Department or Program

Environmental Studies


Discourse about climate solutions tends to highlight the electric vehicle transition as critical to decarbonizing the U.S. transportation sector. I conducted a critical discourse analysis (CDA) of three organizations working on the issue of electric vehicles, using coding as my primary method through which to organize and understand my data. Themes that emerged from the discourse related to affordability, accessibility, environmental justice, economy, and comparison to gas-powered vehicles. Using CDA, mobility justice theory and critical race theory, I interpreted textual excerpts from NRDC, EDF, and EVHybridNoire through the lens of power and mobility justice, revealing the impact of the language on social practice. My findings demonstrate that the discourse perpetuates a hegemonic narrative that values neoliberal solutions of individualized responsibility, continuation of car culture, and economic growth. The discourse does not sufficiently reflect mobility justice considerations and fails to problematize and challenge systemic racism, racial capitalism, and private mobility systems. This privileges kinetic elites at the expense of Black, Indigenous, and people of color and low-income people. I argue that environmental organizations must reimagine their idea of an equitable and sustainable mobility future and meaningfully incorporate mobility justice into this vision.

Level of Access

Restricted: Campus/Bates Community Only Access

First Advisor

Chelsea Fairbank

Date of Graduation


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Number of Pages



Available to Bates community via local IP address or Bates login.