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Are Scenarios of Hydrogen Vehicle Adoption Optimistic? A Comparison with Historical Analogies


There is a large literature exploring possible hydrogen futures, using various modelling and scenario approaches. This paper compares the rates of transition depicted in that literature with a set of historical analogies. These analogies are cases in which alternative-fuelled vehicles have penetrated vehicle markets. The paper suggests that the literature has tended to be optimistic about the possible rate at which hydrogen vehicles might replace oil-based transportation. The paper compares 11 historical adoptions of alternative fuel vehicles with 24 scenarios from 20 studies that depict possible hydrogen futures. All but one of the hydrogen scenarios show vehicle adoption faster than has occurred for hybrid electric vehicles in Japan, the most successful market for hybrids. Several scenarios depict hydrogen transitions occurring at a rate faster than has occurred in any of the historic examples. The paper concludes that scenarios of alternative vehicle adoption should include more pessimistic scenarios alongside optimistic ones.

Related subjects: Applications & Pathways
Countries: United Kingdom

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