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Power from above? Assessing actor-related barriers to the implementation of trolley truck technology in Germany

: Scherrer, Aline; Plötz, Patrick; Laerhoven, Frank van


Environmental innovation and societal transitions 34 (2020), pp.221-236
ISSN: 2210-4224
Journal Article
Fraunhofer ISI ()
electric vehicles; electric road systems; trolley trucks; catenary hybrid trucks; multi-level perspective; technological innovation system; barriers to innovation

In this paper, we present a new method to operationalize social barriers for innovative technologies. Technical feasibility and economic viability are no guarantee for the development and take-off of an innovation. We combine insights from multi-level perspective (MLP) and technological innovation systems (TIS) theory to develop a framework for the identification and evaluation of actor-centred barriers. We illustrate the method through an application to catenary hybrid truck (CHT) technology in Germany. Relevant stakeholders were identified via document research and subsequent network analysis, and then approached to fill out a survey. Additional data was gathered using semi-structured interviews with key actors, and content analysis. We show how the implementation of CHT may be hampered by resistance from the regime and by a lack of focused expectations and lobbying within the niche.