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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/26285

Title: The lock-in effect and the greening of automotive cooling systems in the European Union
Authors: Bjornavold, Amalie
Van Passel, Steven
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: ACADEMIC PRESS LTD- ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD
Citation: JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT, 203, p. 1199-1207
Abstract: As of 2017, the sale and use of the refrigerants most commonly used in automotive cooling systems - hydrofluorocarbons - are entirely banned in all new vehicles placed on the market in the European Union. These refrigerants have been recognised as potent greenhouse gases and, therefore, direct contributors to climate change. It is within this regulation-driven market that the technologies for a sustainable solution have been developed. However, this paper argues that the market for automotive cooling systems has been 'locked-in', which means that competing technologies, operating under dynamic increasing returns, will allow for one - potentially inferior technology - to dominate the market. Whilst such a situation is not uncommon, this paper discusses the way that regulation has reinforced a patented monopoly in 'picking winners': to the advantage of a synthetic chemical, R-1234yf, as opposed to the natural solution, which is CO2. By developing a generic conceptual framework of path dependence and lock-in, the presented evidence seeks to show how a snowballing effect has led to the intensification of differences in market share. We also argue that the automotive industry is potentially promoting short-term fixes, rather than long-term, sustainable and economically viable solutions. (C) 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Notes: [Bjornavold, Amalie; Van Passel, Steven] Univ Antwerp, Dept Engn Management, Fac Appl Econ, Prinsstr 13, B-2000 Antwerp, Belgium. [Van Passel, Steven] Univ Hasselt, Ctr Environm Sci, Campus Diepenbeek,Agoralaan D, B-3590 Diepenbeek, Belgium.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/26285
DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2017.06.010
ISI #: 000413886300035
ISSN: 0301-4797
Category: A1
Type: Journal Contribution
Appears in Collections: Research publications

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