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The Development and Diffusion of Radical Technological Innovation: The Role of Bus Demonstration Projects in Commercializing Fuel Cell Technology

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North American, European and Japanese governments have legislated to control Greenhouse Gas emissions and have promoted alternative technology as part of strategies to address climate change. Governments worldwide have sought to encourage adoption of alternative automotive technology by funding demonstrations and in-service trials. Among other initiatives the automotive industry has explored applications of a radical technological innovation - fuel cells - to power a range of vehicles from forklifts to buses. This paper examines the rationale and actions of various stakeholders to facilitate adoption of fuel cell technology in vehicles through a specific market segment - that of fuel cell buses (FCBs) - and explores the progress of FCB projects in North America, Europe and Japan. It examines the role of demonstration projects and highlights the complexity of the relationship between government and developers, and the multifarious and conflicting objectives of industry players that inhibit progress.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Cass Business School, City University, London, UK

Publication date: March 1, 2007

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