The experts will explore who will buy electric vehicles
The potential market for electric vehicles is to be examined by experts from the University of Aberdeen.
The UK is on the verge of a major push to become a leading player in the development of electric motoring.
Funding from the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) has been awarded to the university's Centre for Transport Research to explore the way forward.
Costs and potential motorist concerns about the technology will be among the issues being examined.
The experts will explore who will buy and use these types of vehicles.
The outcome of the study will be used for an ETI evaluation of consumer attitudes.
The news comes the day after Nissan announced it is to build its new electric car - the Leaf - at its Sunderland plant.
Hundreds of jobs are expected to be safeguarded once production begins in 2013 - part of a £420m investment in electric cars.
Dr Jillian Anable, who is leading the Aberdeen study, said: "Identifying the key factors which will influence consumers to purchase electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles will be crucial to successfully rolling out the concept to the wider market.
"Our research will focus on building a profile of the types of people who would buy this kind of vehicle - from their attitudes, through to their age groups and whether they live rurally or in the city.
"We also need to understand whether people might use these vehicles differently to the ones they own now."
She added: "The practicalities of using an electric vehicle will be explored looking at, for example, how long people are willing to wait for the vehicle to charge and whether they are most likely to charge them at home, at the supermarket or at work.
"We hope our research - which will take place throughout the UK - will identify the type of person who may become an early or future adopter of the technology."