Is the environment-friendly factor attractive to customers when purchasing electric vehicles? Evidence from South Korea

Yujin Beak, Kayoung Kim, Kyuho Maeng, Youngsang Cho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


In a bid to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, several countries worldwide are implementing policies to promote electric vehicles (EVs). However, contrary to expectations, the diffusion speed of EVs has been rather slow in South Korea. This study analyzes consumer preferences for the technological and environmental attributes of EVs and derives policy and environmental implications to promote market diffusion of EVs in South Korea. We conduct a choice-based conjoint survey of 1,008 consumers in South Korea and estimate the consumer utility function using a mixed logit model considering consumer heterogeneity. Based on the consumer utility function, we analyze consumers' willingness-to-pay (WTP) for EV attributes such as driving range, charging method, charging time, autonomous driving function, carbon dioxide (CO2) reduction rate, and purchase price. The results indicate that the current low acceptance of EVs is due to their relatively high price and lack of a battery charging technology that satisfies consumers' expectations of the charging method and time. One interesting finding is that Korean consumers have a relatively higher WTP for the CO2 reduction rate of EVs than consumers in other countries; however, they do not consider CO2 reduction over other technological attributes when choosing EVs. This implies that the rate of CO2 reduction of EVs is not an important factor for South Korean consumers when buying EVs. We also calculate the effect of CO2 reduction with the market penetration of EVs and find that CO2 reduction through the diffusion of EVs depends on the country's electricity generation mix.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)996-1006
Number of pages11
JournalBusiness Strategy and the Environment
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Mar 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work has supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korean government (MSIT; No. NRF‐2016R1A2B4009990).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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