Sustainable Development as a strategic challenge for OEMs and governments: Politics on the Battery Electric Car in Germany and France

Type de publication:

Conference Paper


Gerpisa colloquium, Paris (2011)


electric car, France, Germany, Sustainable Development


The integration of sustainable development in the automotive industry’s institutional structures challenges car makers’ dominance in the value chain. SD requirements impact not only car makers’ technological and business strategies, but transform their scope of action as political actors within the industry. This paper asks how French and German OEMs cope with these challenges: Which political strategies do they employ around SD and the “green car” ? What does this imply for the French-German competition on the European market ? How does public policy as a driver and constraint on the national and EU level affect OEMs’ strategies?
Especially strategies and policies around the battery electric car (BEV) illustrate that OEMs promote “greening” policies as an instrument to establish new markets and legitimize innovation strategies. The manifold private-public interest coalitions that emerge around the BEV need to be explained in the context of a growing regulative framework on the European decision making level, and the struggle for regulation competence between the two countries’ national governments: The observable differences between the French and German setting help us to understand how the Europe’s “new automobile ecosystem” will be shaped.

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Concéption Tommaso Pardi
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