The battle between battery and fuel cell powered electric vehicles: A BWM approach

Geerten Van De Kaa*, Daniel Scholten, Jafar Rezaei, Christine Milchram

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

66 Citations (Scopus)
166 Downloads (Pure)


The transition to a more sustainable personal transportation sector requires the widespread adoption of electric vehicles. However, a dominant design has not yet emerged and a standards battle is being fought between battery and hydrogen fuel cell powered electric vehicles. The aim of this paper is to analyze which factors are most likely to influence the outcome of this battle, thereby reducing the uncertainty in the industry regarding investment decisions in either of these technologies. We examine the relevant factors for standard dominance and apply a multi-criteria decision-making method, best worst method, to determine the relative importance of these factors. The results indicate that the key factors include technological superiority, compatibility, and brand reputation and credibility. Our findings show that battery powered electric vehicles have a greater chance of winning the standards battle. This study contributes to theory by providing further empirical evidence that the outcome of standards battles can be explained and predicted by applying factors for standard success. We conclude that technology dominance in the automotive industry is mostly driven by technological characteristics and characteristics of the format supporter.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1707
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Automotive
  • Best worst method
  • BWM
  • Standards
  • Standards battles


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