The Chicken and Egg conundrum of zero-emission vehicles

Car manufacturers have created a new generation of zero-emission hydrogen fuel cells vehicles.

But there are concerns over how successfully the new technology can be rolled out. It’s a classic chicken and egg conundrum: Consumers hesitate to buy the new cars without assurance that there will be adequate infrastructure for fueling up. Companies hesitate to invest in fueling infrastructure without assurance that there will be adequate demand from consumers.

In Oregon, we’re looking to move beyond this confusion by creating a much-needed business certainty for alternative fuel providers.

Oregon’s Clean Fuel Program requires large gas and diesel companies to reduce their overall carbon pollution by 10% over 10 years. They can comply by increasing their own efficiency, blending low-carbon biofuels with gas or diesel, or purchasing credits that support electric vehicles, natural gas, propane, or other clean fuel alternatives — like hydrogen fuel cells. This free market exchange between clean fuel producers and oil companies provides the opportunities and market certainty that businesses need in order to invest in alternative fueling stations.

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