ERA-NET: Inclusive Transition towards Electric Mobility

Lead Research Organisation: University of Oxford
Department Name: Geography - SoGE

Abstract

European cities' attempts to accelerate the electric mobility (EM) transition are generating environmental benefits and enhancing economic viability. Unclear is how socially just these attempts and their outcomes are in terms of who benefits (distribution), whose needs are considered (recognition), and who gets to decide and how (procedure). The proposed research will advance inclusive EM transitions on the urban scale through a dual perspective on households and urban policy. It will examine inequalities in households' EM-related needs, capabilities, decision-making, accessibility and everyday mobility. It will also analyse how and to what extent EM policies and governance take the aforementioned distribution, procedure and recognition dimensions into account. It will finally co-produce understandings of how urban and transport planning regarding sustainability and accessibility can be strengthened through inclusive EM transition processes. In close collaboration with policymakers and mobility service providers, the project will consider shared and owned/leased electric cars, E-bikes and E-scooters, comparing transition processes in Oslo, Utrecht, Bristol and Poznan. Ultimately, the project aims to bring about a shift in how EM policies and services at the urban scale are developed, implemented and delivered, so that urban EM transition pathways are not only accelerated but also become as inclusive as possible.

Publications

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Schwanen T (2021) Achieving just transitions to low-carbon urban mobility in Nature Energy

 
Description Briefing with Felicity Buchan MP 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact In July 2021 the University of Oxford was approached by aides of Felicity Buchan, MP for Kensington and member of the Treasure Select Committee, who introduced a Member's Bill on the provision of electric vehicle charging infrastructure in new buildings. The University put her in touch with Tim Schwanen who briefed her on the importance of institutionalising the provision of charging infrastructure in new developments during the preparation of the speech in parliament in which she put forward the Bill. The Bill was withdrawn at a later stage (October 2021).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://bills.parliament.uk/bills/2950#timeline
 
Description COP26 Roundtable 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Participated in a round table workshop organised by the British Academy on Cities, Clean Mobility and Transport in the lead up to COP26. Attended by academics, research council members, and some industry representatives. As one of two participants asked to start the discussion, I raised questions around the inclusiveness and fairness of the transition to electric mobility, what policy-makers and those involved in delivery should be doing about it, and how electric mobility can be more socially just. These questions and many others were taken up in the 3 hour discussion that followed. Those attendings the sessions have been acknowledged in the production of a briefing note (see url).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://www.thebritishacademy.ac.uk/documents/3547/COP26-Cities-Energy-Transitions_GNPgxJw.pdf
 
Description Event for US alumni of University of Oxford 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact In October 2021 Tim Schwanen participated in an online Q&A session organised by the University of Oxford North American Office for alumni in which he spoke about the electric mobility transition and answered a wide range of questions form participants. The talk and answers generated discussions and helped to shift the views and understandings of participants, as they indicated informally during the event (e.g. through feedback in the chat).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ROyU4maBD1c
 
Description Guardian article on electric vehicle plan 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Tim Schwanen was approached by an editor of The Guardian to comment on the UK Government's plans to encourage vehicle manufacturers to produce more zero-emission vehicles through annual mandates in the period 2024-2030, when the ban on internal combustion engine powered cars comes into force. Some of Tim's comments on inequalities in electriic vehicle use were incorporated in the article as published on The Guardian website.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://www.theguardian.com/business/2021/oct/20/ambitious-uk-plans-for-electric-vehicles-welcomed-w...
 
Description Masterclass at DfT 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Tim Schwanen gave an online master class to staff at the Department for Transport in London and across the country. The title of the presentation of approx 45 minutes, which was followed by Q&A, was "Inequalities in Electric Mobility: Understanding the Dynamics and Options" and covered current patterns of inequality, causes, and actions for local and national government agencies in the UK to address inequalities. Approx 350 individuals attend the session and asked a series of questions. The event led to a range of requests for further information, and a request for a meeting with staff from the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OZEV) to discuss the role of Government in supporting an inclusive transition to EVs, and to discuss ways to mitigate risks and evidence gaps. That meeting is scheduled for March 2022.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2022
 
Description Meeting with civil servants from the Department for Transport 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Presented on inequality in electric mobility to civil servants in the Department for Transport.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2022
 
Description Presentation and Meeting with Treasury Civil Servants 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact A meeting was arranged with civil servants from the UK Treasury to discuss policy priorities for investment in the transition to electric vehicles. The attendees were very engaged, asked many questions, and highlighted that we raised issues that had not previously been considered.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
 
Description Presentation at DecarboN8 conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact We presented the context of the ITEM project at DecarboN8's conference: Real Zero in a hurry: place-based decarbonisation for transport within a session on Governing a Fair Transition. There was a lot of interest in this topic, and engaged Q&A.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
 
Description Stakeholder workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact We held a workshop attended by 11 stakeholders from the public, private and third sectors representing local, regional, and national organisations with an interest in sustainable and electric mobility in Bristol, UK. We discussed our research project, the themes of justice and policy-making for electric mobility and what their involvement and aspirations in the area were. The engagement at the event was high, we had quite positive feedback, and the stakeholders expressed an interest in participating further in the project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL http://www.itemresearch.org/bristol
 
Description Video for COP26 True Planet Campaign at university of Oxford 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact In the run-up to the COP26 in Glasgow, the University of Oxford created a Countdown to COP video series for which Tim Schwanen wrote the text and recorded a video called "Is the future of transport electric?". The video was distributed through the University's stakeholder networks (including via social media) and played on screens during the COP meeting in both Oxford and Glasgow. The video sparked some discussion on Twitter and led to several requests for further information from professionals and media outlets.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6WUwceeB79w