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The constrained governance of socio-technical transitions: Evidence from electric mobility in Scotland

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posted on 29.01.2018, 14:10 by Craig MortonCraig Morton, David Beeton
Electric Vehicles (EVs) embody a number of technical innovations which have the capacity to make substantial contributions to prominent societal objectives associated with improving energy security, increasing energy efficiency, promoting low-carbon mobility and reducing local air pollution. Fostering a transition to an electric mobility (e-mobility) personal transport system represents a strategic aim of most economically developed nations and is a central feature of the European Commission’s vision of an integrated and sustainable transport system. For this vision to be achieved, EVs will need to overcome formidable barriers associated with structural lock-ins to the existing internal combustion engine vehicle, technical deficiencies linked to EV attributes, citizen preference for proven technologies and the embedded interests of system agents. This chapter outlines how the transition to an e-mobility personal transport system is being managed in Scotland by evaluating the governance structure which has been established to support the uptake of EVs. This governance structure is considered in terms of the strategic, tactical and operational activities which aim to facilitate the e-mobility transition and the role of reflexive governance in evaluating the progress so far made. Specific attention is paid to how the agency of the Scottish Government is constrained in its ability to manage the transition due to the defined authority of the government and the local circumstances of Scotland



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

Published in

Low Carbon Mobility Transitions


189 - 204


MORTON, C. and BEETON, D., 2016. The constrained governance of socio-technical transitions: Evidence from electric mobility in Scotland. IN: Hopkins, D. & Higham, J. (eds.) Low Carbon Mobility Transitions, Oxford: Goodfellow Publishers, pp. 189-204.


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This book chapter was published by Goodfellows publisher and the definitive version can be found at