Drivers of environmentally-friendly technology adoption : electric vehicle and residential solar PV adoption in California
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The use of electric vehicles (EVs) and residential solar photovoltaic (PV) panels is expected to play a role in stabilizing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere within an acceptable range, to mitigate detrimental climate change impacts. This thesis uses two uniquely rich datasets from the EV and residential solar PV market in California to study the demographic, motivational, social and informational influences on technology adoption decision-making. Rogers’ diffusion of innovations theory and the theory of planned behavior (TPB) are extensively used to contextualize the findings. Several findings aligned with Rogers’ generalizations regarding communication channels and characteristics of earlier adopters, and the increasing role of interpersonal communication channels signaled a shift to the early majority. Strong support was also found for the theory of planned behavior through the identification of the role of personal norms, subjective norms, attitude, and perceived behavioral control on intention and, ultimately, behavior. Information channels used by the EV cohort suggest a possible departure from TPB through the role of habitual behavior and attitudinal formation.
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