Rhian Stotts, Oscar G. Lopez Jaramillo, Scott Kelley, Aimee Krafft, and Michael Kuby. 2021. “How Drivers Decide Whether to Get a Fuel Cell Vehicle: An Ethnographic Decision Model.” International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 46, 12, Pp. 8736-8748. Publisher's Version Abstract

This article develops and tests an ethnographic decision model (EDM) of hydrogen fuel cell vehicle (FCV) adoption using interviews with California residents that either actually adopted an FCV or “seriously considered” doing so before deciding against it. We developed an initial model from 25 semi-structured interviews in which respondents self-described their decision-making processes. We iteratively tested and refined the model in a second round of 53 structured interviews. The final model consists of a first stage that assesses FCV adoption feasibility and a second stage that compares FCVs to other vehicle types. The model ultimately correctly predicts 86.8% of cases in the sample. In the first stage, respondents preferred to satisfy their need for a primary refueling station near home but a substantial number were willing to rely on a station near or on the way to work or other destination. Most drivers required a convenient backup station and a means of managing long-distance trips. Vehicle size options eliminated a few respondents. None rejected FCV adoption due to insufficient driving range. In the second stage, nearly all drivers engaged in some kind of cost comparison, though the factors considered varied greatly. Most opted for what they viewed as the less costly option, although a few FCV adopters and non-adopters were willing to pay more for their more preferred option. EDM is a promising qualitative research method for generating insights into how people navigate the decision whether or not to get an alternative-fuel vehicle.

trb2021_edm_poster.pdf stotts_et_al_2021_ethnographic_decision_modeling_fcv_adoption.pdf
After a few years of initial sales, there is an opportunity to analyze how early hydrogen fuel cell vehicle (FCV)
adopters evaluated the spatial arrangement of a network of stations prior to adoption. Since strategies differ on
how best to arrange initial stations in a region to facilitate adoption, understanding how they did so informs
future station planning methods. We distributed a web-based survey to 129 FCV adopters throughout California
in 2019, asking them where they lived and traveled at the time of adoption, up to five stations they planned to
use, and subjective reasons for listing those stations. We estimated shortest travel times to respondents’ homes
and other frequent locations, and deviations from frequently traveled routes. We compared differences in subjective
and objective convenience for primary, secondary, and lower-ranked stations, and tabulated the different
combinations of stations that satisfied adopters’ various geographic criteria. Over 80% planned to rely on a
portfolio of multiple stations subjectively convenient to key activity locations, and nearly 25% who provided
subjective geographic criteria for listing stations did not include “near home” as their top reason for their primary
or secondary station. Estimated travel times to stations subjectively considered “near” home, work, and other
location types exhibit variability, but consistently decay beyond 90 min. Primary stations are subjectively and
objectively more convenient to home and work than lower-ranked stations, and more associated with subjective
convenience to home and objective convenience to work than secondary stations. Other destination types align
with lower-ranked stations.
skelley_uconngeogcolloquium.pdf kelley_et_al_2020_how_early_h2_fcv_adopters_geographically_evaluate_network_of_refueling_stations_-_open_access.pdf
Scott Kelley, Michael Kuby, Oscar Lopez Jaramillo, Rhian Stotts, Aimee Krafft, and Darren Ruddell. 2020. “Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle Drivers and Future Station Planning: Lessons from a Mixed Methods Approach.” Johnson Matthey Technology Review, 64, Pp. 279-286. Publisher's Version Abstract
The market for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) continues to grow worldwide. At present, early
adopters rely on a sparse refuelling infrastructure, and there is only limited knowledge about how
they evaluate the geographic arrangement of stations when they decide to get an FCV, which
is an important consideration for facilitating widespread FCV diffusion. To address this, we
conducted several related studies based on surveysand interviews of early FCV adopters in California, USA, and a participatory geodesign workshop with hydrogen infrastructure planning stakeholders in Connecticut, USA. From this mixed-methods research project, we distil 15 high-level findings for planning hydrogen station infrastructure to encourage FCV adoption.
Aimee Krafft, Scott Kelley, Oscar G. Lopez Jaramillo, Rhian Stotts, and Kuby. 2020. “Hydrogen Refueling Station Consideration and Driver Experience in California.” Transportation Research Record , 2675, 1, Pp. 280-293. Publisher's Version Abstract
The recent growth in the California hydrogen fuel cell vehicle (FCV) market offers the opportunity to analyze how refueling stations that drivers use after some experience compare with those they initially intended to use. Online surveys completed by 124 FCV adopters in California in early 2019 were analyzed. Respondents listed stations they initially planned to use, stations that they later used, subjective reasons for using them, and important travel destinations. Network GIS analysis was then used to measure estimated travel times between both available and planned retail hydrogen stations and home, work, and frequently traveled routes, both at the time of adoption and at the time of the survey. Results show that 40% of respondents changed refueling stations over time. Those with stations objectively nearer to home, work, and frequently traveled routes were less likely to change their list. Drivers were more likely to subjectively label stations as near home and less likely to label them as on the way compared with objective measurements of these criteria, though these differences are greater for respondents who changed stations. Regardless of whether the station was available pre-adoption or opened post-adoption, stations that respondents added to their lists were farther from home than those they initially intended to use. For stations available pre-adoption, reliability positively influenced adding them after experience, while stations added by drivers that opened post-adoption tended to require short deviations to reach. These results indicate that a mixture of geographic and station-level characteristics contribute to FCV drivers changing stations over time.
krafft_et_al_2020_hydrogen_refueling_station_consideration_and_driver_experience_in_california_open_access.pdf 2020trbposter.pdf
Oscar G. Lopez Jaramillo, Rhian Stotts, Scott Kelley, and Michael Kuby. 2019. “Content Analysis of Interviews with Hydrogen Fuel Cell Drivers in Los Angeles.” Transportation Research Record, 2673, 9, Pp. 377-388. Publisher's Version Abstract
Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (HFCVs) are zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) and their widespread adoption may help to mitigate some of the issues arising from fossil-fuel usage in the transportation sector. Only in recent years have these vehicles become available for purchase or lease in the United States, and only within the State of California. In 2018, nearly 5,500 HFCVs had been sold or leased in California, supported by a developing refueling infrastructure there. This population represents a unique opportunity, as previous studies on HFCV adoption have largely employed hypothetical stated preference surveys distributed to likely adopters. Seeking to investigate the real experiences of actual adopters from their own perspectives, semistructured interviews were conducted with 12 early adopters of HFCVs in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. Thematic content analysis of these interviews was conducted to identify the prevalence of factors deductively derived from published literature. All respondents considered lifetime cost of vehicle ownership, engaged in comparison shopping, and assessed the adequacy of the refueling infrastructure by various geographical criteria. Environmental concerns motivated many respondents to pursue HFCV adoption, though only if it made financial sense. Respondents chose HFCVs over battery electric vehicles after consideration of range, refueling time, and cost. Early HFCV adopters consistently cast their adoption of the technology as a contribution to a diverse ZEV marketplace. Strategies for the promotion of HFCV technology must account for this range of variation in early-adopter motivations, concerns, and behaviors which might complicate targeted HFCV promotion strategies
Joel Rinebold, Michael Kuby, Scott Kelley, Oscar G. Lopez Jaramillo, Darren Ruddell, Rhian Stotts, Aimee Krafft, and Carol Atkinson-Palombo. 2019. Hartford Hydrogen Station Geodesign Workshop Final Report. Collablocation. Tempe, AZ: Arizona State University. Publisher's Version Abstract

On October 7, 2019, the Connecticut Fuel Cell Coalition hosted a workshop on hydrogen station mapping for the Greater Hartford region. The workshop was led by a team from Arizona State University, the University of Nevada, Reno, and the University of Southern California as part of a project funded by the National Science Foundation that is studying consumer uptake of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) and hydrogen refueling station network planning strategies nationwide. Seventeen local and national stakeholders in the transportation, energy, and environmental fields representing industry, government, universities, and non-profit organizations participated. The participants used an online collaborative mapping (“geodesign”) tool called Collablocation to propose, vet, negotiate, and recommend a network of hydrogen refueling stations to support the initial rollout of hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles in the area. After three stages of modeling and negotiation, the workshop reached consensus on six stations to add to the existing station in Wallingford and the station under construction on Leibert Road north of downtown Hartford at the I-91 Jennings Road exit. The group recommended a first phase consisting of three new stations in Glastonbury, Manchester, and West Hartford, primarily to serve the consumer FCV market. Common strengths of the first three locations were good access to and from busy freeways, locations near major trip generators and employers, and proximity to residential populations matching known early adopter demographics. A second phase would add stations near Bradley International Airport, Cromwell, and Plantsville. The group agreed that priority next steps beyond this initial mapping workshop include: continued collaboration, government leadership, public-private funding, prioritizing green sources of hydrogen, and being ready to submit proposals for station development.