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Driven by Change: Commercial Drivers’ Acceptance and Perceived Efficiency of Using Light-Duty Electric Vehicles in Germany

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Abstract: In this paper, we examine to what extent commercial drivers accept the substitution of conventional cars with light-duty e-vehicles (LDEVs) by conducting a cross-sectional survey at Deutsche Post, a major German postal delivery service provider. Specifically, we explore drivers’ acceptance from two perspectives. First, we investigate whether drivers are more satisfied with the LDEVs than with the conventional vehicles. Second, we question whether the EVs increase drivers’ perceived efficiency. Combining these two perspectives, we show that the greater the drivers’ overall satisfaction with LDEVs, the higher is the drivers’ perceived efficiency. We prove this by means of latent measures, such as perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use, using adaptations of Davis’ Technology Acceptance Model and Rogers’ Diffusion of Innovation Theory to form our Unified Technology Acceptance Model. Findings suggest that, on average, drivers are slightly more satisfied with their assigned LDEVs than with the available conventional cars. If drivers were able to choose their preferred vehicles, the majority of them would favor LDEVs. We detect statistically significant patterns of latent measures affecting perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use of LDEVs. While this paper focuses on German delivery service employees, the methodology presented here could easily be applied to any enterprise in the growing logistics sector electrifying its car fleet. Hence, our contributions are valuable for transportation research, and more specifically, to all potential commercial EV drivers, e.g., our insights might be relevant for approximately 500,400 drivers employed in the German logistics sector alone.

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