Hydrogen Fuel Car Research Paper

Pages: 10 (3497 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 5  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Transportation

Hydrogen Fuel Car

OPTION #2

HYDROGEN FUEL CELL CAR:

CUSTOMER ANALYSIS ISSUES

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Car is the new clean energy vehicle for personal transportation. The power plants of the Hydrogen fuel vehicle is either to burn hydrogen in an internal combustion engine or convert hydrogen with oxygen in a fuel cell to run. This hydrogen for fueling transportation may lead a hydrogen economy. The convenience of hydrogen fueling is the issue should be solved for the future market.

This paper addresses consumer behavior issues relevant to the marketing of the Hydrogen Fuel Car. As this is a preliminary investigation some of the information in it is based on supposition and requires further inquiry. One approach to this additional inquiry might take the form of a reevaluation of market behaviors associated with other alternative/fuel cars that have been marketed over the last ten years as well as with additional independent market research. This work offers a review of possible consumer, attitudes, perceptions and behaviors and finally discusses the possible managerial implications of the market roll out of the Hydrogen Fuel Car.

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Research Paper on Hydrogen Fuel Car Assignment

The consumer market is currently poised to accept and own alternative technology, with the understanding that this technology is effective in reducing environmental impact (in comparison to traditional means), will be supported by a usable infrastructure and will provide an equivalent lifestyle experience (Lenderman, 2007). That being said the automobile is one of the most important purchases any individual will make in a lifetime, though often purchased far more frequently the purchase is secondary only to the purchase of a home. People often finance cars on incremental basis and care very much about the terms of such loans and how they will be budgeted in the long-term as auto loans are 3-5 years in length and represent a good deal of outlays in addition to the purchase price itself, i.e. interest, maintenance expense, title and registration fees, insurance and fuel over a long period. All of these issues, primary to the purchase of a car make the obtaining of a car a high involvement level purchase. If in addition to all these expenses and factors the vehicle purchase (or in this case long-term rental/lease) demonstrates a change, and in many ways pioneer alternative to a traditional combustion engine car even more thought and involvement will be involved in the obtaining of the vehicle. The selection of a vehicle, one can assume will then be an extremely well thought out process and some consumers, after much thought will be willing to be test cases for a new and innovative, possibly cost saving alternative fuel vehicle will expect to be highly informed and involved with the purchase. This being said, I would like to reiterate that consumers at every level have been poised to respond to environmental concerns regarding the overreliance and environmental impact of fossil fuel that is impacted in a huge way by the use of personal combustion engine vehicles (Yetano Roche et. al., 2010). Conversely many people in the developed world are inextricably dependant on the convenience that personal vehicles provide, making its impact on the environment an issue that they are at least marginally aware of but feel helpless to avoid. The result is a collection of consumers who have been waiting, what seems like a long time for a usable alternative to fossil fuel burning vehicles (Strahan, 2008). They have been watching and waiting for years for technology to respond to the need for change. Ultimately, though the average consumer may not fully understand the technology and will likely rely heavily on experts to ensure that it is safe, functional and well supported. This also suggests that consumers will allow the opportunity for a great deal of expert communication at many varied points in the process.

CONSUMER PRODUCT CATEGORY KNOWLEDGE

Transportation vehicles are extremely complicated and technical, and emerging, pioneer technology is particularly so. Many consumers have a great deal of knowledge about operating a standard vehicle, most will have no experience understanding the technology, at any other level. Additionally, most experts in the traditional auto industry support systems will also have limited knowledge of the technology, how it is ultimately applied or how to make repairs if they are needed. This is in large part the reason for the lease process being applied to this technology. Ultimately, this makes it possible for the expert (dealer/manufacturer) to retain ownership of the product and provide and mandate its maintenance and support and most importantly treat the rental/lease experience as a source of information for user data as well as technical and marketing logistics data collection and review. This proxy support will also benefit the consumer as he or she embarks on the process of going live with pioneering technology, as the rental/lease will ensure that proper maintenance and even refueling is provided to the technology at the proper intervals and with appropriate care. Individuals who have more than average knowledge of the technology will likely be the first consumers serious enough about the product potential to seek out a rental/lease/purchase situation and will also be likely to be the most flexible with regard to lifestyle changes or challenges that may need to be addressed in an ongoing manner, through the life of the rental/lease and the vehicle. Yet, this does not exclude the responsibility of the experts to fully and completely support the consumer and likely spend a considerable amount of time in professional communication about the technology and its use by the consumer as well as ensuring the ease of use, through infrastructure. "The creation of hydrogen infrastructure is vital for automakers to successfully bring hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles to market," said Wade Hoyt, a Toyota spokesman," (Al-Muslim, 2011) Consumer access sources, such as interactive user websites, including troubleshooting, maintenance schedules and recommendations, user reviews and even a community access discussion board should be established and operating upon entry into the market but the system should not replace 24-hour support from live technical assistants. Again the information should be both user friendly at a consumer level and offer advanced explanations for those who have interest in greater technical information about the product, with the limitation of retaining trade secure information and technology. An advanced level of information access should also be availed to technicians and a consumer level amount of data should be availed to the press, consumer action and review groups, all appropriate legal review entities, dealers, rental/leasing agents and others appropriate for a full scale technical live trial of the technology.

CONSUMER INFORMATION SEARCH STRATEGY

The advanced nature of the technology makes it a perfect candidate for the theoretical model of consumer information search strategy, as the consumer is first made aware of the problem, something that has been happening exponentially over the last few years from hundreds of sources taking care of the problem recognition aspect. Yet, in this industry as well as common sources for information on green/alternative technology is a whole host of ideas and technologies, at every level of technical prowess and varied a great deal. To some degree the consumer's task of finding a product that meets all their needs will be complicated by conflicting information as to comparable alternative products. In other words the consumer will likely need a great deal of convincing that Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle is the best alternative among many and because of the fact that a car is a very durable good the consumer must be assured, to some degree that this is the technology that will endure, rise above the many other options and be supported in the long-term. Again the lease program mitigates this issue, by ensuring that if the technology or infrastructural support proves lacking then the renter/leaser will not be in a position to take a loss by having to retain an obsolete, unsupported and expensive product. Yet, many may also be leery to make a commitment to a vehicle that might be perceived as "just as good as" other more tried and tested alternative product, e.g. other alternative fuel vehicles already on the road, including hybrids, hybrid electrics, all electric, biodiesel or biofuel consuming vehicles. The Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle must then be well placed in the market and be perceived by the consumer as the ultimate and best alternative vehicle to operate and make a commitment to. The consumer will seek out information on alternatives through various sources, including word of mouth, friends, family, acquaintances but will rely heavily on expert opinion (which can be conflicting in this area) and will require clarity on the part of experts specific to the Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle. The consumer will then decide to rent/lease the vehicle or make another choice, buying or supporting one of many varied alternatives. This product type will likely have a consumer information search that will include any combination of the following:

1. Reading and doing internet searches on alternative fuel vehicles and technology in trade and… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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