Mechanisms with equity implications for the (non-) adoption of electric mobility in the early stage of the energy transition

Fabian Israel*, Dick Ettema, Dea van Lierop

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The need to reduce transport-related GHG emissions has led many governments to stimulate a shift from the use of traditional combustion engine vehicles to the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs). While private and shared electric mobility (EM) options may have positive environmental outcomes, equity concerns regarding the adoption transition to EM are receiving increasing attention. This paper examines a number of theoretical concepts that describe the underlying processes that lead to transportation inequalities and identifies empirical evidence on EM adoption mechanisms with justice implications that sustain inequalities and potentially prevent a desired social-inclusive transition to EM. The empirical findings from the literature reviewed revealed how factors such as unequal distribution of economic incentives, charging and access to EM, power configuration of the space, and differences in personal characteristics and capabilities all play a role in EM adoption. Accordingly, the acceleration of EM diffusion without a critical evaluation might lead to undesired societal outcomes regarding social exclusion and transportation burdens. The results make evident the necessity to set social inclusion as both a goal and as a process, as one of the main strategic targets, along with the urgency for decarbonisation, in the current early stage of the transition to EM.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)659-683
Number of pages25
JournalTransport Reviews
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2024


  • Adoption and diffusion
  • Electric mobility
  • Electric vehicles
  • Micro-mobility
  • Mobility transition
  • Transport justice


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