Most research in the area of Electrical Vehicles (EVs) focuses on technical issues like battery capacity and charging systems. Much less attention is paid to the links between EVs and the wider society, including non-technical issues. In this proposal we focus on the early stages of (potential) market penetration of EVs, and in particular the role of early adopters (consumers and others). We aim:
(1) to understand the behaviour of crucial actors for the market introduction of EVs
(2) to identify barriers and enablers for innovations in the first stage
(3) to identify the role of actors in the ‘environment’ of early adopters (e.g. governments, firms, consumers), for these enablers and barriers.

Project 1 “innovation transitions from an economic perspective” focuses on the behaviour of early adopters from an (evolutionary) economic systems perspective.

Project 2 “innovation transitions from a behavioural-psychological perspective” studies the motivational factors influencing early adoption.

Project 3 “the environment of early adopters from an innovation’s perspective” examines the role of crucial actors in the ‘environment’ of early adopters from the perspective of dynamic enablers and barriers’.

Project 4, the integrative project, translates the findings to innovation theory, and to the EV arena, wider society and policy makers. We will use insights and approaches from innovation theories, evolutionary economics, several psychological theories (including the theory of the meaning of material possessions and goal framing theory), political economy, and management theories. Methods used include literature research, joint questionnaires, interviews, analysis of innovations in the past, modelling, and actor analysis.

The project is conducted by a multidisciplinary team of economists, psychologists, and transport policy researchers. The project is funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). Click here for more information

Researchers involved: Ernst Noppers MSc, dr. Kees Keizer, prof. dr. Linda Steg