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Expérimenter la vraie vie : le cas de la recharge des véhicules électriques à l’échelle de l’Union européenne

Abstract : Since the turn of the 2010s, electric vehicles (EVs) have been central to the European Union's (EU’s) strategy for decarbonising transport and developing alternative fuels. The EU has a clear goal: mass-market adoption. To this end, the European Commission (EC) has focused on developing a EU-wide charging infrastructure that meets the needs of (future) drivers and is harmonised across the Union.This thesis takes as its starting point a new tool that has been devised at the European Commission to stimulate private investment and prepare for the large-scale deployment of charging infrastructure on the trans-European transport network (TEN-T): the EC co-financed infrastructure pilot projects, offering pioneering companies the opportunity to test the customer relationship in real-life conditions, to investigate viable business models and to identify the conditions for scaling up. This approach was referred to as "real-life trial".Based on an ethnographic survey that was carried out within two of these projects, the thesis investigates the nature and properties of "real-life trials" in building an EV charging offer, beyond the EC’s concept. It shows how these trials in real-life conditions allow the emergence of “real-life” EV charging. In particular, we show how the projects raise issues that were previously underestimated (the complexity of network deployment, the variety of technological solutions to guarantee cross-border access to infrastructure) and help to refine the very purpose of the "real-life trial". We demonstrate that these projects are genuinely experimental, notwithstanding the expectations of their project leaders. We show that, rather than testing a commercial activity based on a technology which was assumed to be sufficiently mature, the projects enable the exploration and shaping of new socio-technical arrangements (EV charging on motorways, pan-European EV charging) as well as the maturation of the actor ecosystem. It is also shown that “real-life trial” projects are excellent observation sites to investigate and decipher the European EV charging innovation process. In the end, we highlight the key role of real-life experimentation, as a transformation operator, in driving the transition towards electromobility in Europe, and we suggest that this type of approach deserves to be continued and generalised.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, June 21, 2022 - 2:33:27 PM
Last modification on : Friday, August 5, 2022 - 2:38:11 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Thursday, September 22, 2022 - 7:34:37 PM


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  • HAL Id : tel-03700823, version 1



Anne Guillemot. Expérimenter la vraie vie : le cas de la recharge des véhicules électriques à l’échelle de l’Union européenne. Architecture, aménagement de l'espace. École des Ponts ParisTech, 2022. Français. ⟨NNT : 2022ENPC0005⟩. ⟨tel-03700823⟩



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