Title: The social construction of the market for electric cars in France: politics coming to the aid of economics

Authors: Axel Villareal

Addresses: Institut d'Etudes politiques de Bordeaux, Centre Emile Durkheim, 11 Allée Ausone, 33600 Pessac, France

Abstract: With so many questions being raised nowadays about the future of the global automobile industry, electric cars have tended to be viewed as an increasingly desirable sustainable solution for the sector. Encouraged by many states in Europe and across the world, this market – devolved from electrical technology – is slowly taking shape and has a serious chance of achieving future growth for the first time in its history. The present article tries to identify operational factors in the construction of the market for electric cars in France, highlighting the crucial role played by the state and public policy in the emergence of the new branch and in the construction of its demand. It also shows the definitional and symbolical conflicts which have structured debates on the future of the electric car and its commercial implications. Grasping these processes is decisive to understanding the current situation and the importance of representations on market building.

Keywords: electric vehicles; sustainable development; green politics; political work; politicisation; new marketing strategy; French automobile industry; Renault; France; sustainability; automotive technology.

DOI: 10.1504/IJATM.2011.043165

International Journal of Automotive Technology and Management, 2011 Vol.11 No.4, pp.326 - 339

Received: 08 May 2021
Accepted: 12 May 2021

Published online: 18 Oct 2011 *

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