Managing learning in the automotive industry -the innovation race for electric vehicles

Type de publication:

Journal Article


International Journal of Automotive Technology and Management, Volume 9, Number 2, p.123-147 (2009)



Electrification or hybridisation is the main focus for most car manufacturers today. However, it implies large changes both in terms of the vehicle itself (technology and integrated systems) and of usage and business models. The literature on discontinuous innovation proposes learning as a crucial capability, but there are few empirical studies on how this actually happens in firms. This paper discusses the different learning mechanisms used to develop the capabilities related to Electric Vehicles (EVs) and Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs). It highlights that in this kind of broad innovation field, more advanced mechanisms might be needed by automotive firms aspiring to be leaders, such as market experiments and exploratory partnerships. It also argues that overall learning strategies are necessary to guide the many learning mechanisms involved. The paper contributes to our understanding of how automotive companies deal with disruptive innovations. © 2009 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.

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