Publication details

Electric carsharing and the sustainable mobility transition : Conflict and contestation in a Czech actor-network



Year of publication 2021
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Energy Research & Social Science
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Social Studies

Keywords Electromobility; Carsharing; Energy transition; Actor-network theory; Czech Republic
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Description The energy transition has seen greater progress in some areas than others. Although it accounts for a significant portion of global greenhouse gas emissions, the transportation sector has hardly broken its high dependence on oil. Within the transportation sector, passenger road transport plays a considerable role in terms of both energy consumption and emissions. This paper, therefore, aims to contribute to the knowledge and theory of sustainability transitions in passenger road transportation by addressing the question, “How do actors and technologies interact to shape the process of sustainability transitions in road transport?” To help answer this question, Actor-Network Theory is applied to a local-level case study of an electric carsharing company in Brno, Czech Republic. A review of the energy transitions literature revealed ANT as a fruitful methodological toolbox due to its unique ontology and concepts. The study reveals that both the human and non-human actors within this network indeed play crucial roles that influence its successful expansion. These roles are often contested and negotiated by the various actors, thereby dictating the development of these associations as well as the actor-network as a whole. Moreover, the roles and associations within this network in many instances emerge not through human intention or agency but in response to those negotiated issues particularly surrounding the material elements of the network. While the study focuses on a specific case, it also offers insights and lessons for the broader energy transition, particularly the process of such transition in passenger road transportation.
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