Developing the overall concept of a fuel cell bus project sets the scope and, in many ways, the basis for the overall success of the project.
The Project Conceptualisation Stage provides the context within which the buses will operate and be perceived by the key stakeholders. It can also facilitate a broader framework within which other applications of hydrogen and fuel cell technology can be developed and utilised. These can provide a means to address energy system-wide and environmental issues as well.
Setting up an FCB project today still requires the strong support of many stakeholders to provide personnel capacity and relevant expertise or funding. Acquiring this support can also bring the risk of ‘overselling’ the technology and raising very high expectations. On the other hand, high initial expectations may be necessary to get such a project approved at all. These expectations must be well managed during the course of the project.
There is a wide range of stakeholders who can provide important and powerful support to your FCB project, or just as powerful opposition.
On the support side, as an example, an influential and involved Steering Group can provide significant ‘political’ support. It might consist of senior representatives from the local administration and the PTA/PTO, as well as respected political leaders (political ‘champions’), to maintain support and obtain advice.
On the opposition side, this may be very local, such as neighbours to the proposed refuelling site, or quite distant, such as national or international environmental organisations