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Integrated charging infrastructure

Cognitive interviews to identify preferences in charging options

Daubitz, Stephan; Kawgan-Kagan, Ines

Purpose: The aim of this paper is to provide insight into how people assess different charging options in the context of electric mobility and how charging can be integrated into daily activities. The central research question concerns the acceptance of fast charging with direct current up to 200 kWh relative to alternative charging concepts such as inductive charging or battery changes as a part of mobility routines. Method: The Repertory Grid Technique uses cognitive interviews based on the Personal Construct Theory by George Kelly to motivate respondents to reflect electric mobility beyond the insights that regular interview forms can provide. 20 respondents from Berlin were asked about their subjective perceptions and emotions relating to electric mobility and to different charging options. Results: Charging processes are accepted when they appear to proceed subconsciously. That is, options are accepted when they are not perceived to result in trip interruptions or delays. Fuelling a vehicle with an internal combustion engine is mostly not considered as a trip interruption, and provides a benchmark to which all other charging options are compared. We identify the need to integrate charging options into existing mobility patterns, and provide evidence arguing against the need for a comprehensive charging infrastructure from a users’ perspective. Conclusions: The Repertory Grid technique provides a valuable tool for the exploration of perceptions of public and private charging infrastructure. By overcoming difficulties in reaching an underlying reality that are inherent to standard interviews, this technique may be useful in creating a shift towards a more sustainable mobility.
Published in: European Transport Research Review, 10.1007/s12544-015-0184-2, Springer