Hydrogen Pathways Program, Plug-In Hybrid & Electric Vehicle Research Center
Williams, Brett D. and Kenneth S. Kurani (2006) Estimating the Early Household Market for Light-Duty Hydrogen-Fuel-Cell Vehicles and other "Mobile Energy" Innovations in California: A Constraints Analysis. Journal of Power Sources 160 (1), 446 - 453
Facing stiff competition from conventional and gasoline-hybrid vehicles, the commercialization prospects for hydrogen-fuel-cell vehicles (H2FCVs) are uncertain. Starting from the premise that new consumer value must drive their adoption, early markets for H2FCVs are explored in the context of a group of promising opportunities collectively called mobile energy (ME) innovation. An estimate of the initial market potential for ME-enabled vehicles is produced by applying various constraints that eliminate unlikely households from consideration for early adoption of H2FCVs and other ME technologies (such as plug-in hybrids). Currently 5.2 million of 33.9 million Californians live in households pre-adapted to ME-enabled vehicles, 3.9 million if natural gas is required for home refueling. Several differences in demographic and other characteristics between the target market and the population as a whole are highlighted, and two issues related to the design of H2FCVs and their supporting infrastructure are discussed: vehicle range and home hydrogen refueling. These findings argue for continued investigation of this and similar target segments—which represent more efficient research populations for subsequent study by product designers and other decision-makers wishing to understand the early market dynamics facing H2FCVs and related ME innovations.