The coproduction of electric mobility: Selectivity, conformity and fragmentation in the sociotechnical acceptance of vehicle-to-grid (V2G) standards

Johannes Kester*, Lance Noel, Xiao Lin, Gerardo Zarazua de Rubens, Benjamin K. Sovacool

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this article we explore how a single standard dealing with vehicle-to-grid (V2G) mobility, ISO 15118, is coproduced in divergent ways across Asia, Europe, and North America. Specifically, ISO 15118 enables V2G as it oversees the communication between electric vehicles (EVs) and electric vehicle service equipment. It allows for bidirectional electricity flows and thereby offers electricity grids the use of EV batteries for grid services like frequency control and demand side management. We observe that highly technical and invisible standards like these are understudied in the energy literature and commonly misinterpreted as purely technical in scope. Hence in our contribution we offer such a study and use ISO 15118 to show how even in the most technical and invisible of cases, politics is still at work. We argue that standards, through a process of coproduction, are of vital importance for the governance of energy systems and play a major role in energy transitions through the various nontechnical assumptions scripted into them. Drawing from a synthesis of the literature on standardization, innovation studies, and science and technology studies, we thus analyse the implementation of ISO 15118 in the United States, China, Denmark and the Netherlands. We find a detailed technical standard that is implemented with differing degrees and in different sociotechnical and institutional contexts. We conclude by suggesting what this selectivity, compliance and fragmentation means for electric mobility and energy policymaking more generally.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)400-410
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Early online date4 Oct 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 Oct 2018


  • Automotive manufacturing
  • Coproduction
  • Electric vehicles
  • ISO 15118
  • Transnational governance
  • Vehicle-to-grid integration

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