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Drivers and Barriers to the Adoption of Fuel Cell Passenger Vehicles and Buses in Germany


As policymakers and automotive stakeholders around the world seek to accelerate the electrification of road transport with hydrogen, this study focuses on the experiences of Germany, a world leader in fuel cell technology. Specifically, it identifies and compares the drivers and barriers influencing the production and market penetration of privately-owned fuel cell electric passenger vehicles (FCEVs) and fuel cell electric buses (FCEBs) in public transit fleets. Using original data collected via a survey and 17 interviews, we elicited the opinions of experts to examine opportunities and obstacles in Germany from four perspectives: (i) the supply of vehicles (ii) refuelling infrastructure, (iii) demand for vehicles, and (iv) cross-cutting institutional issues. Findings indicate that despite multiple drivers, there are significant challenges hampering the growth of the hydrogen mobility market. Several are more pronounced in the passenger FCEV market. These include the supply and cost of production, the lack of German automakers producing FCEVs, the profitability and availability of refuelling stations, and low demand for vehicles. In light of these findings, we extract implications for international policymakers and future studies. This study provides a timely update on efforts to spur the deployment of hydrogen mobility in Germany and addresses the underrepresentation of studies examining both buses and passenger vehicles in tandem.

Funding source: This work was generously supported by Kakenhi Funds (grant JP19K20501) and Bilateral Funds (grant JPJSBP120203502) from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science and Technology.
Related subjects: Applications & Pathways
Countries: Japan

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