How E-Mobility Transition Interacts with Social Stratification in China
As China experiences rapid urbanization and more marked class stratification, mobility is no longer a simple matter of moving from one place to another, but a complex phenomenon encompassing social equality and sustainable development. The mutual interactions between an emerging e-mobility and the transformation of the Chinese middle classes have drawn the attention of the economist David Tyfield, as French mobility think tank Mobile Lives Forum reports.
According to Tyfield, social class is affecting the e-mobility transition. Despite decent electric vehicle (EV) subsidies, the middle classes don’t seem drawn to this form of transport mainly due to the fact that EVs are ‘unexciting’, ‘normal’ cars that can’t show off their social status. However, there is an increasing number of young urbanites, perhaps with overseas experience, who are willing to try new forms of urban mobility such as car-sharing with EV. The development of e-mobility is hampered nevertheless by potential buyers’ social strata; insufficient charging infrastructure means EVs can only be enjoyed by a small elite who own personal parking spaces with individual charging docks. Without adequate policy and infrastructure support, mobility inequalities are often exacerbated in society.