A matter of behavioral cost: Contextual factors and behavioral interventions interactively influence pro-environmental charging decisions

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review



The sale of electric vehicles (EVs) is steadily increasing, leading to a huge demand of electricity, which needs to be produced CO2-neutral to make EVs a green alternative. To address this issue, smart charging shifts the charging process to optimal day/night times when (green) energy is available and electricity consumption is low. Especially when charging in public, smart charging may produce external behavioral costs (e.g., charging delays) that should be offset by individual and highlighted environmental benefits. We examined the interactive influence of contextual factors (i.e., charging delay, walking distance, price saving) and behavioral interventions (i.e., framing, social norm, gamification) on green smart charging decisions in an online experiment (N = 286). The results showed that the interventions influenced the decision to choose the smart charging station over a convenient non-sustainable alternative when behavioral costs were small to moderate. In situations with no or only negligible extra costs, participants did not need additional persuasion, whereas in high-cost situations, behavioral interventions were insufficient to influence behavior.


Original languageEnglish
Article number101878
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of environmental psychology
Issue number84
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

External IDs

WOS 000872525900005
Mendeley f1bfeee1-2da4-30ef-b583-4baf890d7b5d
ORCID /0000-0003-3162-9656/work/142246927


Sustainable Development Goals

ASJC Scopus subject areas


  • Charging, Choice architecture, E-Mobility, Intervention, Pro-environmental behavior