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Reference Number ES/Y007506/1
Title Driving climate breakdown: The politics of the electric vehicle transition in the UK and Germany
Status Started
Energy Categories Energy Efficiency (Transport) 50%;
Other Cross-Cutting Technologies or Research (Environmental, social and economic impacts) 50%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 100%
Science and Technology Fields SOCIAL SCIENCES (Politics and International Studies) 50%;
SOCIAL SCIENCES (Sociology) 25%;
SOCIAL SCIENCES (Psychology) 25%;
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Sociological economical and environmental impact of energy (Environmental dimensions) 20%;
Sociological economical and environmental impact of energy (Policy and regulation) 20%;
Sociological economical and environmental impact of energy (Consumer attitudes and behaviour) 20%;
Sociological economical and environmental impact of energy (Technology acceptance) 20%;
Sociological economical and environmental impact of energy (Other sociological economical and environmental impact of energy) 20%;
Principal Investigator Dr J Jackson

Alliance Manchester Business School
University of Manchester
Award Type Standard
Funding Source ESRC
Start Date 01 October 2023
End Date 30 September 2024
Duration 12 months
Total Grant Value £110,708
Industrial Sectors
Region North West
Programme Skills & Methods - Fellowships
Investigators Principal Investigator Dr J Jackson , Alliance Manchester Business School, University of Manchester (100.000%)
Web Site
Objectives The ESRC postdoctoral fellow offers a unique opportunity for me to consolidate my PhD and further my academic career by developing a robust publication track record, to expand my networks, disseminate my findings to academic and non-academic audiences and undertake further training. The main objectives of the fellowship are therefore threefold:(i) Objective 1: Submit/publish three papers to consolidate the doctoral thesis:1. Paper 1 - Policy (dis)entanglement in Europe: Net Zero, COVID-19 and Inflation with mentor Professor Matthew Paterson to Review of International Political Economy2. Paper 2 - Decarbonisation through modernisation: How the UK EV transition became a vehicle for industrial change - Redrafted paper from chapter six of the thesis - to Environmental Politics3. Paper 3 - Has a suspension to the debt brake accelerated climate politics in Germany' - redrafted paper from chapter seven of the thesis - the European Journal of Public Policy(ii) Objective 2: Dissemination of the findings to key audiences, environmental politics scholars, political economists, EV policy professionals and the public.1. Convene workshop at the University of Manchester alongside Manchester City Council and the Department for Transport2. Attend the COP28 climate summit3. Present draft of second paper at the BISA conference 20244. Present draft of third paper at the EISA conference 2024(iii) Objective 3: Continue career development1. Provde a lecture on three course BA/MA modules for one week each.2. Undertake quantitative methods training3. Undertake training on presenting research to the media
Abstract Following the signing of the Paris Agreement in 2015, several countries committed to banning internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles to ensure global emissions could be kept below 1.5o (IPCC, 2023, UNFCCC, 2015). The intervention was an acknowledgement that decarbonising the automobile sector was instrumental in meeting the Paris Agreement, as the transport sector is the only sector in the global economy in which emissions continue to rise (ICCT, 2020). By means of addressing this acutely problematic feature of environmental politics, electric vehicles (EVs) have risen to the top of the policy agenda as a technology that no longer requires fossil fuels for propulsion. Yet, EV technology has existed for over 100 years, which begs the question of why now is the technology the focus of policymakers across the world?My doctoral thesis demonstrated that EVs have risen to prominence because they do not challenge contemporary society's dependence on automobiles, and can therefore be broadly accommodated within the present road infrastructure. As a result, EVs reduce environmental politics, in this instance, to supplanting our current ICE vehicles for EVs without threatening the place of automobile manufacturers within the global political economy. In contrast to the focus on EVs by policymakers, however, the EV transition has rarely been acknowledgement or examined in the academic literature, often leading it to be perceived as an inevitable outcome before 2050 (Haas, 2019, Meckling and Nahm, 2018, Mikler, 2016). Into this inaccurate and undeveloped debate, I showed how the EV transition is far from inevitable and would be deeply contestable with specific reference to the UK and Germany.My research was informed by a novel primary dataset, comprised of 65 semi-structured interviews with individuals from the public and private sectors, a document analysis of key strategic documents published by the UK and German governments and automobile manufacturers and descriptive statistics of EV growth. My goal was to draw upon the insights of individuals working towards the EV transition on a day-to-day basis to identify what barriers they experience in the growth of the EV market nationally, with further reference to China and Norway which are seen as global leaders. Moreover, my research findings detailed a series of policy interventions that have proved successful in developing the EV market. Understanding these barriers will allow policymakers to better understand the common challenges to the transition, with even further specific reference to the UK and Germany, reflecting the experiences of those immersed within it. The fellowship will allow me to disseminate my findings to the academic community and stakeholders involved in the EV transition. To maximise impact, I will publish three articles in prestigious, high-ranking journals to better the chances of broad readership, expand my networks with academic and non-academic actors and provide convenea workshop that provides a forum for these actors to collaborate. Indeed, the findings of this research will be submitted to the Department for Transport and Manchester City Council. In doing so, I will develop a demonstrably significant track record to distinguish myself in the literature and so increasing the chances of a permanent contract at the end of the fellowship in October 2024. The fellowship would therefore afford me the opportunity to make several important contributions to the environmental politics and political economy literature by consolidating the findings of my doctoral research into three prestigious, high-impact publications. Moreover, it would give me the opportunity to undertake additional training in lecturing, quantitative methods and research dissemination in the media to better myself as a scholar and ensure I can undertake further impactful research in the future. The University of Manchester the is perfect host research organisation for my project
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 28/06/23