Department of Business Development and Technology

Inter-niche competition on ice? Socio-technical drivers, benefits and barriers of the electric vehicle transition in Iceland

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This paper investigates the drivers, benefits and barriers of battery electric vehicle (BEV) development and an ongoing BEV transition in Iceland from a sociotechnical perspective. We focus on the following research questions: 1) What are the most promising driving forces behind BEV growth? 2) Why are BEVs restricted mostly to the niche level? 3) What are the possible opportunities for BEV future development? and 4) How viable are BEVs as a solution to harnessing low-carbon renewable sources in Iceland? The study uses original qualitative data comprising 29 research interviews involving experts from a wide range of sectors. The conceptual framework of multi-mode interaction, or “inter-niche competition”, is incorporated into the MLP to illustrate the interaction between BEVs and other technologies, in particular, plugin hybrid electric vehicles. We find that BEVs may take de-alignment and re-alignment pathway or reconfiguration pathway depending on the multi-technology interaction modes.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironmental Innovation and Societal Transitions
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020

    Research areas

  • Electric mobility, Iceland, Inter-niche competition, Multi-Level Perspective, Multi-mode interaction, Sociotechnical transitions

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