Transforming socio-technical configurations through creative destruction: Local policy, electric vehicle diffusion, and city governance in Norway
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Transforming mobility systems in sustainable directions will likely rely on several niche-innovations outperforming incumbent regimes that support non-sustainable ways of upholding personal mobility. One prominent driver in these developments is policy, which through creative destruction could serve to destabilise regimes surrounding internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEVs) while also promoting regimes surrounding battery-electric vehicles (EVs). The diffusion of EVs receive substantial attention in policymaking and research, and EV policies are studied extensively in a range of scholarly disciplines. Most studies, however, tend to focus on the role of national-level policy. In contrast, this study explores how local policy can promote the diffusion of EVs. Specifically, we discuss how creative and destructive elements of local policy in two Norwegian cities might have enhanced the relative advantage of EVs through shaping socio-technical configurations that surround the EV niche and the ICEV regime. We find that local policy can enhance the relative advantage of EVs in many ways, especially through shaping infrastructure, user practices, and normative rules. The latter could in particular take research on EV diffusion further, by increasing our understanding of the controversy of EVs even in markets with high diffusion.