It is now widely recognized that effective communication and demand-side policies for alternative energy require sound knowledge of preferences and determinants of demand of the public and consumers. To date, public attitudes towards new transport technologies have been studied under very different conceptual frameworks. This paper gives an overview of the various conceptual frameworks and methodologies used, where four main approaches can be distinguished: general attitudinal surveys, risk perception studies, non-market economic valuation studies, and other approaches such as those based on semiotic theory. We then review the findings of the recent literature on acceptance, attitudes and preferences for hydrogen and fuel cell end-use technologies, focusing on vehicles. These studies are then contrasted with related research into alternative fuel vehicles. The paper finally discusses the main trends in research and avenues for further work in this field. We recommend, among other things, the use of approaches that build knowledge and familiarity with the technology prior to the exploration of attitudes, and the set up of studies that take a whole-systems perspective of hydrogen technologies and that look at hydrogen in the context of other competing clean technologies.


Yetano Roche, M., Mourato, S., Fischedick, M., Pietzner, K., and Viebahn, P.  October 2010. Public attitudes towards and demand for hydrogen and fuel cell vehicles: A review of the evidence and methodological implications. Energy Policy, v.38.

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