Market penetration of fuel cell vehicles - Analysis based on agent behaviour

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This paper discusses the market penetration of fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) in Germany from the perspectives of different stakeholders. There are several economic studies and models describing the introduction of hydrogen-powered vehicles, but most of them focus on only one segment of the car market. Most studies analyse the impacts of FCVs on the automotive industry or the demand for FCVs separately, while others look at the required hydrogen infrastructure, but none of these analyses examines the car market as a whole. The analysis takes into account the actions of the whole market (consumers, automotive manufacturers, filling station owners and policymakers) and their interactions. According to the results of the System Dynamics model the combination of tax-free hydrogen fuel, subsidies on FCVs and sufficient hydrogen infrastructure supply will lead to quick market penetration of FCVs. The analysis clearly shows that the government is recommended to support the installation of a sufficient number of hydrogen filling pumps at the beginning of the market introduction (e.g. 500 filling stations). Due to the model results, approximately 4.8 billion Euros are needed to reach a successful market penetration of FCVs. Thereby about one-third of all passenger cars will be driven with hydrogen in 2040 and even two-third in 2050. Primarily subsidies and tax allowances for the vehicles are necessary to reduce the price of FCVs to the average level of modern diesel cars; otherwise consumers' acceptance of FCVs will be very low. A rapid introduction of FCVs based on these policies is necessary in order to limit the cumulative subsidies for the vehicles and the fuel-tax deficit.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4444-4455
Number of pages12
JournalInternational journal of hydrogen energy
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2008

External IDs

ORCID /0000-0001-7170-3596/work/142241615


Sustainable Development Goals


  • Fuel cell vehicles, Hydrogen economy, Hydrogen infrastructure, Market penetration, System Dynamics