Complex network analysis of the dynamic of changes in the electric vehicle agent and artifact space

Publication Type:

Conference Paper


Gerpisa colloquium, Paris (2021)


elecetrive agent artifact space



Research question (purpose)

Since 2018, the targets for reducing CO2 emissions have accelerated the commitment of companies and governments to develop alternative technologies to the use of fossil fuels in the mobility of people and goods. In particular, electric vehicles are referred to as technologies to meet those goals. The aim of this paper is to identify the dynamics of the transformations that have occurred in electric vehicle technology over the last two years. In particular, we intend to identify what characterizes the electric vehicle agent and artefact space, with reference to agents (companies, governments, public policies) and artefacts (production technologies of cars and related products, components, parts; production technologies of the energy and related storage, distribution techniques, etc.) whose interactions aim at affirming a new mobility model that should be sustainable from the point of view of emissions. Specific research questions, to be addressed in a temporal dimension:

RQ1 who are the companies involved in the electric vehicle space? what characteristics do the companies involved have? (in which current sectors are they active, which are the new enterprises, in which countries / regions / territorial clusters they operate, what are their economic and financial characteristics)

RQ2 which non-business agents are involved? (e.g. regulatory, standard setting agencies, etc.) RQ2 which public policies (and in which countries / regions) have been implemented in the different countries?

RQ3 what are the relevant artifacts in this technological and organizational transformation? (car production technologies and related products, components, parts; energy production technologies and related storage and distribution techniques, patents, IPR such as copyrights, patents, trademarks, trade secrets, etc., standards, regulations)

RQ4 such as types of relationships have been created / changed between agents and artifacts?

RQ5 in general, how does the structure of the space of agents and artifacts in theelectric vehicle space change over time? What role do public policies play in guiding and regulating those transformations?

Methodology (design)

The information base will be generated starting from the extraction of the news created by Other sources of information will be the websites of the companies identified in the information base taken from, the economic and financial data of the companies taken from Orbis (BvD) and Datastream, information on public policies in the countries examined (all those mentioned in, review of the specialized and economic literature on the transformation in electric car technologies.

The following methods have been implemented to elaborate data under analysis: Automatic categorization of information (carried out with text mining techniques); Assisted categorization (by the use of software applications such as Atlas.ti) of textual information extracted from and other sources; Integration of the different sources of analysis in a temporal relational database has been structured. Main results (findings) and their significance (practical and theoretical implications)

The main results are the identification of the dynamics of changes occurred in a new emerging domain of economic activities with regard to the spatial impact of those changes in terms of producers of the various automotive components and parts and car makers. Implications for industrial and innovation policies are discussed in the paper with regard to the main strategic policies in EU countries, China, and the USA.


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