A multi-level perspective on the introduction of hydrogen and battery-electric vehicles

B. Bree, van, G.P.J. Verbong, G.J. Kramer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

151 Citations (Scopus)
22 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Alternative vehicles powered by electricity or hydrogen hold the potential to solve a number of challenges that relate to automobile use, such as climate change, deterioration of local air quality, security of energy supply, and high fuel prices. This article addresses the question as to how a transition to vehicles powered by hydrogen or electricity could take place. Recognizing that transitions result from joint development of technology and society, a co-evolutionary, multi-level perspective is adopted. The perspective is used to analyze the dynamics of the relationship between car manufacturers and consumers and developments that put pressure on this relationship. Building on the analysis, two sets of scenarios for a transition to battery-electric and fuel cell vehicles are identified. In one set of scenarios, tightening emissions regulation stimulates carmakers to scale up experiments with alternative vehicles, moving them into the commercialization phase. In the other set, rising fuel prices prompt carmakers to first extend their current product line-up with plug-in versions, and later with battery-electric and fuel cell vehicles. The two scenarios have different implications for the actors involved and for the requisite supporting infrastructure.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)529-540
Number of pages12
JournalTechnological Forecasting and Social Change
Volume77
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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