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Miljöbilens förutsättningar i glesa bygder: Tillgänglighet samt sociala och ekonomiska aspekterför individer och hushåll. Kunskapsöversikt för BISEK
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Geography and Economic History.
2012 (Swedish)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This report presents a review of research into the prerequisites for adoption of alternative fuel vehicles(AFVs) in sparsely populated areas. Focus is on issues related to accessibility as well as social andeconomic aspects on the individual and household levels. Geographically, the review focuses mainlyon the Swedish context. Methodology‐wise, the report is based on a literature review encompassingseveral issues: varying views and definitions of rural or sparsely populated areas and the heterogeneitypresent within such broad categories; problems related to accessibility in sparsely populated areas;geographical variations within the Swedish car fleet; access to renewable fuels; theoretical perspectiveson the diffusion of innovations (DOI) and adoption of new technologies, including geographicalperspectives on these issues; and research into the adoption of AFVs more specifically.Moreover, other social and economic aspects of potential relevance for the adoption of AFVs arediscussed. In addition to the literature review, a pilot‐style interview with a resident of a sparselypopulated area in Sweden was conducted.Poor local accessibility is frequently a problematic issue in sparsely populated areas, and a maincause for an extensive car dependency. However, the geographical categories “sparsely populated”or “rural” areas contain substantial differences in prerequisites for accessibility depending not onlyon intra‐local supply, but also on e.g., location with respect to urban centres and major cities, andthe residents’ travel patterns. So far, the adoption and diffusion of AVFs in sparsely populated areashas been limited. Many largely sparsely populated municipalities are among those with the lowestshares of AVFs in the vehicle fleet, and consequently the conventional fossil fuel vehicles dominate.While access to e.g., refueling infrastructure is obviously a key prerequisite for AFV adoption, a lackin this respect does not appear to be a main reason why AFVs are scarce in sparsely populated areas.Theoretical perspectives on DOI suggest that different groups, e.g., regarding socioeconomic attributes,tend to adopt innovations at different stages of the process of diffusion. Also, innovations tendto spread from the higher levels to the lower levels of the urban hierarchy. To date, research intoconsumer adoption of AVFs, despite having generated a substantial body of literature, has largelyneglected geographical factors in general, and an explicit focus on sparsely populated areas is lackingin particular. An explorative interview with a resident in a rural area in Sweden indicated that carchoice was guided by economic factors, whereas environmental concerns were more or less absent.The respondent also expressed a lack of knowledge about AFVs and, importantly, a view that AFVsare a non‐issue, something that lies outside of the realm of awareness.There are various potential impediments as well as opportunities for the adoption of AVFs insparsely populated areas, with regard to contextual factors as well as socioeconomic factors. However,AVF adoption in these geographical settings is an issue which requires more research. This issue ispertinent not least in recognition of the fact that the residents these areas constitute a substantialshare of the population, and cannot be overlooked in the ongoing process of transition of thetransport system towards reduced carbon dependence.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Transportforskningsenheten vid Umeå universitet (TRUM) , 2012. , 39 p.
, TRUM-Rapport, ISSN 1403-6924 ; 2012-01
Keyword [sv]
miljöbil, glesbygd, landsbygd, tillgänglighet, innovationsspridning
National Category
Human Geography
Research subject
Social and Economic Geography
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-55156OAI: diva2:525763
Available from: 2012-05-09 Created: 2012-05-09 Last updated: 2012-05-09Bibliographically approved

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Miljöbilens förutsättningar i glesa bygder(2999 kB)410 downloads
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