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A transitions model for sustainable mobility

Author

Listed:
  • Köhler, Jonathan
  • Whitmarsh, Lorraine
  • Nykvist, Björn
  • Schilperoord, Michel
  • Bergman, Noam
  • Haxeltine, Alex

Abstract

This paper reports on the development of a model for assessing transitions to sustainable mobility. The model uses the concepts of transition theory as a framework for assessing possible pathways by which a transition to a sustainable mobility society might happen. The modelling approach combines agent-based modelling techniques with a system dynamics structure. It is original in that there are two levels of agent. There are a small number of complex agents, which have an internal structure and are therefore subsystems within society, and a larger number of simple agents. Based on the UK data, the results show that Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles (FCVs) come to dominate, but only in the very long run (after 2030), while biofuels and ICE (Internal Combustion Engine)-electric hybrids are the main alternatives to the regime in the next 10-30Â years, because a) they are already developed and b) they fit better into current infrastructures. The model shows that technological transitions are most likely. Lifestyle change transitions require sustained pressure from the environment on society and behavioural change from consumers.

Suggested Citation

  • Köhler, Jonathan & Whitmarsh, Lorraine & Nykvist, Björn & Schilperoord, Michel & Bergman, Noam & Haxeltine, Alex, 2009. "A transitions model for sustainable mobility," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(12), pages 2985-2995, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:68:y:2009:i:12:p:2985-2995
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Malte Schwoon, 2005. "Simulating the Adoption of Fuel Cell Vehicles," Working Papers FNU-59, Research unit Sustainability and Global Change, Hamburg University, revised Feb 2006.
    2. repec:cup:apsrev:v:99:y:2005:i:02:p:263-281_05 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Dougherty, William & Kartha, Sivan & Rajan, Chella & Lazarus, Michael & Bailie, Alison & Runkle, Benjamin & Fencl, Amanda, 2009. "Greenhouse gas reduction benefits and costs of a large-scale transition to hydrogen in the USA," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 56-67, January.
    4. Noam Bergman & Alex Haxeltine & Lorraine Whitmarsh & Jonathan Köhler & Michel Schilperoord & Jan Rotmans, 2008. "Modelling Socio-Technical Transition Patterns and Pathways," Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, vol. 11(3), pages 1-7.
    5. Jeroen Struben & John D Sterman, 2008. "Transition challenges for alternative fuel vehicle and transportation systems," Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 35(6), pages 1070-1097, November.
    6. Malte Schwoon, 2006. "Simulating the adoption of fuel cell vehicles," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 16(4), pages 435-472, October.
    7. Mau, Paulus & Eyzaguirre, Jimena & Jaccard, Mark & Collins-Dodd, Colleen & Tiedemann, Kenneth, 2008. "The 'neighbor effect': Simulating dynamics in consumer preferences for new vehicle technologies," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1-2), pages 504-516, December.
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