The Role of Rural Heterogeneity in Knowledge Mobilisation and Sociotechnical Transitions: Reflections from a Study on Electric Vehicles as an Alternative Technology for Cornwall, UK

Shukru Esmene 1  and Michael Leyshon 2
  • 1 University of Exeter, European Centre for the Environment and Human Health, TR1 3HD, Truro
  • 2 University of Exeter, Centre for Geography and Environmental Science, College of Life and Environmental Sciences, Peter Lanyon Building, TR10 9FE, Penryn


Mobilising knowledges across a geography creates opportunities for transitions to smart systems. Publics in a geography are consequently able to form their perspectives around a system and align potential benefits with their needs. Intelligent transport systems are an example of smart living and EVs are cited as an alternative technology that are key to their application. This conceptual paper uses EVs as an example to demonstrate how knowledge mobilisation relating to such technologies can better cater to a geography’s needs. Unfortunately, current EV studies focus on a rural-urban binary. Thus, this conceptual contribution reflects on a study in Cornwall, UK, to reveal the heterogeneous influences on rural EV-related perspectives. This heterogeneity manifests both in particular locations and across cases. Overall a suite of transferrable participatory methods to improve rural knowledge mobilisation is outlined.

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