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About us Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences Psychology Research Units Social Psychology

Electric vehicles: early stage adoption processes

Social Psychology

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. W

Main project

This project is part of project "Understanding environmental behaviour".

Researchers and partners

Behavioural and Social Sciences, Psychology
  • Ernst Noppers, Social Psychology
  • Kees Keizer, Social Psychology
  • Linda Steg, Social Psychology
Partners outside of the University of Groningen
  • University of Delft
  • Free University of Amsterdam


Courses connected to this project
  • Master Environmental Psychology


  • Noppers, E.H., Keizer, K.E., Bolderdijk, J.W., & Steg, L. (2014). The adoption of sustainable innovations: driven by symbolic and environmental motives. Global Environmental Change, 25, 52-62.
  • Noppers, E., Keizer, K.E., Bockarjova, M., & Steg, L. (2015). The adoption of sustainable innovations: The role of instrumental, environmental, and symbolic attributes for earlier and later adopters. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 44, 74-84. doi:10.1016/j.jenvp.2015.09.002
  • Noppers, E.H., Keizer, K., Milovanovic, M., & Steg, L. (2016). The importance of instrumental, symbolic, and environmental attributes for the adoption of smart energy systems. Energy Policy, 98, 12-18. doi: 10.1016/j.enpol.2016.08.007
Successful grant proposals and other achievements
  • NWO

University's focus areas

  • Energy
  • Sustainable Society
Last modified:29 March 2021 10.17 a.m.
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