Accelerating technological change: towards a more sustainable transport system

This thesis provides insights into the mechanisms of technological change by capturing the complexity that characterises the current technological transition of the transport system into existing evolutionary models of technological change. Technological change in the transport sector is not easy, as it is locked in into fossil-fuel-based internal combustion engine vehicles. Escaping this lock-in is difficult, because vehicle technologies are dependent on infrastructures, which are characterised by high switching costs and network externalities. Moreover, negative externalities inherent in environmental problems are insufficiently internalised in the costs of technologies, which is a disadvantage for the competitive position of more environmentally friendly technologies. In contrast with earlier studies this thesis explicitly addresses the infrastructure dependence of vehicle technologies. In addition the models cover the emergence of multiple new technologies; the compatibility between different old and/or new technological systems; the technologies that emerge at different moments in time; and the effects of significant incremental improvements in the existing technologies. The two main overall conclusions of this thesis have major implications for policymakers who intend to accelerate technological change towards a more sustainable transport system. First, it is concluded that the emergence of a large variety of radically new vehicle technologies that depend on a physical infrastructure may hamper the diffusion of any one of those radically new vehicle technologies. Second, incremental improvements in the environmental performance of the existing vehicle technology may hamper the diffusion of radically new technologies with a higher environmental performance potential.


  • English

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  • Pagination: 1 file

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01530499
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: ARRB
  • ISBN: 9789062663514
  • Files: ATRI
  • Created Date: Jul 15 2014 2:33PM