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Sustainable Mobility Transitions: (New) Pathways of Future Energy Systems

Energy, Sustainability and Society welcomes submissions to the thematic series on 'Sustainable Mobility Transitions: (New) Pathways of Future Energy Systems'.

Genesis, objective and overview of the special issue

The global pandemic has led to massive reductions in mobility worldwide. Post-lockdown travel is characterised by several restrictions still in place and an emerging upheaval in individual behaviour. Long-distance travel loses attractiveness, professional meetings are increasingly held online and holiday destinations in closer proximity become more appealing. To the mobility sector, this poses a considerable challenge, as it might need to readjust profoundly. Several cities see a window of opportunity for the mobility transition to finally gain momentum, and some, such as Brussels, Paris or Berlin, have already started to implement new concepts. For example, temporary bike lanes have been installed as part of an ambitious bike promotion strategy. Additionally, sustainability and green transformation efforts need to be accounted for: If we take climate protection seriously, then we need to fundamentally transform the transport sector. Until now, battery-powered electric vehicles have been among the most promising technologies, especially since batteries are expected to become cheaper and more powerful in the future. In the longer term, electric vehicles based on fuel cells and powered by green hydrogen will also have their place, at least in segments where battery storage is not manageable, such as long-haul aircraft and overseas ships. However, electrification only makes sense if renewable energies are available.
They are decentralised gained and at the same time fluctuate. In order to reach a balance between demand and supply of renewables, all consumption sectors - electricity, heat and transport - are increasingly coupled with each other in order to create flexibility in the overall system. This idea stands behind the technical concept of sector coupling.
The first aspect of the Special Issue concerns the question of which new forms of regulation and governance of the transport system are currently being developed or are already emerging in contours.
The second aspect of the Special Issue concerns the question of how a transformation of the transport sector is also a social question: a changed mobility requires the willingness of the population and is closely linked to living habits, individual attitudes and the structures of everyday life.
From a scientific perspective, a distinction can be made between individual and collective action: the change in traffic as a direct burden on the individual and as a task for society, which depends on consensus and legitimacy. The scientific debate often focuses on poverty and justice, on costs and consumption, and solutions for cities, communities and neighbourhoods. In particular, the distributional justice is emphasized, whereby the procedural dimension should not be ignored: Numerous studies show that not all parts of the population are equally represented in discursive participatory processes in the context of the development of new mobility concepts.
Most of the contributions are based on conference papers that have been submitted for the international conference "Energy Futures – Emerging Pathways in an Uncertain World?" by the Leibniz Research Alliance on Energy Transitions from the 22nd to the 26thof February 2021, which was originally supposed to take place at the WZB, but because of the Corona pandemic was held exclusively digitally. The list of papers has been supplemented by contributions given at the DVPW conference "Renaissance der Verkehrspolitik". This conference also took place digitally on the 18th and 19th of February 2021.

Submission Instructions

Before submitting your manuscript, please ensure you have carefully read the submission guidelines for Energy, Sustainability and Society. The complete manuscript should be submitted through the Energy, Sustainability and Society submission system. To ensure that you submit to the correct thematic series please select the appropriate thematic series in the drop-down menu upon submission. In addition, indicate within your cover letter that you wish your manuscript to be considered as part of the thematic series on ''Sustainable Mobility Transitions: (New) Pathways of Future Energy Systems'. All submissions will undergo rigorous peer review and accepted articles will be published within the journal as a collection.

Lead Guest Editor

Jörg Radtke, University Siegen, Germany

Guest Editor

Weert Canzler , WZB, Berlin, Germany 

Submissions will also benefit from the usual advantages of open access publication:

  • Rapid publication: Online submission, electronic peer review and production make the process of publishing your article simple and efficient
  • High visibility and international readership in your field: Open access publication ensures high visibility and maximum exposure for your work - anyone with online access can read your article
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  • Authors retain copyright, licensing the article under a Creative Commons license: articles can be freely redistributed and reused as long as the article is correctly attributed

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  1. The decarbonization of the mobility sector is one of the main challenges in the context of climate mitigation. In Germany, as in many other countries, policy measures aiming to make the mobility system greener...

    Authors: Marco Sonnberger, Matthias Leger and Jörg Radtke
    Citation: Energy, Sustainability and Society 2024 14:40
  2. A sustainability transition in mobility is dependent on a transition away from a fossil fuel-based automobility regime. Smart charging, in the form of vehicle-to-grid (V2G) has been presented as one—or even th...

    Authors: Jørgen Aarhaug
    Citation: Energy, Sustainability and Society 2023 13:29
  3. Transport policy has regained political relevance in Germany. The successful realization of the Verkehrswende,—the extensive transition toward sustainable transport and mobility—is central to reaching climate neu...

    Authors: Antonios Souris, Christian Stecker and Arne Jungjohann
    Citation: Energy, Sustainability and Society 2023 13:20
  4. Transport and mobility contribute a significant share of greenhouse gas emissions, and fossil fuel consumption must be reduced for mobility to meet sustainable development goals. Strengthening public transport...

    Authors: Max Reichenbach and Torsten Fleischer
    Citation: Energy, Sustainability and Society 2023 13:14
  5. Traffic and transport infrastructure is a vital prerequisite for social and economic development as well as the socio-spatial integration of countries and regions’ societal strata. It sets the course for the f...

    Authors: Thorsten Winkelmann, Julia Zimmermann and Erik Vollmann
    Citation: Energy, Sustainability and Society 2023 13:6
  6. Applying the Multi-Level Perspective (MLP) on socio-technical transitions, paired with the interdisciplinary framing approach, this paper investigates how incumbent actors of automobility in Germany framed the...

    Authors: C. E. Drexler, B. Verse, A. Hauslbauer, J. Lopez and S. Haider
    Citation: Energy, Sustainability and Society 2022 12:50
  7. In response to climate change challenges, a main policy emphasis is on transitioning the energy system from high- to low-carbon energy supply. The German energy transition is first and foremost based on politi...

    Authors: Dirk Scheer, Marion Dreyer, Maike Schmidt, Lisa Schmieder and Annika Arnold
    Citation: Energy, Sustainability and Society 2022 12:36
  8. The paper aims to elucidate to what extent the German Parliament exerts control over rail planning. Parliament has the budgetary right, but information asymmetries vis-à-vis the railway company Deutsche Bahn a...

    Authors: Felix Julian Koch, Jenny Rademann and Simon Fink
    Citation: Energy, Sustainability and Society 2022 12:18