On the relation between communication and innovation activities: A comparison of hybrid electric and fuel cell vehicles

Björn Budde, Floortje Alkemade, Marko Hekkert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

The automotive industry has proposed and announced a number of technological innovations to reduce the environmental impact of transport. Whereas initially many of the proposed technologies were surrounded by very optimistic expectations, many technological innovations are not commercially available yet and expectations eventually turned into disappointment. The hypes concerning these alternative drivetrain technologies collapsed when optimistic announcements could not be met, within the proposed timeframe. This paper analyzes the relation between research and development activities (innovation activities) and communication activities in the automotive industry using patent statistics, press releases and interviews. The analysis reveals that the underlying characteristics of the specific technology have an influence on the relation between communication and innovation activities. When innovations depend on the build-up of a new infrastructure actors have a strong incentive to raise expectations. This suggests that the specific shape of the hype cycle is depending on the complexity of the technology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-59
Number of pages15
JournalEnvironmental Innovation and Societal Transitions
Volume14
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2015

Keywords

  • Automotive industry
  • Expectation dynamics
  • Fuel cell
  • Hybrid electric vehicles
  • Hype

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