Factors influencing policy instrument choice(s): the case of fuel cell electric vehicles
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Fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) can play an important role in the transition towards sustainable mobility. Their deployment however requires technological and system changes which public policies can help facilitate. This research looks at which policies are in place for these vehicles in industrialized countries between 2012 and 2016 and tries to uncover which factors influence how specific policy instruments are chosen. For this purpose, a theoretical framework was setup based on scientific literature on policy instrument choice in general as well as for the specific case of zero-emission vehicles. To analyse this, a mixed-methods approach was taken where a quantitative analysis of OECD countries together with qualitative, in-depth analysis of nine countries was done. This in-depth analysis was done by reading policy documents as well as by doing interviews with policy makers. The quantitative analysis showed that the importance of a countries car industry as well as the number of FCEVs deployed are indicators for the amount of governmental RD&D subsidies provided. The qualitative analysis revealed that the policy goals and underlying rationale, who is responsible for their formulation and implementation, the role of car manufacturers in this process, which other policies have been previously been implemented and which national resources a country has, are important factors that influence policy instrument choices. These findings are important because this creates a better understanding of why countries choose specific policy instruments which in turn can help future formulation and implementation of policies and help the transition towards new and sustainable technologies such as FCEVs.