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Changing the Fate of Fuel Cell Vehicles: Can Lessons Be Learnt from Tesla Motors?

UCD-ITS-RP-15-70

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Suggested Citation:
Hardman, Scott, Eric Shiu, Robert Steinberger-Wilckens (2015) Changing the Fate of Fuel Cell Vehicles: Can Lessons Be Learnt from Tesla Motors?. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy 40 (4), 1625 - 1638

Fuel Cell Vehicles (FCVs) are a disruptive innovation and are currently looking towards niche market entry. However, commercialisation has been unsuccessful thus far and there is a limited amount of literature that can guide their market entry. In this paper a historical case study is undertaken which looks at Tesla Motors high-end encroachment market entry strategy. FCVs have been compared to Tesla vehicles due to their similarities; both are disruptive innovations, both are high cost and both are zero emission vehicles. Therefore this paper looks at what can be learned from Tesla Motors successful market entry strategy and proposes a market entry strategy for FCVs. It was found that FCVs need to enact a paradigm shift from their current market entry strategy to one of high-end encroachment. When this has been achieved FCVs will have greater potential for market penetration.

Keywords: fuel cell, market entry, Tesla, electric vehicle marketing