Intention to act towards a local hydrogen refueling facility: Moral considerations versus self-interest

N. M. A. Huijts, J. I. M. De Groot, E. J. E. Molin, B. Van Wee

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54 Citations (SciVal)


Using hydrogen as a fuel in transport may reduce environmental and societal problems resulting from current fossil fuel use, such as climate change and oil dependency. However, this requires both building hydrogen refueling infrastructure and gaining the acceptance of the citizens living nearby. Knowing what motivates citizens to act in favor of or against hydrogen refueling facilities may help in the development of policies that encourage the use of hydrogen as a fuel. This paper aims to contribute to this by examining whether intention to act in favor of, or against, a local hydrogen refueling facility is more strongly based on moral considerations or on self-interest. To this end, the explanatory value of the Norm Activation Model (NAM) was compared with the explanatory value of the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB). The analyses were carried out on data collected from a group of Dutch participants who received information about hydrogen as a fuel, hydrogen technology, and the opinion of stakeholders. The group consisted of 800 participants, of which 495 were in favor and 92 against a local hydrogen refueling facility. We found that both NAM and TPB variables significantly explained intention to act for supporters and opponents. The NAM variables explained intention to act more strongly than the TPB variables for both groups. These findings suggest that intention to act both in favor of and against hydrogen refueling facilities was more strongly based on moral considerations than on self-interest. If TPB variables were added to a model that included NAM variables, the explained variance increased for the supporters group, whereas this was not the case for the opponents group. These results indicate that for supporters of hydrogen refueling facilities, self-interest is a secondary goal after moral considerations but that this is not the case for opponents. To validate the findings, the analyses were also carried out on data from a group of participants that did not receive information. This control group consisted of 414 participants, of which 184 were in favor of and 45 against a local hydrogen facility. The same results were found for these supporters and opponents, indicating the robustness of our findings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-74
Number of pages12
JournalTransportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2013


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