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A strategic approach to sustainable transport system development - Part 2: the case of a vision for electric vehicle systems in Southeast Sweden
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development. (Strategic Sustainable Development)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8314-7504
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development. (Strategic Sustainable Development)
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development. (Strategic Sustainable Development)
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development. (Strategic Sustainable Development)
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2017 (English)In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, E-ISSN 1879-1786, Vol. 140, no Part 1, 62-71 p.Article in journal (Refereed) PublishedText
Abstract [en]

Electric vehicles seem to offer a great potential for sustainable transport development. The Swedish pioneer project GreenCharge Southeast is designed as a cooperative action research approach that aims to explore a roadmap for a fossil-free transport system by 2030 with a focus on electric vehicles. In the first paper of this tandem publication, the authors propose a new generic process model embedding the Framework of Strategic Sustainable Development. The purpose of applying it in an action-research mode as described in this paper was twofold: (i) to develop a vision for sustainable regional transport and a coarse roadmap towards that vision, and, while doing so, (ii) get additional empirical experiences to inform the development of the new generic process model. Experts from many sectors and organizations involved in the GreenCharge project provided vital information and reviewed all planning perspectives presented in Paper 1 in two sequential multi-stakeholder seminars. The results include a sustainable vision for electric vehicle systems in southeast Sweden within a sustainable regional transport system within a sustainable global society, as well as an initial development plan towards such a vision for the transport sector. The vision is framed by the universal sustainability principles, and the development plan is informed by the strategic guidelines, of the above-mentioned framework. Among other things, the vision and plan imply a shift to renewable energy and a more optimized use of areas and thus a new type of spatial planning. For example, the vision and plan implies a lower built-in demand for transport, more integrated traffic modes, and more multi-functional use of areas for energy and transport infrastructures, for example. Some inherent benefits of electric vehicles are highlighted in the vision and plan, including near-zero local emissions and flexibility as regards primary energy sources. The vision and plan also imply improved governance for more effective cross-sector collaboration to ensure coor- dinated development within the transport sector and between the transportation sector and other relevant sectors. Meanwhile, the new generic process model was refined and is ready to be applied and further tested in the GreenCharge project and in other projects within the transport sector as well as other sectors. The study confirmed that the new generic process model suggested in support of sus- tainable transport system and community development is helpful for giving diverse stakeholders, with various specialties and perspectives, a way of working that is goal-oriented and builds on effective, iterative learning loops and co-creation. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2017. Vol. 140, no Part 1, 62-71 p.
Keyword [en]
Sustainability, Cross-sector, Traffic, Electric vehicles, Strategic planning, Vision
National Category
Other Natural Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:bth-11714DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2016.02.055OAI: diva2:911657
Available from: 2016-03-14 Created: 2016-03-14 Last updated: 2016-12-19Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Sustainable Personal Road Transport: The Role of Electric Vehicles
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Sustainable Personal Road Transport: The Role of Electric Vehicles
2016 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Electric vehicles can play an important role in a future sustainable road transport system and many Swedish politicians would like to see them implemented faster. This is likely desirable to reach the target of a fossil independent vehicle fleet in Sweden by 2030 and a greenhouse gas neutral Swedish society no later than 2050. However, to reach both these targets, and certainly to support the full scope of sustainability, it is important to consider the whole life-cycle of the vehicles and also the interaction between the transport sector and other sectors. So far, there are no plans for transitions towards a sustainable transport system applying a sufficiently wide systems perspective, in Sweden or elsewhere. This implies a great risk for sub-optimizations.

The overall aim of this work is to elaborate methodological support for development of sustainable personal road transport systems that is informed by a strategic sustainable development perspective.

The Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development (FSSD) is used as a foundation for the work to ensure a sufficiently wide systems perspective and coordinated collaboration across disciplines and sectors, both in the research and application. Maxwell’s Qualitative Research Design and the Design Research Methodology are used as overall guides for the research approach. Specific research methods and techniques include literature studies, action research seminars, interviews, and measurements of energy use, costs, and noise. Moreover, a case study on the conditions for a breakthrough for vehicles in southeast Sweden has been used as a test and development platform.

Specific results include a preliminary vision for electrical vehicles in southeast Sweden, framed by the principled sustainability definition of the FSSD, an assessment of the current reality in relation to that vision, and proposed solutions to bridge the gap, organized into a preliminary roadmap. The studies show that electric vehicles have several sustainability advantages even when their whole life-cycle is considered, provided that they are charged with electricity from new renewable sources. Electrical vehicles also imply a low total cost of ownership and could promote new local ‘green jobs’ under certain conditions. Particularly promising results are seen for electric buses in public transport. As a general result, partly based on the experiences from the specific case, a generic community planning process model is proposed and its usefulness for sustainable transport system development is discussed.

The strategic sustainable development perspective of this thesis broadens the analysis beyond the more common focus on climate change issues and reduces the risk of sub-optimizations in community and transport system development. The generic support for multi-stakeholder collaboration could potentially also promote a more participatory democratic approach to community development, grounded in a scientific foundation. Future research will explore specific decision support systems for sustainable transport development based on the generic planning process model.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlskrona: Blekinge Tekniska Högskola, 2016. 116 p.
Blekinge Institute of Technology Licentiate Dissertation Series, ISSN 1650-2140 ; 2016:02
Strategic Sustainable Development, Transport Planning, Electric Vehicles, Testing, LCA
National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified
urn:nbn:se:bth-11715 (URN)978-91-7295-325-3 (ISBN)
2016-04-15, BTH: J1650, Blekinge Tekniska Högskola, Karlskrona, 09:30 (English)
Available from: 2016-03-15 Created: 2016-03-14 Last updated: 2016-10-19Bibliographically approved

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Borén, SvenNurhadi, LisianaNy, HenrikRobèrt, Karl-HenrikBroman, Göran
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