This report summarises the main results from the CHIC research on social acceptance of FCH buses and hydrogen technologies. The CHIC research approach has as its starting point the findings of former studies on acceptance indicating a generally positive attitude towards hydrogen and hydrogen technologies in society, but revealing a considerable lack of information/ knowledge on the topic among the general public. The acceptance of FCH buses and hydrogen technologies in the group of stakeholders, responsible for and involved in demonstrating these technologies, had only been partially researched previously.

The CHIC research on acceptance aimed at closing this gap and including stakeholders as well as citizens in the research on acceptance of FCH buses in public transport. The qualitative research approach used is based upon the understanding that acceptance is a process, dependent on several influencing factors and changing over time. In total 185 face-to-face, one-hour interviews in five of the CHIC regions (Aargau, Bolzano, region of Cologne, Hamburg, and Oslo) were conducted between August 2011 and March 2013. In order to identify influencing factors to the acceptance, most interview regions were visited twice, before and after the start of operating the buses and the refuelling station. Interview partners were bus drivers, citizens / passengers, regional project partners and stakeholders and CHIC partners. Some findings in the different categories interwied:

  • Acceptance is a process than can be shaped
  • Bus drivers identified significant improvements to the bus characteristics and criticized reliability
  •  The general public is mostly unaware of the potential of the technology
  • The project’s stakeholders are supportive but await the outcome of the project before final evaluation
  • “Value for money” is key to the acceptance process
  • Public or government fleets might thus be important first users for the FCH technologies