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Factors Affecting Hybrid Car Purchase Intention in Malaysia

Autor:   •  June 27, 2017  •  Case Study  •  7,386 Words (30 Pages)  •  245 Views

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1. Introduction

The expansions of road network are hardly in pace with the increasing fleet of vehicles on road and it inevitably accompanied with environmental issues. Hybrid car is views as an entry level solution for private transporter to reduce their carbon footprint without sacrifice their driving behaviour. By modifying the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB), this study use psychological factors to identify the significant predictors to contribute to the purchase intention of hybrid car.

1. Environmental Issues

For the past three decades, the overall situation of earth has undergone transitional changes: extinction of flora and fauna, destruction of ozone layer, and loss of agricultural land. Human activities can have global environmental effects in two ways: i. alter system that flow throughout the earth, such as ocean or atmosphere; ii. localized change can become global cumulatively (e.g. local deforestation can cause the extinction of rare species animal) (P.C. Stern, 1992). In order to curb these environmental problems that happen at exponential rate, people are highly relied on the advancement of technology innovations (e.g. alternative fuel vehicles, energy efficient electrical appliances) rather than a swift in their purchasing behaviour or lifestyle to preserve the balance of ecosystem (Mainieri, Barnett, Valdero, Unipan, & Oskamp, 1997)

The remarkable contribution of technology innovations muted by the aggregate pollution activities carried out by human being. All the efforts taken by government advances to curb the climate change will be doomed to failure unless individuals get back to the basic lifestyle (e.g. borrowing books from library instead of buying them; growing food in the community gardens) (Assadourian, 2010). An immediate shift in lifestyle is impossible and sustainable lifestyle will experiencing gradual process to be formed (Gilg, Barr, & Ford, 2005). From the green knowledge contributed by previous researchers, the cumulative efforts derived from the consumers through environmentally friendly behaviours, such as public transportation ridership, carpooling, recycling, adoption of energy efficient electrical appliances, and others can effectively address the rising issues that reside within the development path of a country. However, the lack of commitment of consumers in the environmentally friendly behaviour distracted the progress of environmental protection.

As the air pollution is generally raised due to the over obsession of private transportation, there are increasing concerns to reduce the greenhouse gases emission derived from the motor vehicles (EPA, 2013). High dependency and the extensive use of private car outpaced technology advancement (e.g. catalytic converter, fuel efficiency engine) in the effort on the reduction of greenhouse gas effect. The increasing congestion on urban traffic brought a substantial effect on the social environment. The finite resources like petroleum and natural gas are unlikely to cope with the strong demand generated from the rising global vehicle volume.

Various government agencies and non-profit organisation have promoted the use of fuel efficiency and alternative fuelled vehicle (e.g. PHEV, hybrid vehicle, EV) to reduce the dependency on the finite raw resources like petroleum. In addition, as the technological revolution goes on, the car manufacturers are realizing the residue effect of car production and hope to cut down the emission of the greenhouse gas with the aid of the technology by placing the priority on green vehicle. This study adapted the Theory of Planned Behaviour with additional independent variable of “perceived value” and moderating variables of “household income”, “educational level”, and “age” to investigate the purchase intention of hybrid car among Malaysian.

1.1.2 Government’s Role in Environmental Protection

Equipped with tax, authority, and power, the citizens entrust their future on the Government to extract the power to maintain the intensity of the regulations to safeguard the environment (Ran, 2010). The influence of government in the effort of environmental protection is exceptional. Stavins (1998) highlighted the significant role of government in the environmental protection. In the modern business world, the intervention of government in the environmental issues is critical to govern the offenders and balance the cost of intervention. Moreover, Stavins (1998) addresses the concerns of the bias from the private sector on various effects such as transaction costs, income effects, and multi-party externalities are insufficient to safe guard the socially desirable level on environmental quality (Stavins, 1998).

For the duration of year 2006 – 2010, most developed countries significantly reduced their emission on carbon dioxide but the developing countries experienced a sharp increment in carbon dioxide emission (Rapier, 2012). Notably, China overtook United States as the largest global emitter of carbon dioxide (i.e. increment of twenty eight per cent or 1.8 billion metric tons) (Rapier, 2012). Apart from China, the two folded growth in Peru (49 per cent), India (40 per cent), Vietnam (37 per cent), Singapore (36 per cent) and Saudi Arabia (28 per cent) saw the inadequate efforts from respective governments to combat the greenhouse gases emission (Rapier, 2012).

For instance, China is showing a promising progress in the effort of environmental protection. To address the rising aggregate volume of vehicle on the road, the China Government took the initiative to rid the aging vehicle by providing various benefits to local motorist to encourage them to scrap their aging vehicles (Hong'e, 2011; Xin, 2012). By improving the subsidies from 2,500 CNY to 14,500 CNY, the Beijing city had eliminated 552,000 aging vehicle since the policy placed into force (Hong'e, 2011; Xin, 2012). Through the implementation of this policy, a number of 160,000 metric tons of pollutants was removed from the 458,000 aging vehicles (Xin, 2012). Another Asia powerhouse – India was considering to overhaul its public transportation system that is currently using the unsustainable and non-renewable energy sources (Timmons, 2008). It highlighted the importance to access to environment friendly technologies, especially in the area of energy, agriculture, manufacturing, and transportation (Timmons, 2008).

As the stricter rules and regulations imposed on European Union, car manufactures are obligated to comply with the rules and regulations in order to market their product in the European market. On December 17, 2008, the European Parliament


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