Innovation Process 'Fuel Cell Vehicle': What Strategy Promises to be Most Successful?


Since the early 1990s, it seems that the fuel cell might become the new key technology in the automotive sector leading to a change of paradigm in the next decades. Also in scientific discussion, fuel cells are researched on and described more intensively during the last ten years. The perspective to significantly reduce local emissions as well as to gain independence from crude oil has induced intensive research activities of automobile manufacturers and extensive governmental support. By this effort, the fuel cell has been developed to a possible alternative to the internal combustion engine (ICE). At the moment, governments, oil companies and automobile manufacturers work together in different research and test projects in order to prepare for introduction onto the market. The biggest project with more than 50 fuel cell vehicles (FCEVs) being tested is taking place in California since the beginning of 2000. The so-called California Fuel Cell Partnership comprises more than 25 participating companies, among them e.g. Daimler Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Volkswagen, BP, Shell and Ballard Power Systems. Their main goal is to demonstrate vehicle technology by operating and testing under real world conditions, to show the viability of alternative fuel infrastructure technology, explore the path of commercialisation and increase public awareness. Additionally, the US government officially announced the Freedom Cooperative Automotive Research Program at the Detroit Motor Show in January 2002, aiming at a promotion of the development of hydrogen as a primary fuel for cars and trucks in order to reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil. Similar cooperations exist in some other countries. For example in Germany, the ‘Verkehrswissenschaftliche Energiestrategie (VES)’ was founded to develop and implement a strategy for the introduction of an alternative fuel infrastructure within a medium time horizon. However, launching date and diffusion of fuel cell vehicles not only depend on technological progress, but also on the decisions of the automotive industry. Some car

DOI: 10.1080/09537320410001682874

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@article{Schneider2004InnovationP, title={Innovation Process 'Fuel Cell Vehicle': What Strategy Promises to be Most Successful?}, author={Maik T. Schneider and Burkhard Schade and Hariolf Grupp}, journal={Techn. Analysis & Strat. Manag.}, year={2004}, volume={16}, pages={147-172} }