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Capturing the economic benefits of a transformative shift to low carbon automobility


  • David Jarvis


  • Nigel Berkeley
  • Tom Donnelly


The policy framework to encourage the manufacture and adoption of low carbon vehicles presents new opportunities for traditional automotive manufacturing regions. This article examines such opportunities in the West Midlands region of the UK, where the automotive ‘cluster’ remains significant and where failure to adapt to changing markets could have adverse economic and social consequences. Our analysis argues that the region needs to capitalise on existing strengths at the upper end of the technology spectrum and establish itself as a leader in the area of low carbon vehicle technologies. In doing so, it is recognised that a coordinated and holistic approach is required, involving multiple layers of government, in order to support industry in the development and application of new technologies, and critically, to overcome barriers to consumer acceptance and adoption. The article finds that, whilst the West Midlands experience to date demonstrates the effectiveness of a joined-up and holistic approach to policy delivery, much more attention needs to be paid to a demand push if potential economic benefits are to be maximised. As a cautionary point, the article also questions the sustainability of the partnership approach to policy delivery given the abolition of regional government in the UK.

Suggested Citation

  • David Jarvis & Nigel Berkeley & Tom Donnelly, 2012. "Capturing the economic benefits of a transformative shift to low carbon automobility," Local Economy, London South Bank University, vol. 27(7), pages 692-704, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:loceco:v:27:y:2012:i:7:p:692-704

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    electric vehicles; infrastructure; market; policy;


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