Faculty Advisor

Richard D. Sisson

Faculty Advisor

Joseph Sarkis

Faculty Advisor

Sharon A. Johnson

Faculty Advisor

Adrienne Hall-Phillips

Faculty Advisor

Amy Z. Zeng


"To satisfy the global energy demand while accommodating the rapidly increasing consumption rate in its domestic market, Saudi Arabia must develop and implement fuel efficiency programs in many sectors. Since transportation is a major contributor to fuel consumption and emission levels, introducing Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEV) provides a viable solution to mitigate the current problems. However, existing studies on the diffusion of innovative vehicle technologies as well as on the understanding of the vehicle ownership and consumer behavior in Saudi Arabia are sparse. To fill this knowledge gap, I have aimed at developing an in-depth knowledgebase about general vehicle ownership and HEV ownership potential in particular for Saudi Arabia in my dissertation. I have achieved the research goal through a comprehensive online questionnaire that contains three different perspectives with each contributing a chapter in my dissertation. The first perspective provides a general understanding of the vehicle owners’ behaviors by analyzing over 600 questionnaire responses. It sheds light on the vehicle ownership determinants of the respondents that currently own vehicles as well as on respondents’ future vehicle purchase plans. This research perspective reveals the importance of vehicle price and seating capacity and points out that seating capacity is not necessarily defined by the household size in Saudi Arabia. As HEV is not yet available in the Saudi market, the next perspective applies the Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA) by analyzing 847 questionnaire responses to identify factors that might drive Saudis’ intention to adopt such technology. The results indicate that, while both subjective norm and attitude are significant in explaining the intention, subjective norm has three times stronger effect on adopting HEV than attitude. The last perspective contains a three-stage analysis to help identify the profiles of the most potential HEV early adopters and increase the chance for the relevant stakeholders to reach out to an effective range of consumers. Three characteristics of such adopters are identified: at least 35 years old, part of a larger household (more than 6 people), and owning more than one vehicle. "


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Degree Name



Manufacturing Engineering

Project Type


Date Accepted





SAUDI ARABIA, Clustering Analysis, Structural equation modeling (SEM), HYBRID ELECTRIC VEHICLES