Abstract for: Dynamics of the transition towards alternative fuel vehicles in advanced and emerging markets

The global diffusion of alternative fuel vehicles is strongly associated with deep social and technological uncertainties, which result from considering the market differences of advanced and emerging markets, and the technology maturity and potential of alternative fuel vehicles. We analyzed the effect of the interplay of these uncertainties using a system dynamics model characterized by the socio-technical feedback processes inherent to this transition context, and the interdependencies of automakers, consumers and fuel suppliers. We explore a large set of scenarios varying the social and technological factors in our model, and use the scenario discovery method to identify sets of policy relevant cases. We find five policy relevant behavioral clusters associated with the diffusion of hybrid vehicles and the diffusion of electric vehicles. Our analysis shows that the initial transition inertia towards alternative fuel vehicles in advanced economies can be exhausted, and thus threaten the global transition towards alternative fuel vehicles. Emerging markets can offer a complementary market niche that can be used to support this transition. We conclude that the process of diffusion of alternative fuel vehicles can be enriched and strengthened if it is seen as a complementary process between advanced and emerging markets.