run. This paper reports on an exploratory research process including the development and user study of a TCO tool aimed for the public. The purpose is to better understand how a TCO tool influences peoples’ inclination towards purchasing a BEV. Based on an iterative design process, a web application was developed to help car consumers calculate and visualize TCO of new passenger cars. The web application was then used in a user study consisting of think-aloud evaluations and semi-structured interviews with car consumers about the prototype. The conclusion point towards an interesting direction for a TCO tool moving forward. This study suggests that a TCO tool can make users aware of the cost benefits of owning a BEV. However, more research is needed to understand if this realisation is enough to have an effect on BEV purchases.
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