An Agent-Based Model of Adoption of Fuel Cell Vehicles - Diffusion of Competing Technologies in Norway
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In the spring of 2016, there were five hydrogen fuel stations serving 34 hydrogen cars in Norway. Up until this time, the purpose of the hydrogen stations were demonstrational. New players are now investing in hydrogen infrastructure, and it is of interest to study the market forecasts for hydrogen cars. Norway is the world leader in electric car per capita, much attributed to fiscal politics that enables incentives to green transportation alternatives.Hydrogen cars have a considerable advantage over electric cars when it comes to recharging times, comparable to gasoline and diesel cars. However, this requires a new infrastructure with specialized equipment. High investment costs and low demand have been a barrier from developing infrastructure for commercial purposes. Electric cars have made significant technological and economic progress in recent years, and are becoming the focus of an increasing number of large car manufacturers.In this study, an agent-based model is developed to simulate car purchasing consumers and hydrogen stations as agents. Consumers wish to maximize utility of purchasing a car, while hydrogen stations seeks to establish an infrastructure that will serve an increasing population of hydrogen cars. By using the fiscal policy instruments, and accounting for technology development in hydrogen cars and the competing electric cars, conditions for hydrogen market penetration is investigated.The conclusion is that the choice set and high cost of hydrogen cars must be improved for consumers to purchase hydrogen cars, unconstrained by the fuel station capacity. Fiscal policies should aim at increasing the consumer demand for hydrogen cars before providing support to hydrogen fuel stations. In order for fuel stations to become profitable, consumers must choose hydrogen cars for other than economic reasons that are not sufficiently captured in the model.