Three possible scenarios for cleaner automobiles


Freyssenet M., Three possible scenarios for cleaner automobiles, International Journal of Automotive Technology and Management, issue n°4, 2011. Digital publication,, 2013, 217 Ko, ISSN 7116-0941.

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The quivering observed towards the alternative motorizations could be the starter of at least three scenarios. In the scenario of diversity, each automobile producer will be able to find its regional niche. In the scenario of progressiveness, only most powerful carmakers will survive. In the scenario of rupture, the newcomers and the innovating entreprises will have the possibility to engage a true « Second Automobile Revolution ». The winning scenario will prevail not because of its technical superiority or of its best environmental performances, but initially because of energy geopolicies and of firm profit strategies. For these reasons, the third scenario, which appears today most random, could impose, as the improbable petrol car scenario imposed one century ago.


1. Four main conditions for a car revolution
1.1. The crisis of the previous transport system
1.2. The emergence of various solutions, thanks to innovations coming from other industrial sectors
1.3. The formation of a coalition of economic, politic and social forces to impose one solution
1.4. The macro-economic decisions and the public policies for a broad diffusion of a chosen standard

2. From an astonishing effervescence, three main scenarios emerge
2.1. The scenario of diversity
2.2 The scenario of progressiveness
2.3 The scenario of the rupture

Key words

Automobile industry, transport system, hybrid car, electric car, agro-fuel, energy geopolicies, environnemantal performances, profit strategies

Concerned disciplines

Economics, Management, Geography, History, History of Sciences and Technologies, Engineering, Political Science, Sociology

Writing context

to personal questioning
to scientific reflection of research laboratory or network
to national and international scientific debate
to diffusion of scientific results
to implementation of scientific results

References, commentaries, critics

Current relevance

See also

Boyer R.,Freyssenet M., Is a second automobile revolution underway? How to improve our capacity to answer? , Slides presentation. 25th GERPISA colloquium, ENS Cachan, 14-16 june 2017, Numeric Publishings,, 2017, Ko ;, 2017, 60 Ko, ISSN 7116-0941.

Freyssenet M., The Second Automobile Revolution is Underway. Scenarios in confrontation, in G. Calabrese (ed.), The Greening of the Automobile Industry, Palgrave, 2012, 304-322 pL Digital publication,, 2017, 200 Ko, ISSN 7116-0941.

Freyssenet M., La industria automotriz en la crisis económica y ambiental mundial : lo que esta en juego, Ponencia para la conferencia «Pasado, Presente y Futuro del Automóvil en Castilla y León », Universidad de Valladolid, Valladolid, 19-22 septiembre 2011. Edición numérica :, 2011, 2,6 Mo, ISSN 7116-0941.

Freyssenet M., La seconde révolution automobile : ses promesses et ses incertitudes, original en français de «The second automobile revolution : promises and uncertainties», in Freyssenet M. (ed.), The Second Automobile Revolution. Trajectories of the World Carmakers in the 21st century, Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009, pp 443-454. Édition numérique :, 2009, 196 Ko, ISSN 7116-0941.

Freyssenet M., Are we at the outset of a Second Automobile Revolution? Inquiries proposal. Slides presentation, in Jullien B. (dir.), Proceedings of the 17 th international colloquium of GERPISA « Sustainable Development in the Automobile Industry: Changing Landscapes and Actors », 17-19 june 2009, Paris. Digital publication,, 2009, 1,5 Mo;, 2009, 1,5 Mo, ISSN 7116-0941.

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