Driving it home! Exploring and enhancing the adoption of eco-driving
One strategy to reduce the environmental impact of the transport sector is to increase the adoption of eco-driving among both professional and private drivers. Attempts to introduce eco-driving have though had varying success, and many questions remain to be answered. Hence, the aim of this thesis has been to increase knowledge on the mechanisms behind the adoption of eco-driving. To fulfil the aim, three themes: eco-driving in practice, understanding eco-driving, and interventions to enhance the adoption, were explored in an integrated analysis of three studies.
Multiple influences on drivers’ possibility and intention to adopt eco-driving were confirmed in the analysis. Influences include driver-related factors like ability and attitudes, as well as contextual influences originating in the vehicle, the physical environment and the social context. For professional drivers, the organisational context was identified as major source of influences.
A hierarchy of eco-driving behaviours is introduced in the thesis, consisting of operational, tactical, and strategic levels of eco-driving. When investigated, participants’ understanding of eco-driving appears concentrated to one level or part of one level in this hierarchy. The limited interpretations give rise to issues when the motivated participants’ perceived and actual space for action does not match the eco-driving advice they know. It is hence proposed that interventions should aim to enhance the action space for eco-driving. Enabling and facilitating interventions should be put in place to widen the actual action space, and exemplifying and encouraging interventions should target the perception of it.
In conclusion, the mechanisms behind the adoption of eco-driving are complex and the influences numerous. Still, adoption can be enhanced if these influences are taken into consideration and interventions designed to increase both perceived and actual eco-driving action space.