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Title: The transition to electric vehicle fleets : an e-mobility services approach
Author: Gould, Emily
ISNI:       0000 0004 6061 6237
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2017
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Electric vehicles have been identified as a key technology to decarbonise road transport which accounts for approximately a quarter of the UK’s greenhouse gas end-user emissions (DECC, 2014). The diffusion of electric vehicles requires a transformation across a large spectrum of societal and economic dimensions. Using research and data over the study period from 2011 to late 2015, this research examines the pathways for transition from today’s personal transport mix to one focused on electric vehicles, the research identifies path dependencies and lock-in of the internal combustion engine that results in sustained usage patterns. The relationship between transition pathways, path dependencies, technology lock-in and e-mobility has been under-researched. Commercial urban fleets and car clubs were identified as key market opportunities for electric vehicles. Total Cost of Ownership studies and in-depth interviews with industry experts were conducted to identify existing transition barriers for the adoption of electric vehicles within these applications. Established path dependencies of the internal combustion engine and consequent technology lock-in were found to stem from an inter-dependant and reinforcing technology system of roads, service stations, parking facilities and societal status. In order to achieve integrated transport services –and EVs as part of it - alternative business models are to redefine humankind’s relationship with the car through systemic innovation and competitive finance models. The multi-level perspective was used to determine the dynamics of change for fleets towards electric vehicles, and the roles of different stakeholder types were explored through the ‘action space’ of government, civil society, market and governance logics. The results indicate that the diffusion of niche technologies and business models are establishing individual pathways within the two markets. It is evident within the fleet and car club markets that an ‘innovator logic’ is competing within the action space to unlock EVs through technology innovation that extends beyond the transitional role of hybrids. However, fundamental to each market is the parallel role of government to invest in R&D and motivation crowding to remove lock-in and destabilise the existing regime.
Supervisor: Wehrmeyer, Walter ; Leach, Matthew ; Turtle, Rodney ; Greaves, David Sponsor: EPSRC ; Schneider Electric ; University of Surrey
Qualification Name: Thesis (Eng.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available