New powertrains and new forms of mobilities have been manly debated in the last GERPISA conferences with regard to the technological trajectories and the role of the newcomers in the industry on the one hand, and the blurring of the boundaries between public transport and private transport on the other hand. In respect to these approaches, this year we plan to shed light on the new business models designed by incumbents and newcomers. Papers on the respective role of market, which might be covered by each technology, are welcome: electric large and micro vehicles, full and plug-in hybrid vehicles, fuel cell vehicles, LPG and CNG vehicles. A major hurdle regards the electric vehicles massive diffusion and it is significant to understand how companies should design and implement new business models, implying the design of new contractual relationships with all the players and stakeholders. If new mobility patterns entail regime change, papers are welcome on empirical cases and analysis of the services implemented in different countries or cities in relation to strategies of carmakers, of batteries makers etc. but also of other firms involved: car rental or carsharing companies, parking companies, public/collective transport companies (urban train/metro, buses), as intermodal shift is at stake in most cities to avoid traffic jam but also CO2 emission. The business model related to all these new mobility services is still not clear and of course more analysis on it are necessary.
We also need to describe how and why both trends are linked to the current dynamics in the global automotive industry, how politics are correlated to the recent economic crisis and existing patterns in Japan, Europe, the US, and emerging markets. To which degree do new powertrains – and their use through new “sustainable” mobility services – transform the sector’s structure and institutions, new markets and business practices? How do OEMs react to this challenge? Which patterns of collaboration and innovation emerge? Based on which concepts can we grasp the scope of technological, societal and political transition we are facing? How to evaluate the rise of national and regional support schemes, how do they operate, what explains success or failure? What is the role and impact of public (environmental or transport) politics in shaping the integration of new and old technology?
Eventually, new topics might be addressed. The national legal framework, that is regulations and laws which may favour or on the opposite break the introduction of new mobility services in cities: depending on the legal framework, services which can be provided will of course differ leading to different strategies and business models. Second, it might be useful to suggest papers taking a demand approach of the market of new powertrains vehicles and new mobility services, including customers/citizens’ needs and mobility patterns but also their acceptance to change their behaviour, the incentives that cities and/or companies implement to promote new mobility services. Third, the issue of charging infrastructure that might be linked to public and private investments (public policies, but also carmakers investments or even commercial facilities investment to attract EVs owners, to get an eco-image). It might also be related to energy questions depending on charging resources which are focussed on. Fourth, one key challenge is that an increased number of EVs could put excessive demands on the electric energy balancing or the electric distribution network. The potential interactions between an EV fleet and the electric power grid (Vehicle to Home V2H, or vehicle to Grid, V2G) require technical solutions which involve industries and different market and regulatory environments.
This year’s conference is going to look deeper into these issues in a global comparative perspective, and we invite papers that reflect and describe these new developments in the existing automobile system.
Concéption Tommaso Pardi
Administration Géry Deffontaines