The electric car charging market in Latvia: Business recommendations for new players in the market

Patricija Aurylaitė, Ricardo Fontes Correia

Abstract


Purpose: This study aims to understand the Latvian electric car owner’s charging behaviour, needs, and preferences in order to develop business recommendations for new players in the market to successfully market their services in this Baltic country.

Methodology: There is very little to no research about electric car charging and electric car owner behaviour in Latvia. Hence, due to its exploratory qualities, the qualitative research method was chosen. The data collection method was selected to be semi-structured interviews conducted between 8 and 16 November 2021 with 10 electric car owners in Latvia. Content analysis was applied to extract and organize the interview's main insights.

Results: The research gave diverse insights about Latvian electric car owners, their charging behaviour, needs, and preferences:

- Most Latvian electric car owners bought an electric car because of the financial aspect, thus, when making such decisions, they do not only look at the short-term benefits but also assess the long-term effects.

- Electric car owners in Latvia charge their cars through a home socket, a home wallbox, or fast public chargers.

- During the research it was evident that the Latvian market is still relatively uneducated about electric car charging, which was concluded from the still-existent myths and unawareness of the risks involved with charging an EV through a home socket, as well as unawareness of the possibility to install a wallbox near an apartment building.

- Electric car owners, who did not have a charging station, said that they either did not have a possibility to install it or did not have a need for such a device. However, most of them were willing to buy a charging station in the future if they moved to a house, drove longer distances daily, or bought an electric car with a bigger battery.

- Recommendations play a huge role in the Latvian EV owners’ community.

- When it comes to choosing a specific charging station company, pricing is important for Latvian EV owners, as well as the flexibility of the company, customer-centric approach, and all-in-one service.

Research limitations: The main limitation is related to the number of interviews that were conducted: 10. Although qualitative research values more depth analysis than quantity, it could still benefit from having more respondents. The search for interviewees, as well as the interviews themselves, were made in English. Some people might have not responded just because they were not confident in their English skills for an interview. For further research, it is suggested to approach people, as well as conduct the research in a language that the respondents are most comfortable with.

Originality: The research about electric car charging and electric car owner behaviour in Latvia is nearly none or none. In fact, as far as we know this is the first study intended to characterize the electric car charging market in Latvia so this research provides an important information input to the market in Latvia.

Keywords: Electric car charging, Charging station, Latvian market, Marketing Strategy, Electronic


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References


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