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The death of a transport regime? The future of electric bicycles and transportation pathways for sustainable mobility in China

Lin, Xiao, Wells, Peter ORCID: and Sovacool, Benjamin K. 2018. The death of a transport regime? The future of electric bicycles and transportation pathways for sustainable mobility in China. Technological Forecasting and Social Change 132 , pp. 255-267. 10.1016/j.techfore.2018.02.008

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This paper has an empirical and theoretical focus: to empirically assess electric bicycle development in China, and to theoretically test and apply the “Multi-Level Perspective” on transitions and innovation. We examine the electric bicycle (e-bike) sector in China to understand the future prospects for urban mobility and the interaction of e-bikes as a form of vernacular technology within the existing transport regime. For this purpose, we address the following questions: 1) What factors will influence the future adoption of e-bikes? 2) How are alternative travel modes evaluated against e-bikes? 3) Will e-bikes become a popular sustainable mobility mode in the future or only an intermediary mode to cars? To provide answers, we conducted a survey in Nanjing city in order to assess the attitude of e-bike users, and other mode users (e.g. pedestrians; bicycle users). We then analyse responses from this survey through the lens of sociotechnical transitions theory, notably the “Multi-Level Perspective” notions of niches, regimes, and landscape. The paper explores the influential factors underpinning future e-bike adoption and the decision-making calculus behind alternative mode choices. Generalised Linear Models are used to investigate the factors influencing future e-bike adoption and alternative mode choices based on the survey data. We conclude that e-bikes are an intermediary mode on Nanjing's motorisation pathway, and that they therefore may eventually reflect a dying regime.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0040-1625
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 26 March 2018
Date of Acceptance: 7 February 2018
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2022 18:36

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