Electric cars as a path to sustainable travel behaviour: Insights from Nord-Jæren

Ioannis Kosmidis, Daniela Müller-Eie, Alexa Delbosc

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


This study examines whether promoting electric cars (EVs) to achieve greener mobility undermines the efforts to reduce car use. It specifically explores the concept of moral licensing, wherein individuals use EVs as a way to feel good about their environmental impact while continuing to drive. The study uses travel data (n = 1223) from Nord-Jæren, Norway, to develop a Structural Equation Model (SEM) that explores the relationship between environmental beliefs, attitudes, and travel behaviour (i.e., use of conventional car, electric car, bus, and bicycle). The results confirm that pro-environmental beliefs have a “spillover effect” on EV use due to existing car attitudes. The relative convenience of the car over alternative options has been found to be the most important mitigating factor in the influence of environmental beliefs on behaviour. Consequently, to reduce car use and promote more sustainable travel options, it is essential to simultaneously improve these alternatives while restricting car traffic.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103982
Number of pages14
JournalTransportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023


  • Behaviour spillover
  • Electric vehicles
  • Moral licensing
  • Structural equation modelling
  • Sustainable mobility
  • Travel behaviour

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