Warum elektrische Utopien festgefahren sind: Das Imaginary Automobilität als Grenze der Verkehrswende am Beispiel der Elektromobilität in Deutschland

Alexander Wentland


Electric vehicles were supposed to transform our daily mobility practices,
urban landscapes and economies. Why has e-mobility not delivered the
more radical technological future that many had hoped for, especially during
its early phase? The concept of sociotechnical imaginaries allows us to
address such questions symmetrically by looking at the co-production of
continuity and change. Instead of evaluating high-tech visions, the imaginaries
perspective explores how socially and materially embedded political
collectives make sense of their past, present, and future. This paper
examines the case of electric mobility in Germany since 2009 to show how
seemingly disruptive technologies do not only challenge problematic systems
in the present, but also serve to sustain them. It analyses how a potentially
open mobility future is co-produced with an entrenched
automotive present: through processes of depoliticization, the stabilization
of forms of life along preconfigured trajectories, and the careful preservation
of national self-perceptions.



DOI: https://doi.org/10.6094/behemoth.2020.13.1.1037