Comparing the effects of vehicle automation, policy making and changed user preferences on the uptake of electric cars and emissions from transport

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Title: Comparing the effects of vehicle automation, policy making and changed user preferences on the uptake of electric cars and emissions from transport
Author(s): Mazur, CM
Offer, G
Contestabile, MSM
Brandon, N
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Switching energy demand for transport from liquid fuels to electricity is the most promising way to significantly improve air quality and reduce transport emissions. Previous studies have shown this is possible, that by 2035 the economics of alternative powertrain and energy vectors will have converged. However, they don’t address if the transition is likely or plausible. Using the UK as a case study, we present a systems dynamics model based study informed by transition theory and explore the effects of technology progress, policy making, user preferences and; for the first time, automated vehicles on this transition. We are not trying to predict the future, but to highlight what is necessary in order for different scenarios to become more or less likely. Worryingly we show that current policies with the expected technology progress and expectations of vehicle buyers are insufficient to reach global targets. Faster technology progress, strong financial incentives or a change in vehicle buyer expectations are crucial, but still insufficient. In contrast the biggest switch to alternatively fuelled vehicles could be achieved by the introduction of automated vehicles. The implications will affect policy makers, automotive manufactures, technology developers and broader society.
Publication Date: 2-Mar-2018
Date of Acceptance: 22-Feb-2018
ISSN: 2071-1050
Publisher: MDPI
Journal / Book Title: Sustainability
Volume: 10
Issue: 3
Sponsor/Funder: Engineering & Physical Science Research Council (E
Funder's Grant Number: EP/G01244X/1
Copyright Statement: © 2018 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (
Keywords: Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Environmental Sciences
Environmental Studies
Science & Technology - Other Topics
Environmental Sciences & Ecology
electric vehicle
autonomous vehicles
12 Built Environment And Design
Publication Status: Published
Article Number: 676
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Engineering
Mechanical Engineering
Centre for Environmental Policy
Chemical Engineering
Faculty of Natural Sciences

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