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Master thesis on electric vehicles wins innovation prize


Lina and Filippa

Lina Trosvik (left) and Filippa Egnér.

Filippa Egnér and Lina Trosvik, master students of Economics at the School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, have won the first prize in the essay competition organized by ESBRI and Vinnova in order to encourage innovation.

What is your study about?

 "In our thesis, we empirically examine the impact of local policy instruments designed to promote the adoption of battery electric vehicles at a municipal level. A transition towards a higher share of electric vehicles has the potential to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The adoption rate of electric vehicles in Sweden is however relatively slow and varies substantially across municipalities. The aim of our study was therefore to contribute to the understanding of EV adoption by empirically examining its determinants", says Lina Trosvik and Filippa Egnér.

What are the main results?

"We found that an increased number of public charging points significantly increases the adoption rate, especially in urban municipalities. The results further suggest that public procurement of battery electric vehicles has the potential to be an effective policy instrument. Finally, we found that by adjusting policy instruments to the specific characteristics of municipalities and making them visible to the public, their effectiveness can be increased."

What do you think about electric vehicles in the future? What are the challenges?

"Sweden has a target to achieve a fossil independent vehicle fleet by 2030 and a transition from conventional vehicles towards more low-emitting vehicles is therefore necessary. Electric vehicles are often highlighted as one of the most attractive technology alternatives to conventional vehicles and they will most likely be an important part in order to achieve the target. Besides reducing greenhouse gas emissions, electric vehicles can bring local benefits such as air quality improvements and reduced noise."

"The main barriers limiting the widespread adoption of electric vehicles are high purchasing costs, limited battery capacity, and dependence on charging infrastructure. Reducing such barriers is therefore important in order to increase the adoption rate. Implementation of policy instruments to reduce barriers can be one way to speed up the adoption rate. The ongoing technology development of electric vehicles also contributes to reduce barriers by, for example, improving batteries and reducing the purchasing price. Together this makes electric vehicles and conventional vehicles closer substitutes for consumers in their purchasing decision."

And what are your future plans? How will you spend the prize money?

"Currently, Lina is working as a research assistant at the University of Gothenburg at the department of economics. She works in several research projects connected to environmental economics. Filippa is working as an economist at Boverket, the National Board of Housing, Building and Planning. She mainly works with questions connected to the housing market, but is also part of a group working for the transition towards a fossil independent transport sector. In the future, we both hope to continue working in the area of environmental economics."

"We have not yet decided exactly how we will spend the prize money, but we will likely travel somewhere. Our criteria are that it involves environmental aspects connected to innovations and that the prize money is used for professional development in the area. Before we decide, we must do some research on potential places where it could be interesting for us to conduct a study trip, look up relevant conferences, or similar", says Lina Trosvik and Filippa Egnér.

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Link to "Electric Vehicle Adoption in Sweden and the Impact of Local Policy Instruments" by Lina Trosvik and Filippa Egnér