From technology competition to reinventing individual ecomobility: new design strategies for electric vehicles
by Romain Beaume, Christophe Midler
International Journal of Automotive Technology and Management (IJATM), Vol. 9, No. 2, 2009

Abstract: In this paper, we discuss the first outputs from an action research done at Renault, which was started by the authors at the end of 2007. This research is focused on an ambitious programme aimed at addressing the challenges related to a mass-market roll-out of Electric Vehicles (EVs). In this paper, we introduce a theoretical framework to enlighten management on complex and radical innovation. It is based on four theoretical clusters identified by previous researches: value-driven strategies, usage-driven design, innovative design theory and co-innovation partnerships. We then use this framework to highlight the deceiving history of 'eternally emerging' EV technology and to improve the understanding of past failed attempts to mass-market EV. We then describe the case of the Renault programme on EVs, and demonstrate that the case reveals new innovative design practices that overcome the pitfalls of the previous attempts.

Online publication date: Tue, 09-Jun-2009

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