Ren elektrisk kjøreglede! - Elbilen i komfortkulturen
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The car has become an essential part of our transportation system - it gives us the flexibility and the possibility to go anywhere, anytime. Most people in Norway have a car, and almost feel as if they can´t make it through the day without it. However, the car is also a threat to our environment, and the electric car has been proposed as a solution to this problem. Why and how has the electric car become such a success story in Norway? In January 2013, I was an intern at Transnova for three weeks. Transnova provide grants to different projects to reduce CO2-emissions from the transportation sector. This thesis is about the electric car in our comfort society, focusing on user experiences, written on assignment from Transnova. My research data was gathered from 15 interviews - eight with electric car owners, and seven with people driving petrol cars. I have used the STS perspectives and theories co-production, framing, social construction of technology and domestication to find out how the car in general has been domesticated into households, and how the electric car is stabilized in our driving culture. The electric car drivers said their electric car felt more comfortable than petrol cars, describing the car as a safe, environmentally friendly, economic, aesthetically pleasing and exciting technology with great driving characteristics. Electric car drivers also thought charging at home was easier than using petrol stations. Their choice had a lot to do with "hands on" experience with the electric cars. Test-driving may therefore be a good way to recruit new users. The petrol car drivers felt guilty about the environment when they used their cars, and said that this guilt diminished their enjoyment from driving. It seemed like an increasing climate threat made petrol drivers problematize their driving practice. The research found that political incentives, designed to encourage electric car usage, were important to the electric car drivers in the beginning - when drivers first made the decision to go electric. However, as they became accustomed to using their electric car the relative importance of these incentives was reduced. Instead, users valued electric vehicles in terms of both the material and technical equipment, and also the rewarding feeling of being more environmentally friendly. The environmental awareness and comfort seemed to act in synergy, creating a more pleasurable driving experience. Politics can help stabilizing technologies, but it can´t do it alone. Instead, it is the co-production of politics, science and users that may organize this field. The research shows that there is a demand for a political push regarding technology choices.