This book discusses cars of the future and the new socio-economic paradigm that they represent. It examines the electromobility revolution in the traditional automotive industry and brings together multidisciplinary expertise to provide insights into the shift towards electromobility. New vehicular technologies may develop in various directions, including the smart car, and this context raises two important questions: will car manufactures maintain control over the industry? And if so, will they be able to come up with sufficiently radical innovations to steer us into the electromobility of tomorrow? One thing is certain: the transition to electromobility will be a revolution. The book's combined approach to understanding this complex reality enables readers to better visualize the possible future directions. It offers anyone interested in electromobility an excellent review of the subject and a useful roadmap to future developments.
This book reveals the mechanisms underlying the convergence of car fuel economy regulations in Europe, Japan and the US by drawing upon a constructivist theory of International Relations and law that focuses on business competition and environmental regulations. It offers new understanding of the topic of cars and an issue of climate change, discussing the emerging phenomenon of convergence of fuel economy regulations; addressing the role of business actors in pushing for climate change action; proposing the new model of agency with and beyond states; and providing insightful case studies from Europe, Japan and the US.
The opening chapter reviews the automobile industry and global climate change, providing a background for the discussion to follow. Chapter 2, Business Actors and Global Environmental Governance, grounds the discussion in the field of environmental governance. The third chapter is a case study examining the construction and timing of the European Union's climate policies for automobile CO2 emissions, discussing the underlying factors and the actors influencing the policies. The following chapter argues that Japan adopted its stringent fuel economy regulations primarily because of industry competitiveness, motivated by stringent environmental regulations in export markets and encouraged by a tradition of 'co-regulation' and 'corporatism' to enhance the regulations. Chapter 5 asks why the US, the first country to introduce fuel economy regulations, spent two decades in regulatory stagnation, and discusses how recent US fuel economy regulations came to converge with Japanese and European standards.
Chapter 6 compares, contrasts and analyzes fuel economy regulations among the three case studies and identifies policy implications for the future climate governance for 2015 and beyond. The final chapter explores applicability of the 'agency with and beyond the state' model to other sectors and to climate governance as a whole.
Little work has been done to explicate the motivational factors of agency, particularly in cases where an artifact initially deemed ineffective or superfluous becomes an everyday necessity, such as the automobile at the turn of the twentieth century. Farmers saw it as a "devil wagon" but later adopted it for use as an all-around device and power source. What makes a social group change its position about a particular artifact? How did the devil wagon overcome its notoriety to become a prosaic mainstream device? These questions direct the research in this book. While they may have been asked before, author Imes Chiu (PhD, Cornell University) brings a different and refreshing approach to the problem of newness. Preexisting practices and work routines used as explanatory devices have something interesting to say about diffusion strategies and localization measures. This innovative study examines the conversion of users. To understand the motivating factors in mass adoption, the study focuses on perceptions and practices associated with horses and motorcars in three different settings during three different periods. All three cases begin with the motorcar in the periphery: all three end with it achieving ubiquity. This multiple-case design is used for the purpose of theoretical replication. Results in all three cases show that a contrived likeness to its competitor-the horse-contributed to the motorcar's success. The motorcar absorbed the technical, material, structural, and conceptual resources of the technology it displaced. This book, which includes several rare photographs, will be an important resource for those who wish to study the history of transportation and technology adaptation.