Modelling electric vehicle usage intentions: An empirical study in Malaysia

Yew Ngin Sang, Hussain A. Bekhet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

92 Citations (Scopus)


In the new global economy, carbon emission has become an important worldwide issue. One key reason for this is the magnification of the transport sector, as millions of gasoline-based vehicles are plying on roads producing carbon emission throughout day and night. In order to impede these vulnerabilities and promote a more sustainable economy, one solution is to switch from gasoline-based vehicles to using green technology vehicles. There is growing agreement that electrification and the ability to 'decarbonize' this sector seems to be significant, as it helps to mitigate the high reliance on fossil fuels and reduce carbon emissions. The introduction of electric vehicles has led the automotive industry to a whole new echelon, one with zero fuel dependency and increased fuel efficiency. While the usage of greener and cleaner vehicles, such as electric vehicles, is well supported with government policies and programmes, it is surprising that little information is divulged about the public acceptance of electric vehicles from the social perspective. Public acceptance and diffusion of this new green technology is relatively fresh and unknown in Malaysia. In fact, public acceptance can appear as a prevailing obstacle for market diffusion and encumber the development of technology adoption. The rationale of this paper is to conduct an exploration to determine the key predictors affecting the usage of electric vehicles acceptance in Malaysia. Malaysia has been referred to here, as electric vehicles are just being introduced as one of the initiatives to encourage a low fossil carbon technology within the transportation sector. More specifically, an empirical study using a survey questionnaire was distributed to 1000 private vehicle drivers in Malaysia. An electric vehicle usage model was proposed based on a literature review and a multiple regression model. The results demonstrated that electric vehicles acceptance in Malaysia can be explained as being significantly related to social influences, performance attributes, financial benefits, environmental concerns, demographics, infrastructure readiness and government interventions. In addition, the study offers a valuable wealth of information on the public acceptance of automotive players planning to market electric vehicles in Malaysia. It also offers sensible guidelines for the formulation of marketing strategies that will address the real wants and needs of future electric vehicles users. In the meanwhile, policy-makers should concentrate on the appropriate intervention and policy to encourage the development of electric vehicles as part of the strategy towards a transition to a low carbon society in Malaysia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-83
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Publication statusPublished - 01 Apr 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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