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Hochschule Rhein-Waal Rhine-Waal

University of Applied Sciences


Faculty of Economics and Finance
Mr. Prof. Dr. Michiel Scheffer

Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles Technology


Ahmad Fattahi
16335

Contents
1. Introduction ....................................................................................................................................... 3
2. Case Description ................................................................................................................................. 4
3. Key Concepts ...................................................................................................................................... 6
3.1 Diffusion Model ............................................................................................................................ 6
3.2 Technology Push........................................................................................................................... 7
3.3 Disruptive Innovation ................................................................................................................... 8
4. Analysis............................................................................................................................................... 8
4.1 Diffusion of Fuel Cell Vehicle: ....................................................................................................... 8
4.2 Fuel Cell Vehicles as Technology Push Model............................................................................. 12
4.3 Fuel Cell Disruptive Innovation: .................................................................................................. 13
5. Conclusion ........................................................................................................................................ 14
6. References ........................................................................................................................................ 16

1. Introduction
As the worlds reserves of fossil fuels are being exhausted and eventually will be depleted,
the search for a renewable source of energy has never been vital before as it is now. Also,
the environmental restrictions add a huge burden to this task. An enormous piece of the
fossil fuels production is channeled to satisfy the demands of the transportation sector in
forms of gasoline, diesel and kerosene. Here is where the fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV)
technology comes in as a solution, not because it is renewable but also environment friendly
as its considered a zero emission vehicle.
My interest in carrying out this research comes from a glimmer of hope of living in a world
where people are not the victim of a war for energy dominance, a place where science and
innovation can do their utmost important task of facilitating peoples lifes toward a better
tomorrow.
Fuel cells technology started first in the agriculture equipment industry implemented in a
farm tractor1, and then it jumped up high in the space while being tested as a provider of
electrical power during manned space missions. Finally, it captivated the interest of
automobile manufactures and its development in this field has started. This brief history
shows the rapid development of new capabilities regarding this technology; it sheds a light
on the systemic significance and long-lasting economic impact as it may revolutionize the
term of scarce energy to an infinite one. Furthermore, it affects the political strategies of
countries in general as it will stop the ongoing race for dominating fossil fuels-rich regions by
introducing a cleaner self-sufficient technology.
The objective of this paper can be decomposed into two subcategories, a general one where
I will preview and analyze the fuel cell electric vehicle industry from its early stages until the
present. Also, a specific objective that will include applying some theories of innovation and
technology models such as Technology Push Model (TPM), Innovation Diffusion Theory (IDT)
and

Disruptive

innovation

theory

in

explaining

the

introduction,

adoption,

commercialization, and metamorphosis of the fuel cell electric vehicle. The paper proceeds
as follows: after the introduction in section one, section two will present the concept of fuel
cell technology to power electric motor cars and brief history of the first prototypes of those
1

Wand, George. Fuel Cell History, Part 2. Fuel Cell Today, April 2006, accessed August 2, 2011

vehicles. Section three examines three of the established theoretical models that explain
possible consumer behavior with respect to emergence, adoption and acceptance of a given
technology. Section four introduced a case study of how theories in section three explain the
development, usage and diffusion of fuel cells. Finally, section five summarizes all the points
made in this paper and presents an outlook on the future of this technology.

2. Case Description
Fuel cells are more an evolutionary technology than a revolutionary one. Originally invented
in the early 1800s, the technology was developed gradually before being given a boost
through use in the NASA Apollo space program in the late 1960s and early 1970s. During this
period the first fuel cell car was demonstrated by General Motors and was followed by
several other early FCEV demonstrations, all based on alkaline fuel cell technologies similar
to those developed for NASA. Fuel cells using proton exchange membranes, the type now
used in FCEV, were first developed in 1958 but it took until 1993 for the technology to
become viable enough for vehicle demonstrations. Before outlining the history of
emergence of the FCEV Ill briefly explain the basic concept behind the fuel cell technology. A
fuel cell is an electrochemical device that produces direct current electricity as long as fuel
and oxidant are supplied to the anode and cathode respectively. A fuel cell is more simply
described as an un-rechargeable battery. Practical fuel cells today operate with hydrogen
fuel, generating only power and drinking water2. A fuel cell system consists of several subsystems including the fuel processor, fuel cell and stack, and power management. The most
promising type of fuel

cell

for

automotive

operation uses a polymer

exchange

(PEM) as an electrolyte.

The advantage of the

PEM fuel cell is its low

operating temperature of

about 80C. A schematic

of a hydrogen-fueled fuel

membrane

cell is shown in Figure 1.

Lester & Deutch (2004). Making Technology Work: Application in Energy and the Environmnet. Cambridge,
UK: Cambridge University Press.

A (FCEV) therefore, is a type of vehicle which uses a fuel cell to power its on-board electric
motor. Fuel cells in vehicles create electricity to power an electric motor, generally
using oxygen from the air and hydrogen. A fuel cell vehicle that is fueled with hydrogen
emits only water and heat, but no tailpipe pollutants; therefore it is considered a Zero
Emission Vehicle3.
General Electric (GE) chemist Leonard Niedrach devised a way of depositing platinum onto
the ion-exchange membrane created by fellow GE scientist Willard Thomas Grubb in 1958.
This marked the beginning of the PEM fuel cells used in vehicles today. The technology was
initially developed by GE and NASA for the Gemini space program; it took several decades to
become viable for demonstration in cars, primarily due to cost4.
In 1959 The Allis-Chalmers tractor was the first electric vehicle to run on ground powered by
an alkaline fuel cell with a 15 KW output, capable of pulling weights up to 1360 kg. Then,
General motors designed the fuel cell Electro van to demonstrate the viability of electric
mobility. This van was a converted Handivan with a 32 KW fuel cell system giving a top speed
of 115 kmph and a range of around 240 kilometers. As the progress continues the world saw
the k. Kordesch utilizing a 6 KW alkaline fuel cell which was comparable in power to
conventional cars on the road at the time.
The 1993 Energy Partners Consulier was a proof-of-concept vehicle that supported a
lightweight plastic body and three 15 kW fuel cells in open configuration; it had a top speed
of 95 kmph (60 mph) and a range of 95 kilometres (60 miles).
The NECAR (New Electric Car) was Daimlers first demonstration of fuel cell mobility. A
converted MB-180 van, it utilized a 50 KW PEMFC that, alongside compressed hydrogen
storage, took up the majority of space in the van. This was followed by the six-seat NECAR 2
in 1996 which placed the fuel cell under the rear seats and the hydrogen storage on the roof.
Within a year Daimler, Toyota, Renault and Mazda all demonstrated viable fuel cell
passenger vehicle concepts: the NECAR 3 (based on the A-Class), FCHV- 2 (based on the
RAV4), Fever (based on the Laguna) and Demio, respectively. Fuel cells ranged from 20 kW
(Mazda) to 50 kW (Daimler); both the NECAR 3 and FCHV-2 used methanol as fuel instead of

3
4

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuel_cell_vehicle#cite_note-6
http://www.cleantechinvestor.com/portal/fuel-cells/6455-fuel-cell-history.html

hydrogen. The next year GM demonstrated a methanol-fuelled 50 KW fuel cell Opel Zafira
the first publicly drivable concept.
During the period between 1998 to 2000 momentum was growing for the commercial
viability of fuel cell vehicles and most of the worlds major automakers (including Daimler,
Honda, Nissan, Ford, Volkswagen, BMW, Peugeot and Hyundai) demonstrated FCEV with
varying fuel sources (methanol, liquid and compressed gaseous hydrogen) and storage
methods. The public attention on FCEV peaked in 2000. At this point a realization came that
despite the promise of the technology; it was not ready for market introduction. Attention
switched to hybrid electric powertrains and BEV as technologies that might deliver smaller,
nearer-term benefits. The public focus for fuel cell transport shifted from cars to buses.
However, work continued on fuel cells mainly because of the environmental impact and the
fact that these FCEV represents the long term solution for the harmful emissions from
personal transport which will have its positive impact on society wherever it is applied.
The resurgence of the fuel cell came in 2005 when the world saw the unveiling of two cars
that continue to have an impact on the FCEV market today: the first generation edition of
Daimler F-CELL B-Class in 2005 and the next-generation Honda FCX concept in 20065.
Recently, there have been a lot of development and trend channeling toward FCEV In an
effort to get fuel-cell cars off the ground, Toyota is giving automakers free access to some
5,680 patents, making them available through 2020, "the initial market introduction period"
of fuel cell vehicles. And it soon also will make patents available for hydrogen fueling
stations6.

3. Key Concepts
3.1 Diffusion Model
Diffusion of innovations is a theory that seeks to explain how, why, and at what rate
new ideas and technology spread

through cultures. Everett

Rogers,

professor

of communication studies, popularized the theory in his book Diffusion of Innovations7.

http://www.fuelcelltoday.com/ Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles: The Road Ahead


http://www.greenbiz.com/article/toyota-follows-teslas-lead-shares-fuel-cell-patents-through-2020
7 HARGADON, A.B. 3.4 Diffusion of Innovations, from The Technology Management Handbook, Editor-in-Chief,
R. C. Dorf, CRC Press, 1999. pp. 3-20 to 3-27
6

Rogers argues that diffusion is the process by which an innovation is communicated through
certain channels over time among the participants in a social system. The origins of the
diffusion of innovations theory are varied and span multiple disciplines. Rogers proposes
that four main elements influence the spread of a new idea: the innovation itself,
communication channels, time, and a social system. This process relies heavily on human
capital. The innovation must be widely adopted in order to self-sustain. Within the rate of
adoption, there is a point at which an innovation reaches critical mass. The categories of
adopters

are:

innovators, early

adopters,

early

majority,

late

majority,

and

laggards8. Diffusion manifests itself in different ways in various cultures and fields and is
highly subject to the type of adopters and innovation-decision process

Rogers Everett - Based on Rogers, E. (1962) Diffusion of innovations. Free Press, London, NY, USA.

3.2 Technology Push


Technology Push refers to the developments in a technology and how it is introduced as a
final product to consumers. In this model, R&D in new technology drives the development of
new products. A technology push implies that a new invention is pushed through R&D,
production and sales functions onto the market without proper consideration of whether or
not it satisfies a user need9.

R&D

Manufacturing

Marketing

End user

ROGERS, E.M. Diffusion of Innovations (4th edn.), New York, The Free Press. 1995.
Martin, Michael J.C. (1994). Managing Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Technology-based Firms. WileyIEEE. p. 43. ISBN 0-471-57219-5.
9

The technology push models starts with a technological development. The technology push
model or concept is exhibited in many products nowadays; however some might reflect the
model noticeably, they display an increase in technological advancements without a
decrease in demand, over a long period of time.

3.3 Disruptive Innovation


A disruptive innovation is an innovation that helps create a new market and value network,
and eventually disrupts an existing market and value network (over a few years or decades),
displacing an earlier technology it describes innovations that improve a product or service in
ways that the market does not expect, typically first by designing for a different set of
consumers in a new market and later by lowering prices in the existing market. Through its
evolution and development, a disruptive technology goes through three primary phases:
A phase which gives the technology a perception of the concepts, design, and product
development that is called

proof-of concept phase. This phase is where everyone is

thinking if this would work and they are suspicious if the idea is useless as the concepts are
not yet understood
Following the first phase the limited application phase where the idea is understood.
Potential market segments are found since the technology is seen as an applicable useful
solution. However, it still did not achieve a final approval.
Finally, the widespread applications in market. Industry accepts the new technology as it is
a useful reliable solution to an old problem.

4. Analysis
4.1 Diffusion of Fuel Cell Vehicle:

Diffusion in innovation is used to define the patterns that are observed when new products
are first released into the market and adopted over time by customers. The subject
diffusion of innovations describes how new technologies spread through a population of
potential adopters. The primary objectives of diffusion research are to understand and

predict the rate of diffusion of an innovation and the pattern of that diffusion10. An
innovation could be an object or product such as an FCV, a practice, a new technique or an
idea. The diffusion of FCVs is network-dependent in a similar way that the diffusion of
cellular phones depends on the diffusion of the cellular network (consisting of base stations,
software, etc.). The diffusion of the FCV therefore depends on the co-diffusion of hydrogen
or hydrogen-carrier (fuel from which hydrogen can be obtained for a low-temperature fuel
cell, e.g. PEMFC) generation capacity and distribution infrastructure.
This is where the governments play a key role in innovation, and especially the development
of radical technologies. Governments play a major role in regulating intellectual capital laws,
building infrastructure and instituting policies that speed the mass adoption of new
technologies. Often governments take an active role in research and development at the
university and military levels and most have a national research council that support a
portfolio of technologies through grants, loans, financing for potential customers or in-kind
services. An example that concerns the FCVs , technology-based companies. Consistent with
these trends, in the early 1980s the Canadian Department of National Defence awarded the
then obscure battery company Ballard Power Systems a contract for a low-cost solid
polymer fuel cell that later came to be better known as the Proton Exchange Fuel Cell. where
the defence industry was seen in terms of its strategic spin-offs of skills, technologies and
other benefits that were expected to extend to nondefence industries11. Since that time,
the Canadian Federal Government committed over $70 million to fuel cell research and
development, most of which went to Ballard, while the British Columbia Provincial
Governments support for Ballard Power exceeded $20 million12. These government funds
have been instrumental in developing the Ballard Cluster, Vancouvers concentration of
fuel cell-related firms, universities and funding institutions. It should also be noted that
private firms did not begin fuel cell research in Canada; rather it was started by a small group
of scientists in academia, government and the military (which draws parallels with Hughes
13term military, industrial, academic complex. Koppel 14argues that the fuel cell
10

HARGADON, A.B. 3.4 Diffusion of Innovations, from The Technology Management Handbook, Editor-in-Chief,
R. C. Dorf, CRC Press, 1999. pp. 3-20 to 3-27
11
Lipsey R, Bekar C. A structuralist view of technical change and economic growth. In: Courchene TJ, editor.
Technology, information and public policy. Kingston: Queens University, John Deutsch Institute; 1995
12
Van Mossel J. Ballard power systems and ballard proton exchange membrane fuel cells as radical innovation.
MPA Student Society, Carlton University; 2000.
13

Hughes T. Rescuing prometheus. Pantheon (paperback edition); 2000.

represents a rare Canadian case of clear and timely technical and economic thinking in
government and shows how a collaborative effort between public and private organizations
can lead to the establishment of a successful new industry.
Thats why this paper is going to address the diffusion not only the fuel cell cars, but about
the diffusion vehicle architecture, and generation infrastructure. Fuel choice depends on the
availability and characteristics of different types of fuels as well as the fuels ability to
address environmental concerns, the energy security problem and sustainability. The fitness
of a transportation system depends not only on the fitness of one component of the system,
but all its components as well as the impact of the transportation system on the
environment. A system in which innovation diffuses consists of the following elements:
Actors that are responsible for the diffusion of ideas, techniques, products and/or services,
but also actors that finance fuel cell RD&D and that are responsible for policies. In addition
to the private sector, the governments of countries such as Canada, the US, Japan and
Germany are active in supporting the development of the emerging fuel cell industry
Various driving forces that drive the diffusion process. There may be the traditional
(economic) drivers of demand, such as price, substitutes and income of households, as well
as other driving forces such as sustainable development.
Stumbling blocks or constraints such as lacking or inadequate infrastructure (e.g. hydrogen
generation and distribution infrastructure) for hydrogen fuel cells and hydrogen FCVs
Enablers and goals. Enablers such as regulations and standards need to be put in place. It
is one of the focus areas of the International Partnership for a Hydrogen Economy, for
example. Good progress is being made with other enablers such as RD&D spending, national
fuel cell and hydrogen strategies and road-maps. For example, the US and Japanese
governments invested $220 m and $210 m, respectively, in 2002 (Todd, Sept. 2003, p. 1).
Many peripheral and/or qualitative indicators point to fuel cell and FCV diffusion. The
number of patents that have been registered to date and the size of fuel cell and fuel cell
vehicle R&D points to the effort that is involved to improve the technology so that it can
compete better with substitute technologies (e.g. ICE). Most indicators provide a qualitative
14

Koppel T. Powering the future. Toronto: Wiley Canada, Ltd, 1999.

indication only of how fuel cell technology is improving and how soon FCVs will be massproduced. Many examples from the past show that the diffusion of an innovation is a
complex process. It may therefore be difficult to predict which innovations will gain
widespread acceptance. Three groups of factors that influence the pattern and rate of FCVs
diffusion as mentioned before are:
Characteristics of the FCVs technology: This carries a new idea and brings solutions to
many problems concerning the finite energy problems and the harmful gas emissions.
Characteristics of the adopters: as people in societies become more aware of the
environmental threat from one side and pressured by the volatile prices of fuel that run ICE
vehicles. They will adopt and make the transition gradually to this promising new
technology.
Characteristics of the social environment. Hydrogen-powered FCVs have a number of
stumbling blocks to overcome.
The organizational view defines an innovation in terms of the extent to which it impacts a
firms capabilities and renders existing technical knowledge obsolete. In other words, it is
the extent to which an innovation is competence destroying15. Similarly, the economic view
defines an innovation based on the extent to which it renders old products non-competitive.
Since fuel cells have the potential to render internal combustion engines obsolete and
destroy competencies built around them (such as fuel injection and storage systems), it can
also be assumed that fuel cells may also cause these old products to become noncompetitive. Consequently, under the organizational and economic view, fuel cells are likely
to be considered a radical innovation. However, both these views are myopic in that they
are focused on the impact of the innovation on the firms capabilities and competitiveness,
and disregard many other stakeholders that may play a role in the success or failure of the
technology innovation. This will complicate and even slow the diffusion process unless
commitment and political will are very strong. A study by Grbler and others

16

has found

that technologies that are long-lived and are components of interlocking networks typically
require the longest time to diffuse and co-evolve with other technologies in the network;
15

Tushman M, Anderson P. Technological discontinuities and organizational environments. Admin Sci Quart
1986;31:43965.
16
GRBLER, A., NAKICENOVIC, N., and VICTOR, D.G. Dynamics of energy technologies and global
change, Energy Policy, vol. 27, 1999. pp. 247280

such networks effects yield high barriers to entry even for superior competitors This is
certainly the case for FCVs as well as hydrogen generation and distribution.

4.2 Fuel Cell Vehicles as Technology Push Model


The Fuel Cell technology which is implemented in Vehicles can be an example of such a
Model. It can be traced back to the work of British Scientist Sir William Grove in 1839; the
first commercial use came a century later when NASA with the right funding started to
experiment on it in order to generate power for probes, satellites and space capsules. This
gave the push and was more like an eye opener for private automakers who started to see a
potential in the market for these technology.
The first prototypes as it is the case with any emerging technology didnt look that promising
mainly because of its limited electrical power which -- compared to the power of the
combustion engine -- looked quite meager, and its special characteristics concerning the
environmental impact wasnt matched with the right public awareness back then.
However, through the manufacturing process a lot has been added, modified and the fuel
cell technology saw light in all different transportation means such as buses, forklifts,
motorcycles, boats, airplanes and even submarines. Its zero emission feature gained more
recognition as societies and governments became more aware of the environmental
pollution threat. Car manufacturers found a perfect answer in this technology to undercut
the harmful gas-emissions regulations imposed by their governments.
Now, with the fluctuation prices of gasoline and diesel, marketing these vehicles to the end
user has never been any easier, it got widespread as of June 2011 demonstration FCEVs had
driven

more

than

4,800,000 km

(3,000,000 mi),

with

more

than

27,000

refuelings17. Demonstration fuel cell vehicles have been produced with "a driving range of
more than 400 km (250 mi) between refueling"18. They can be refueled in less than 5
minutes19.The U.S. Department of Energy's Fuel Cell Technology Program claims that, as of
17

Wipke, Keith, Sam Sprik, Jennifer Kurtz and Todd Ramsden. "Controlled Hydrogen Fleet and Infrastructure
Demonstration and Validation Project". National Renewable Energy Laboratory, 11 September 2009, accessed
on 2 August 2011
18 "Accomplishments and Progress". Fuel Cell Technology Program, U.S. Dept. of Energy, 24 June 2011
19 Wipke, Keith, Sam Sprik, Jennifer Kurtz and Todd Ramsden. "National FCEV Learning Demonstration".
National Renewable Energy Laboratory, April 2011, accessed 2 August 2011

2011, fuel cells achieved 5359% efficiency at one-quarter power and 4253% vehicle
efficiency at full power20, and a durability of over 120,000 km (75,000 mi) with less than 10%
degradation21.
Some experts believe, however, that fuel cell cars will never become economically
competitive with other technologies22 or that it will take decades for them to become
profitable23. In July 2011, the chairman and CEO of General Motors, Daniel Akerson, stated
that while the cost of hydrogen fuel cell cars is decreasing: "The car is still too expensive and
probably won't be practical until the 2020-plus period, I don't know."24

4.3 Fuel Cell Disruptive Innovation:


Its hard to predict if a certain technology is going to be a disruptive or not, because although
FCVs impacted the transportation market and many others, it still considered a wild
prediction to say that this technology is going to dominate the future.
However, according to the disruptive model three primary phases that were mentioned
previously in the paper we can draw some conclusions and see if this technology is going to
match previous ones that followed the same steps as the FCVs.
As the technology of fuel cells saw light around 1830, the world didnt grasp its capabilities
and the thought of implementing it in operating vehicles wasnt in the horizon as the
manufacturing costs were really expensive, not until the first true employment of this
technology by NASA did anyone saw the potentials of it.
Todays markets are witnessing the relative limited application of the fuel cells in vehicles as
of 2014, two Fuel cell vehicles have been introduced for commercial lease and sale in limited
20 Garbak, John. "VIII.0 Technology Validation Sub-Program Overview". DOE Fuel Cell Technologies
Program, FY 2010 Annual Progress Report, accessed 2 August 2011
21 "Accomplishments and Progress". Fuel Cell Technology Program, U.S. Dept. of Energy, 24 June 2011
22 "From TechnologyReview.com "Hell and Hydrogen", March 2007". Technologyreview.com. Retrieved201101-31./ White, Charlie. "Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are a fraud" Dvice TV, 31 July 2008
23 Boyd, Robert S. "Hydrogen cars may be a long time coming". McClatchy Newspapers, 15 May 2007,
accessed 13 August 2011
"GM CEO: Fuel cell vehicles not yet practical", The Detroit News, 30 July 2011; and Chin, Chris. "GM's Dan
Akerson: Fuel-cell vehicles aren't practical yet". egmCarTech, 1 August 2011, accessed 27 February 2012
24 "GM CEO: Fuel cell vehicles not yet practical", The Detroit News, 30 July 2011; and Chin, Chris. "GM's Dan
Akerson: Fuel-cell vehicles aren't practical yet". egmCarTech, 1 August 2011, accessed 27 February 2012

quantities: the Toyota Mirai and the Hyundai ix35 FCEV. Additional demonstration models
include the Honda FCX Clarity, and Mercedes-Benz F-Cell. This application isnt limited to
cars markets as the Fuel cell-powered forklifts are gaining a consent in various companies,
including Sysco Foods, FedEx Freight, GENCO (at Wegmans, Coca-Cola, Kimberly Clark, and
Whole Foods), and H-E-B Grocers25. Mainly because it provide benefits over battery powered
forklifts as they can work for a full 8-hour shift on a single tank of hydrogen and can be
refueled in 3 minutes. Fuel cell-powered forklifts can be used in refrigerated warehouses, as
their performance is not degraded by lower temperatures. The FC units are often designed
as drop-in replacements26.
What mentioned previously can give a positive hint about the future of this technology but
because this fuel cell vehicles success in the market is also conditioned with hydrogen fuel
infrastructure that has to be constructed in cooperation with governments, and also the
intense competition from other electric vehicle technologies like the plug in EVs and hybrid
EVs can make the future dominance of FCVs rather questionable.

5. Conclusion
There are major uncertainties in technical characteristics, costs, and user acceptance of fuel
cell powered vehicles. Additionally, the hydrogen fuel cell vehicle confronts a difficult design
issue with respect to fuel carriage and range. From the advantages and disadvantages
concluded throughout the paper, it would appear that the fuel cell (FC) powered vehicle
would be significantly superior to ICE with respect to energy use and emissions. However,
any conclusion about the relative merits of the two technologies would require a
comparison of the ICE gasoline infrastructure with the projected hydrogen infrastructure on
which a fuel cell-powered fleet would run27. It is difficult to predict which technology in this
domain will surpass the others. There is no doubt that all the technologies will continue to
evolve in the short term in response to the global push for environmentally friendly
solutions. It is not clear yet whether fuel cell technology will prove superior to other
alternatives, notably ICE hybrids, advanced diesel engines, or compressed natural gas
25

"Fact Sheet: Materials Handling and Fuel Cells


26 Fuel cell technology/ Fuel cell forklift
27
The ICE 6 Lester & Deutch (2004). Making Technology Work: Application in Energy and the Environmnet

vehicles. The eventual outcome will depend on several factors: technical advances that
remain unknown as of yet; the demonstrated cost of ownership of the systems in field use;
and the direction of environmental regulation. Many scholars argue that a new technology
invades an industry when the old technology is approaching its performance limits. Sahal
(1985) proposed that a particular technology will develop along a particular path until the
natural limits of scale and complexity severely restrict the potential for additional
improvements, at which point the new technology takes over 28. The technologies in this
domain, including fuel cells, hybrids, compressed natural gas, and advanced diesel engines,
will likely be subject to natural technological limits described by Sahal eventually, but not
for quite some time. As societies around the world become increasingly aware of the
environmental impacts of energy supply, fuel cell technology will only gain popularity, and
only time can tell if this technology will come to fruition.

28

Tripsas, Mary. (2008) Customer Preference Discontinuities: A Trigger for Radical Technological Change.
Harvard Business School, MA, USA.

6. References
1.
2.
3.

Wand, George. Fuel Cell History, Part 2. Fuel Cell Today, April 2006, accessed August 2, 2011
Lester & Deutch (2004). Making Technology Work: Application in Energy and the Environmnet.
Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuel_cell_vehicle#cite_note-6

4. http://www.cleantechinvestor.com/portal/fuel-cells/6455-fuel-cell-history.html
5.
6.
7.

http://www.fuelcelltoday.com/ Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles: The Road Ahead


1
http://www.greenbiz.com/article/toyota-follows-teslas-lead-shares-fuel-cell-patents-through-2020
HARGADON, A.B. 3.4 Diffusion of Innovations, from The Technology Management Handbook, Editorin-Chief, R. C. Dorf, CRC Press, 1999. pp. 3-20 to 3-27
8. ROGERS, E.M. Diffusion of Innovations (4th edn.), New York, The Free Press. 1995.
9. Martin, Michael J.C. (1994). Managing Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Technology-based Firms.
Wiley-IEEE. p. 43. ISBN 0-471-57219-5.
10. HARGADON, A.B. 3.4 Diffusion of Innovations, from The Technology Management Handbook, Editorin-Chief, R. C. Dorf, CRC Press, 1999. pp. 3-20 to 3-27
11. Lipsey R, Bekar C. A structuralist view of technical change and economic growth. In: Courchene TJ,
editor. Technology, information and public policy. Kingston: Queens University, John Deutsch Institute;
1995
12. Van Mossel J. Ballard power systems and ballard proton exchange membrane fuel cells as radical
innovation. MPA Student Society, Carlton University; 2000.

13. Hughes T. Rescuing prometheus. Pantheon (paperback edition); 2000.


14. Koppel T. Powering the future. Toronto: Wiley Canada, Ltd, 1999.

15. Tushman M, Anderson P. Technological discontinuities and organizational environments. Admin Sci
Quart 1986;31:43965.
16. GRBLER, A., NAKICENOVIC, N., and VICTOR, D.G. Dynamics of energy technologies and global
change, Energy Policy, vol. 27, 1999. pp. 247280
17. Wipke, Keith, Sam Sprik, Jennifer Kurtz and Todd Ramsden. "Controlled Hydrogen Fleet and
Infrastructure Demonstration and Validation Project". National Renewable Energy Laboratory, 11
September 2009, accessed on 2 August 2011
18. "Accomplishments and Progress". Fuel Cell Technology Program, U.S. Dept. of Energy, 24 June 2011
19. Wipke, Keith, Sam Sprik, Jennifer Kurtz and Todd Ramsden. "National FCEV Learning
Demonstration". National Renewable Energy Laboratory, April 2011, accessed 2 August 2011
20. Garbak, John. "VIII.0 Technology Validation Sub-Program Overview". DOE Fuel Cell Technologies
Program, FY 2010 Annual Progress Report, accessed 2 August 2011
21. "Accomplishments and Progress". Fuel Cell Technology Program, U.S. Dept. of Energy, 24 June 2011
22. "From TechnologyReview.com "Hell and Hydrogen", March 2007". Technologyreview.com.
Retrieved2011-01-31./ White, Charlie. "Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are a fraud" Dvice TV, 31 July
2008
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