Stimulating Dutch NGV Consumers: Lessons from Switzerland
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Several countries in the world have a large natural gas vehicle (NGV) fleet, like Pakistan, Argentina and Italy. This is in contrast with the Dutch system that is facing barriers and where consumers do not adopt NGVs. Switzerland has been facing the same problems for a long time, but the system is emerging over the last years. The aim of this research is to investigate how the Dutch system can overcome the adoption barriers based on lessons from the other countries. In this paper, consumer adoption of NGVs has been analysed using the Technological Innovation System (TIS) framework. The rate of adoption is determined by the consumer decision process based on the perceived attributes of the technology and by the influences of the agents in the TIS framework (governmental, supplier, intermediary and knowledge agents). This has been researched using a literature study in the world leading countries and interviews with NGV drivers and NGV experts in the Swiss and Dutch system. In the Swiss and Dutch systems, innovators are adopting NGVs based on the relative advantage of the technology. The difference is that Swiss consumers also perceive a financial advantage, contrary to the Netherlands where only the environmental advantage is perceived by NGV consumers. Supplier agents have another origin in the Swiss and Dutch system. In Switzerland, traditional gas companies are the most important suppliers, in the Netherlands new entrants take this role. The role of intermediary and (local) governmental agents is comparable in Switzerland and the Netherlands. However, these agents are already focusing on consumers in Switzerland, where in the Netherlands the focus is still on governmental and company fleets. In all the systems where NGVs were successfully implemented, knowledge institutions had a positive attitude towards the technology. This is also the case in the upcoming Swiss system, however in the Netherlands most of the knowledge agents are negative on NGVs.