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Investigating barriers for electric vehicle deployment in commercial fleets
KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Chemical Engineering and Technology, Energy Processes.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1691-091X
Molde University College, Faculty of Business Administration and Social Sciences.
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Commercial vehicle fleets constitute for several reasons a favorable entry for plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) into the road transport system. During an extensive demonstration project, with 500 PEVs operating in 100 public and private enterprises, 40 battery electric vehicle (BEV) users were invited to focus group discussions. The focus groups allowed the users to discuss their actual experiences of operating BEVs and thereby provide a greater understanding of the operating conditions experienced by BEV users in different organisations. The findings complemented earlier data collected from the demonstration project and further explained the recorded driving and charging behaviour. The conditions to adopt the BEVs vary between the organisations. Given favourable conditions, users adopt and accept the technology. A uncommitted introduction implies an iterated learning process, which effect acceptance and users may deviate. Based on the discussions, this paper identifies organisational barriers, rather than traditional technical or economical barriers, which is of interest since they ultimately determine overall usage and influence user acceptance. The organisational barriers can be addressed by certain assistive measures to ensure an uptake and deployment. The paper contributes with new findings regarding implementation of BEVs in commercial vehicle fleets and provides an in- depth understanding of the operational barriers that public or private enterprises face when introducing BEVs in their vehicle fleets. 

National Category
Public Administration Studies Energy Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-173641OAI: diva2:854185

QS 2015

Available from: 2015-09-16 Created: 2015-09-16 Last updated: 2015-09-16Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Electric vehicles in action
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Electric vehicles in action
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis analyses the political and practical conditions for introducing electric vehicles in Swedish public authorites and discusses the potential for using electric vehicles in public transport and public fleets. The work has been carried out using an interdisciplinary research approach. Such an approach brings new insights to energy studies; the combination of technical methods and methods from social science allows the technology to be studied in its societal context.

Local self-government enables Swedish public authorities to implement local solutions in order to achieve national policy goals. However, the results show that for energy and transport policy a clear allocation of responsibilities between local and regional levels is lacking – and this clarity is also lacking between the different policy areas. The lack of policy integration implies a risk that local policy development can miss the mark when it comes to the overall policy goal. Furthermore, findings show that so-called policy entrepreneurs can succeed in putting electric vehicles on the political agenda, and they can enforce decisions and deploy the vehicles within the public bodies.

The usage of plug-in electric vehicles in public fleets has been studied using (among other sources) logbooks, interviews, questionnaires and focus groups. Findings demonstrate a great potential to introduce plug-in electric vehicles through fleets. Although the usage varied slightly during the year, and winter conditions implied a general reduction in use, the results show that the deployment strategy is a central factor for the extent of the vehicle usage. Vehicles that are assigned a certain user or a specific task show a high degree of utilisation. Even though plug-in electric vehicles available through car-pools have a large potential group of users, the options also implies that users can instead choose a conventional vehicle. However, interventions to increase usage have proven to be successful. Policy entrepreneurial actions attract new users and revising organisational regulations, i.e. vehicle or environmental policies, shapes new behaviours. In this study, fleet vehicle users have proven to be relative indifferent to which fuel or technology they use, but acceptance for operation failure is very low.

Based on a demonstration project of series hybrid buses in regular service, the possibility of increased electrification of public transport is discussed. The contribution of hybridisation is analysed through assessment of different types of driving conditions. Results show that significant improvements in energy efficiency can be achieved but, because actual and optimal driving conditions differ, there is a risk of overestimating the contribution.

Sweden has set very ambitious national targets for its road transport system, i.e. to be fossil-fuel independent by 2030, and electrification is an important measure in reaching this goal. Given the magnitude of the challenge, it is not only the responsible thing to do; findings also show several advantages of introducing electric vehicles in the public sector first. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2015. x, 71 p.
TRITA-CHE-Report, ISSN 1654-1081 ; 2015:50
electric vehicles, interdisciplinary approach, public fleets, public transport
National Category
Chemical Engineering
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-173647 (URN)978-91-7595-689-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-10-09, Kollegiesalen, Brinellvägen 8, KTH, Stockholm, 13:30 (English)
Swedish Energy Agency

QC 20150916

Available from: 2015-09-16 Created: 2015-09-16 Last updated: 2015-09-16Bibliographically approved

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