What does community and social media use look like among early PEV drivers? Exploring how drivers build an online resource through community relations and social media tools

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review



Multi-way social interactions among individuals, businesses, governments, and other actors are increasingly mediated by communication technologies: we take this to be "social media". This paper presents the results of 28 in-depth interviews with household plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) drivers in San Diego, California. The interviews elicited descriptions of social interactions between PEV drivers and between PEV and non-PEV drivers via social media and face-to-face interactions. A subset of PEV drivers used social media to facilitate interpersonal interactions and reflect face-to-face interactions to a larger, if overlapping, subset. Social media are serving as the platform upon which some early PEV buyers are building an information resource for both their own use the use of potential future PEV buyers. Whether that information base constitutes a community informs the discussion of the social processes at work in the possible diffusion of information regarding PEVs from earlier to later buyers.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-134
Number of pages10
JournalTransportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment
Early online date20 Oct 2014
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014


  • Community, Computer-mediated communication, Consumer behavior, Plug-in electric vehicles, Social media, Social networks