Department of Business Development and Technology

Policy mechanisms to accelerate electric vehicle adoption: A qualitative review from the Nordic region

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Electric vehicles are an important instrument to decarbonize transportation, offering a range of co-benefits such as reductions in local pollution, noise emissions, and oil dependency. Unfortunately, price, range, infrastructure and technological uncertainty are only some of the barriers to a faster adoption of these vehicles. To overcome these barriers, there is a broad call for public support and a growing body of primarily survey and choice experiment studies to show which policy mechanisms are effective, with mixed outcomes. In response, this paper offers a qualitative comparative analysis that draws on 227 semi-structured interviews with 257 transportation and electricity experts from 201 institutions across 17 cities within the Nordic region to discuss the reasoning and arguments behind EV incentives and policy mechanisms. A frequency analysis of the most coded responses favoured cost reduction mechanisms, in particular taxation exemptions; infrastructure support for public and apartment charging; the importance of consumer awareness, especially information campaigns; certain other specific policy measures like procurement programs and environmental zones; and more general policy principles. More in-depth, our analysis shows the debates around these mechanisms and how the pros and cons of these mechanisms differ per country, per transport segment, per phase of transition or market share, even per city. In short, this paper calls for strong stable national targets and price incentives combined with local flexibility to implement secondary benefits and more attention to awareness campaigns to advance the implementation of electric vehicles.

Original languageEnglish
JournalRenewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
Pages (from-to)719-731
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2018
Externally publishedYes

    Research areas

  • Electric vehicles (EVs), Incentives, Nordics, Policy support

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