Why so few EVs are in Kuwait and how to amend it

  • Abstract
  • Keywords
  • References
  • PDF
  • Abstract

    The automotive industry is at a crossroad. Electric Vehicles (EV) now pose an existential threat to the Internal Combustion Engine (ICE). In some Northern European nations over 50% of new cars sold are EVs, owing in large part to substantial financial incentives to buy and own an EV, such as tax discounts when purchasing an EV, fuel savings, and preferential use of transportation infrastructure. These countries have pledged to cease all imports of non-EVs by 2035. On the other end of the spectrum are Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, where EVs account for less than 1 percent of vehicles on the road, due in large part to financial and non-financial impediments to buying and owning an EV. In addition, the price per kilometer driven in the GCC is considerably lower with gasoline than with electricity, which contradicts the European experience where cost savings from electricity versus gasoline can be around 8 to 1. Furthermore, as there is an absence of purchase and ownership/utilization taxation of vehicles in the GCC, no tax discount can be levied, in contrast to the EV tax incentives common in Europe. This paper explores which qualities of driving and owning an EV in the GCC are necessary to persuade certain kinds of new automobile consumers to pay a higher purchasing price for owning an EV as opposed to an ICE, in spite of higher costs for electricity compared to gasoline per kilometer driven. This pilot study attempts to provide an insight to new car purchasing behavior among consumers in Kuwait via a qualitative innovative approach known as ‘Q Methodology’. Interestingly, the factors that emerged from the research represent three subjective perspectives of new car purchase in Kuwait which were labeled as Factor 1, ‘Value Seeker’; Factor 2, ‘Safety Seeker’; and Factor 3, ‘Performance Seeker’. The study concludes that given financial constraints, the ‘Value Seeker’ group is not likely to become an early adopter of EVs in the GCC region. Conversely, the ‘Performance Seeker’, which includes mainly younger men who are more likely to view the fast acceleration of EVs as a deciding factor, and the ‘Safety Seekers’, who are mainly younger women who would value the environmental aspects of EVs as well as the quiet driving experience and low maintenance requirements are determining factors for EV adoption in the GCC region in the future.



  • Keywords

    Decision-Making-Process; Q method; Consumer Behavior; Kuwait; Electric Vehicle

  • References

      [1] Aldaihani, H. and Matar, H (2020). Carbon Footprint of the Kuwaiti Public Road Transport Industry, American Journal of Applied Sciences [online], 17(1), pp. 240-245. https://doi.org/10.3844/ajassp.2020.240.245.

      [2] Available from: https://www.arabnews.com/node/1854431/business-economy [Accessed 2 August 2021].

      [3] Bahhouth, V., Ziemnowicz, C. and Zgheib, Y. (2012). Effect of Culture and Traditions on Consumer Behavior in Kuwait, International Journal of Business, Marketing, and Decision Sciences [Online], 5(2), pp.1-11

      [4] Cornell, B. (2020). Making Sense of Tesla's Run-up. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3857786. https://doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3857786.

      [5] Boloor, M., 2021. Electric Vehicles 101. [online] NRDC. Available at: <https://www.nrdc.org/experts/madhur-boloor/electric-vehicles-101> [Accessed 2 September 2021].

      [6] Bridi, R.M, and Naeema, H. (2020). An analysis of potential adopter attitudes regarding electric vehicles: the case of university students in the United Arab Emirates. Acta Universitatis Carolinae Geographica. 55(1), pp. 38-48. https://doi.org/10.14712/23361980.2020.4.

      [7] Brown, S. R. (1993) “A primer of Q methodology.” Operant Subjectivity, 16(3/4), pp.91-138.

      [8] Bühler, F., Cocron, P., Neumann, I., Franke, T. and Krems, J. F. (2014). Is EV experience related to EV acceptance? Results from a German field study. Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour 2(5), pp. 34–49. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.trf.2014.05.002.

      [9] Carley, S., Siddiki, S. and Nicholson-Crotty, S. (2019). Evolution of plug-in electric vehicle demand: Assessing consumer perceptions and intent to purchase over time, Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment, 70 (10) pp. 94–111. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.trd.2019.04.002.

      [10] Calvert, G.A. and Brammer M. J. (2012), Predicting Consumer Behavior: Using Novel Mind-Reading Approaches, IEEE Pulse, 3(3), pp.38-41. https://doi.org/10.1109/MPUL.2012.2189167.

      [11] Coffman, M., Bernstein, P. and Wee, S. (2017). Electric vehicles revisited: a review of factors that affect adoption, Transport Reviews, 37(1), pp. 79-93. https://doi.org/10.1080/01441647.2016.1217282.

      [12] Cottle, C. and McKeown, B. (1980). The Forced- Free Distinction in Q-Technique: A Note on Unused Categories in the Q Sort Continuum, Operant subjectivity, 3(1), pp.58-63

      [13] Dannenberg, J., and Burgard, J. (2007). Cars That People Want to Buy. Oliver Wyman Journal. Available from:http://www.oliverwyman.com/ow/pdf_files/OWJ-CarsPeopleWanttoBuy.pdf

      [14] Dhanabalan, T., Subha, K., Shanthi R. Sathish A. (2018), Factors Influencing Consumers’ Car Purchasing Decision in Indian Automobile Industry. International Journal of Mechanical Engineering and Technology (IJMET) [online], 9(10), pp. 53–63. Available from:http://www.iaeme.com/ijmet/issues.asp?JType=IJMET&VType=9&IType=10

      [15] Giris, M., and Ramadan, M. (2018), Status of SMEs in the GCC: Policies, Institutions and the Way Forward: Small and Medium Enterprises in Kuwait Report: Their Impact and the Way Forward, Private sector development (PSD) program Techn-Economics Division (TED) Science and Technology Sector (STS), Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR), Safat-Kuwait, Volume IV, TE015C.

      [16] Hafzi, M., Aqbal Hafeez, M.I., Zulhaidi M.J. and Khairil Anwar, A.K. (2012). Purchasing Behavior and Perception on Safety among Car Drivers: A Study in Klang Valley. Proceedings of the Technology Science, Social Sciences and Humanities International Conference, pp. 1-12

      [17] Hafzi, M., Zulhaidi, M.I., Khairudin, M.J., Noradrenalina, R., Nor Fadilah I., Khairil. and Anwar A.K. (2014). Consumers Purchasing Decision and Car Safety Rating: with Respect to ASEAN NCAP. Proceedings of the Asian Conference on Psychology and the Behavioral Sciences, pp. 408-419

      [18] Harrabin, R., 2021. Electric car emissions myth 'busted'. [online] BBC News. Available at: <https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-51977625> [Accessed 14 August 2021].

      [19] Haustein, S. and Jensen, A. F. (2018). Factors of electric vehicle adoption: A comparison of conventional and electric car users based on an extended theory of planned behaviour. International Journal of Sustainable Transportation, 12(7), pp. 484–496. https://doi.org/10.1080/15568318.2017.1398790.

      [20] Hung, N. J., Yazdanifard, R. (2015). The Study of Vehicle Safety Aspects Influencing Malaysian Urban Consumer Car Purchasing Behaviour. International Journal of Management, Accounting and Economics, 2(8), pp. 913-924.

      [21] Ilyukhin, N. N., Semenchenko, K. S. (2020). Tesla Car of the Future. Conference Proceedings VII All Russian Student Scientific Conference with International participation. Omsk State Transportation University

      [22] Jeihani, M. and Sibdari, S. 2010. Journal of Economics and Economic Education Research [online] 11(2), p.10. Available at: <https://www.alliedacademies.org/articles/the-impact-of-gas-price-trends-on-vehicle-type-choice.pdf > [Accessed 2 May 2021].

      [23] Kassim, K., Isa, M., Ahmad, Y., Osman, I., and Arokiasamy, L. (2016). Consumer Behavior towards Safer Car purchasing Decisions. Journal of Engineering and Science, 48(3), pp.359-366 https://doi.org/10.5614/j.eng.technol.sci.2016.48.3.9.

      [24] Khalifa, R., and Maliki, S., (2014). Decision-making factors for purchasing a new car in Algeria: A Descriptive Analysis. International Journal for Innovation Education and Research, 2(1), pp.144-155 https://doi.org/10.31686/ijier.vol2.iss11.276.

      [25] Khandakar, A., Rizqullah, A., Berbar, A.A.A, Ahmed, M.R., Iqbal, A., Chowdhury M.E.H. and Uz Zaman S.M.A. (2020). A Case Study to Identify the Hindrances to Widespread Adoption of Electric Vehicles in Qatar. Energies, 13(15), p. 3994 https://doi.org/10.3390/en13153994.

      [26] Kim, S., Lee, J., and Lee, C., (2017). Does driving range of electric vehicles influence electric vehicle adoption? Sustainability Journal, 9(10), p.1783. https://doi.org/10.3390/su9101783.

      [27] Knobloch, F., Hanssen, S., Lam, A. et al. (2020) Net emission reductions from electric cars and heat pumps in 59 world regions over time. Nature Sustainability, 3(1), pp. 437–447. Available from: [accessed 12 August 2021]. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41893-020-0488-7.

      [28] Koppel, S., Charlton, J., Fildes, B. and Fitzharris, M. (2008). How important is vehicle safety in the new vehicle purchase process? Accident Analysis & Prevention, 40(3), pp.994-1004.Available from: [accessed 12 August 2021]. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aap.2007.11.006.

      [29] Kumar, G.R. (2014). Purchase decision of Indian consumers: The factors of attraction while purchasing a car. Studies in Business and Economics, 9(3), pp. 29-42 https://doi.org/10.1007/978-81-322-1545-5.

      [30] Mofa.gov.kw. 2021. Kuwait Vision 2035 "New Kuwait" - Ministry of Foreign Affair. [online] Available at: <https://www.mofa.gov.kw/en/kuwait-state/kuwait-vision-2035/> [Accessed 11 August 2021].

      [31] Lee, T.W. and Govindan, S., (2014). Emerging Issues in Car Purchasing Decision, Academic Research International, 5(5), pp. 169-179.

      [32] Ljung, S., 2017. Difference in Driving Preferences between Men and Women. [online] Stockholm, Sweden, p.1. Available at: <https://kth.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:1119939/FULLTEXT01.pdf

      [33] Milev, G., Hastings, A., and Al-Habaibeh, A. (2019). Investigating The Effect of Expanding The Use of Electric Cars On The Environment: A Case Study From Scotland. Paper presented at The International Conference on Energy and Sustainable Futures (ICESF) 2019, Nottingham, United Kingdom.

      [34] Nayeem, T. (2021). Cultural Influences on Consumer Behaviour. International Journal of Business and Management [online], 7(21), p.78. Available from: <https://researchbank.swinburne.edu.au/file/ea831ea4-f4f1-4385-8197-27659f08e15e/1/PDF%20%28Published%20version%29.pdf> [Accessed 2 May 2021].

      [35] Olver-Ellis, S., 2021. A New Vision for Kuwait. [online] Middle East Centre. Available at: <https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/mec/2019/01/08/a-new-vision-for-kuwait/> [Accessed 3 August 2021].

      [36] Ottesen, A. and Banna, S. (2018). “Early Adopter Nation for Electric Vehicles: The Case of Iceland” in Gulf Conference on Sustainable Built Environment edited by Bumajad et.al, Springer Nature Switzerland AG

      [37] Raghu, G., (2013). Car Market and Consumer Behaviour - A Study of Consumer Perception SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2328620. https://doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2328620.

      [38] Reuters. 2021. Kuwait's 2020-21 budget deficit increases 175% to record 10.8 bln dinars. [online] Available at: <https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/kuwaits-2020-21-budget-deficit-increases-175-108-bln-dinars-2021-08-07/> [Accessed 3 September 2021].

      [39] Sgouridis, S., Helmers, E. and Al Hadhrami, M. (2018) Light-duty electric vehicles in the gulf? Techno-economic assessment and policy implications. International Journal of Sustainable Transportation, 12(2), pp. 92–106. https://doi.org/10.1080/15568318.2017.1332256.

      [40] Shende, V. (2014), Analysis of Research in Consumer Behavior of Automobile Passenger Car Customer, International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications, 4(2), pp.1-8

      [41] Soltani-Sobh, A., Heaslip, K., Stevanovic, A., Bosworth, R. and Radivojevic, D (2017) Analysis of the electric vehicle’s adoption over the United States. Transportation Research Procedia, 22(1), pp. 203–212. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.trpro.2017.03.027.

      [42] Stephenson, W. (1953). The Study of Behavior: Q Technique and its Methodology. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

      [43] Stephenson, W. (1935). Technique of factor analysis. Nature, 136, 297. https://doi.org/10.1038/136297b0.

      [44] Temple, J., (2021). Lithium-metal batteries for electric vehicles MIT Technology Review [online], Available at: <https://www.technologyreview.com/2021/02/24/1018102/lithium-metal-batteries-electric-vehicle-car/> [Accessed 2 May 2021].

      [45] Unger, B., (2020). Electric vehicles show potential in the UAE: The uptake of electric vehicles will lead to integration between the country's transport and electricity sectors. MEED Business Review, 5(3), pp. 34-35.

      [46] Vilchez, J., Harrison, G., Kelleher, L., Smyth, A. and Thiel, C. (2019). Quantifying the factors influencing people’s car type choices in Europe. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union, p.18. Available from: <https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/en/publication/eur-scientific-and-technical-research-reports/quantifying-factors-influencing-people-s-car-type-choices-europe-results-stated-preference

      [47] White, L. V., Sintov, N. D. (2017). You are what you drive: Environmentalist and social innovator symbolism drives electric vehicle adoption intentions. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 99(1), pp. 94-113. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tra.2017.03.008.




Article ID: 31754
DOI: 10.14419/ijet.v10i2.31754

Copyright © 2012-2015 Science Publishing Corporation Inc. All rights reserved.