Research: identifying key motives for the adoption of electric vans

The large-scale diffusion of low-emission vehicles is required to increase the sustainability of the transport system. Statistics show strong and continued growth in the sales of electric and other low-emission vehicles in the passenger car market. The light commercial vehicles market, however, has thus far been a different story. A barrier to widespread adoption seems to be range limitations and a limited number of e-van models, which leads to uncertainty about usability.

Despite the fact that vans and other utility vehicles constitute an increasing share of total road traffic and emissions. A study by Denstadli and Julsrud (2019) investigated the potential for increasing the adoption of electric vans (e-vans) among small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Data gathered in a web survey of 264 SME managers show that 25% of the managers expressed intentions to adopt e-vans within the next two years and another 27% within the next five years. Results from logistic regressions show that a combination of attributes related to the vehicle, the firm and the firm-environment relationships drives adoption intentions. Costs and vehicle reliability are typically important drivers of commercial vehicle purchases. E-vans, however, bring symbolic features into the decision process since they are seen as a measure to improve the green legitimacy of the enterprise.

Various measures relevant to manufacturers/dealers and policymakers to stimulate the adoption of e-vans are discussed in the paper.

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Source: Denstadli and Julsrud (2019) in Sustainability

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