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Moving Towards Electrification of Workers’ Transportation: Identifying Key Motives for the Adoption of Electric Vans

Jon Martin Denstadli, Tom Erik Julsrud

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 commercial market, however, has thus far been a different story, despite the fact that vans and other utility vehicles constitute an increasing share of total road traffic and emissions. The present study investigates 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 policy makers to stimulate the adoption of e-vans are discussed.

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