The Ministry surveyed the Household Travel Survey panel on attitudes to transport technologies such as electric vehicles and autonomous vehicles in November 2016 and November 2017. In both cases, the Ministry sponsored a University of Otago summer student to analyse and report on the survey results.

Key findings:

The questions covered awareness, knowledge, attractiveness and use of new transport technologies including electric cars, hybrid cars and electric bicycles and autonomous vehicles (described in the questions as ‘self driving cars’). There was little change from the same survey conducted in 2016.

  • The majority of subjects were aware of the transport technologies discussed.
  • Electric vehicles were around the midpoint on the scale when it came to knowledge, and self-driving cars were below it.
  • For attractiveness, electric vehicles were above the midpoint and self-driving cars were below it.
  • Cost was cited as the main concern surrounding electric vehicle adoption and safety as the most important factor in self-driving car adoption.
  • Usage rates of these technologies were low, although electric car usage had increased since the last survey.