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Conference Paper

Greening the Car? Conflict Dynamics within the GermanPlatform for Electric Mobility

Authors
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Richter,  Ina
IASS Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies Potsdam;

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Haas,  Tobias
IASS Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies Potsdam;

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Citation

Richter, I., Haas, T. (2020): Greening the Car? Conflict Dynamics within the GermanPlatform for Electric Mobility - Proceedings, The 11th Sustainability Transitions Conference (Vienna, Austria 2020), 22 p.


Cite as: https://publications.iass-potsdam.de/pubman/item/item_6000459
Abstract
The environmental crisis due to air pollution, high CO2 emissions, noise from traffic and soil ceiling requires profound changes to the car-dependent transport system. This article examines the political dynamics of German transport politics, focusing on the National Platform for Electric Mobility (NPE). It focusses on actor constellations and the conflicts that arise, as well as the temporal dynamics, within the electric mobility debate. The findings suggest that the NPE contributed to a narrow understanding of a mobility transformation based on electric cars, but is better described as ecological modernization. Within this narrow framework, a fundamental conflict unfolds between strong advocates versus those slowing down the ecological modernization of the car. A third group demands at least a partial departure from the automobile-centered model, but remains marginalized within the NPE. Aside from this core conflict, members of the NPE struggled over the location for battery cell production, the introduction of a purchase grant known as the environmental bonus, and the expansion of battery recharging infrastructure. These issues illustrate that discussions within the NPE relate to the political debates about the future of mobility, which have intensified in Germany in recent years. However, to date, such potentials have been limited to narrow auto-modernization, excluding a wider and more fundamental rethink of future mobility concepts.