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Introducing plug-in electric vehicles in public authorities
KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Chemical Engineering and Technology, Energy Processes.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1691-091X
Linköping University, Department of Thematic Studies, Technology and Social Change.
Molde University College, Faculty of Business Administration and Social Sciences.
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Plug-in electric vehicles have the potential to contribute to a more energy-efficient and a less fossil dependent road transport system. Swedish local authorities are obligated through legislation to substitute fossil-fuelled vehicles and plug-in electric vehicles offer an alternative for achieving their climate goals. Previous studies assign certain individuals – the policy entrepreneurs – a central role when implementing new technologies in public authorities. By combining the theoretical model of policy entrepreneurs with the theory of outcome indicators, this paper demonstrates how the policy entrepreneur affects and accelerates the introduction of plug-in electric vehicles in local public authorities. The result shows that policy entrepreneurs undertake actions to inform and persuade the decision-makers and raise the issue on the political agenda. The policy entrepreneurs assess the travel demand, find appropriate applications and supervise the deployment process. The policy entrepreneurs inform and inspire vehicle users as a way to ensure acceptance and to increase usage. There are examples of policy entrepreneurs that have accomplished changes in policies governing vehicle use to favour the plug-in electric vehicles. Practical experiences legitimate the policy entrepreneurs when involving local society. The policy entrepreneurs consolidate the new technology within policy documents, among the users and in the surrounding society. 

National Category
Energy Engineering Public Administration Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-173645OAI: diva2:854192

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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