Charging Infrastructure for Heavy Commercial Vehicles A study of actor roles and factors impacting diffusion of charging infrastructure in North America and Europe

Examensarbete för masterexamen
Master's Thesis
Management and economics of innovation (MPMEI), MSc
Meuller, Love
Palmströmer, Niclas
Due to climate change, the commercial vehicle industry is undergoing significant transformations to reduce its emissions. Heavy emission regulations and targets from governments further push the need for lowered emission forward. Electric commercial vehicles are seen as a key solution to these changes. There is however a significant challenge in the fact that the amount of available infrastructure for electric commercial vehicles is close to zero. High investment costs, low grid capacity, and low utilization rates are all significant issues that must be overcome for the deployment of widespread charging infrastructure for commercial vehicles. By analyzing the actor groups in the charging infrastructure industry from a technological innovation system (TIS) perspective, the role each actor group plays in the diffusion of charging infrastructure can be examined. Additionally, by studying what factors impact the development of the TIS and in what way, one can gain an understanding of key drivers and barriers the TIS is facing. This master thesis aims to investigate the current status of the heavy commercial vehicle charging infrastructure in terms of actor ́ s roles as well as factors influencing technology diffusion. The study finds that the commercial vehicle charging infrastructure development is heavily driven by electric commercial vehicle OEMs, Governmental policies, and charging point operators (CPO). Joint ventures between OEMs, network formations and pilot projects between OEMs, CPOs and hardware manufacturers are further driving the development of the commercial vehicle charging infrastructure TIS. Additionally, factors such as grid connection, low charger utilization rates, and technical difficulties with charging temperatures were found to act as barriers for the development of the TIS. Enabling factors were found to be the increasing product performance seen with chargers, the decreasing relative price of chargers due to economies of scale and diesel cost increases, and the amount of incentives available for both commercial vehicles and charging infrastructure. The implications of the study are that policymakers must enforce policies that lower investments costs and regulate emissions. Additionally, actors should have an open collaborative approach to charging infrastructure development.
diffusion of innovation , sustainability transitions , sociotechnical transitions , enabling factors to innovation , hindering factors to innovation , technological innovation systems , technological innovation system functions
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