This paper explores the double diffusion of an electric vehicle Product Service System (PSS). The research is based on a case study of a use orientated PSS run by UK-based e-car club.
The double diffusion involves consumers being confronted with electric vehicles (EV) – a technical innovation, accessed through a car club – a PSS sociotechnical innovation. The paper explores the intertwining of these two innovations.
Using Practice Theory, the paper concentrates on meanings that users associate, or find lacking, in performing automobility through an EV car club. For an EV mobility PSS to diffuse, it is necessary to disassociate it from meanings of poor availability, range anxiety and concern about location of charging facilities and associate it with positive meanings of freedom, thrift, altruism and environmental protection. The offer of additional service through links with mobile phone apps could facilitate diffusion. These meanings appear to have stronger resonance among certain segments of car users than others, which suggest that insights offered by Practice Theory need to be complemented by other research perspectives to explore characteristics of individual users.
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