Why innovation of new powertrains is so hard: the case study of fuel cell cars and hydrogen stations in Kitakyushu and Toyota city.

Publication Type:

Conference Paper


Gerpisa colloquium, Kyoto (2014)


Automotive industry has long history, with the powertrain technology of internal combustion engines. Based on that traditional powertrain technology, the business ecosystem, including both cars and gas stations, has been growing up to a necessary part of our daily life. However, the necessity of reduction of emission of green house gas requires accelerating the introduction of new powertrain technology. Fuel cell cars are regarded as the powerful solution for the reduction of emission gas, but it needs new power supplying stations, hydrogen stations. Although the automotive industry has invested huge R&D cost and successfully developed fuel cell cars, there has still been very small amount of install base of hydrogen stations. The insufficient deployment of new stations is the biggest hurdle against the spread of fuel cell cars. But we have little knowledge of the reason why it so hard to build hydrogen stations. This study investigates the hazardous factors in the deployment of hydrogen stations from the various aspects: technology development, complex stakeholders, regulations, and social acceptance. We conduct the interview survey of automotive companies, energy providers, local and central governments in Kitakyushu and Toyota city where the local and central governments support the demonstration projects of fuel cell cars and hydrogen stations. The study is still at early stage, but will give several findings in the presentation.

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