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Electric car drivers tend to be rich, city-dwelling men?

Posting in Cities

Can new research tell us why some people are driven to buy electric vehicles?

Norway's Institute of Transport Economics released a new study (.pdf) in order to shed light on which consumer segment is most interested in buying an electric vehicle (EV). The results suggested that buyers were most likely between 30-50 years, male, city dwelling and have a high educational standard and income.

The researchers found that the EV is mainly used as a complement to another car and sometimes to replace trips usually undertaken on public transport.

You can imagine it. The need for another car as children grow up and parents have a new role as chauffeur is common. If you live in a country like Norway where there are plenty of incentives to choose an electric option, and if you can afford a second car, you'll pick the one that hits your bank balance the least.

In Norway, if you use an EV, there is free parking, driving in bus lanes, free driving in toll roads, no value added tax, reduced yearly vehicle tax and reduced tax on company cars. These kinds of governmental policies and incentives may be crucial to promoting the widespread adoption of EV or hybrid cars, and appears to be working in Norway where the Nissan Leaf was the second best selling car last month.

However, it's unlikely that every commuter in Norway is going to go fully electric. Range anxiety, poorly-maintained or inaccessible charging terminals and a general distrust of the technology prevent many drivers from considering either EVs or hybrid models.

Read More: Skift

Image credit: Nissan

— By on May 14, 2013, 8:42 AM PST

Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure