Electric vehicles and the future of personal mobility in the United Kingdom

Bergman, Noam (2019) Electric vehicles and the future of personal mobility in the United Kingdom. In: Jenkins, Kirsten E H and Hopkins, Debbie (eds.) Transitions in energy efficiency and demand: the emergence, diffusion and Impact of low-carbon innovation. Routledge Studies in Energy Transitions . Routledge, pp. 53-71. ISBN 9781351127264

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This chapter considers visions of personal transport futures in the UK, and the role of electric vehicles (EVs) therein, through analysis of documents from government, the automotive industry and others. A ‘central vision’ was constructed from the documents, a single future with small variations that represents incumbent actors’ perspectives. This future is a slow shift to low-emission vehicles, probably EVs, with little change to other aspects of personal transport, allowing high demand to persist as incumbents adjust their production. This vision potentially prevents a deeper transition towards sustainability by locking out alternative futures. Further, its limited scope is unrealistic in its lack of disruption and discontinuity. Incumbent actors construct visions to promote their agendas and maintain power, a form of institutional work. Some regime (incumbent) actors consider change inevitable, making the reproduction pathway untenable, and therefore engage in a transformation pathway, aiming to make EVs a more symbiotic niche, limiting disruptive change. Engaging with diverse future visions from a variety of actors would better prepare policymakers to plan for future transport. The visions must include disruption and failure to meet emission reduction targets, and more realistic portrayal of people and behaviour.

Item Type: Book Section
Schools and Departments: University of Sussex Business School > SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic theory. Demography > HB0801 Consumption. Demand
H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and communications > HE0305 Urban transportation
H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and communications > HE5601 Automotive transportation
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology > HM0831 Social change
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Depositing User: Noam Bergman
Date Deposited: 22 Feb 2019 14:57
Last Modified: 13 Aug 2019 15:02
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/82091

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Project NameSussex Project NumberFunderFunder Ref
Research Centre on Innovation and Energy DemandG1020RCUK-RESEARCH COUNCILS UKEP/K011790/1