Federal Highway Research Institute

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Alternative propulsion technologies: Market penetration and consequences

In order to pursue and analyse the future development of vehicles with alternative power sources (hybrid, electro- and fuel cell vehicles) in Germany and promptly identify any possible negative impact on road safety, the setting-up of a long-term observation of the vehicle market and accidents was initiated in 2010.

As part of a preliminary study, the research methodology was defined and the framework for future studies created. The findings are published in the form of a report at annual intervals.

The project has as its aim the observation of the development of alternative power sources relating to the areas of product development/offer, domestic registrations and accidents. The following points play a crucial role in this regard:

  • pursuance of the actual implementation of technological progress in marketable products,
  • accurate knowledge at an early stage of the market development subsequent to the technological development and
  • the evaluation of accidents to enable the prompt identification of any possible negative effects on road safety.

The final point, in particular, establishes the possibility of being able to produce proposals in order to sensibly manage this development.