Developing Hydrogen Refueling Stations: An Evolutionary Game Approach and the Case of China

Tian Zhao*, Zhixin Liu, Tooraj Jamasb

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Diffusion of hydrogen refueling stations (HRS) is key for promotion of hydrogen vehicles. We explore the nexus between critical stakeholders in the HRS industry from a game perspective. We model the three main actors in the policy for the development of HRS in Chinese hydrogen pilot cities, i.e. the public sector, the private investor, and the consumer. The tripartite evolutionary game analyzes the interaction of subsidy provision, HRS investment, and fuel consumption. We examine the evolutionary stable strategy of the system and propose a policy mechanism for setting the values of key parameters to promote active cooperation in the HRS diffusion. The simulation validates the equilibrium solution of the game, performs sensitivity analyses of initial probabilities and key parameters, and obtains the threshold values of subsidy and hydrogen price triggering a cooperative behavior. Furthermore, we find that, while there are several ways to stimulate cooperation such as subsidy provision and cost reduction, boosting the initial probabilities of actors to choose cooperative strategies is most effective for leading the game system to the ideal outcome. Accordingly, we offer recommendations on how to improve the actors' initial willingness to cooperate by enhancing the formulation and enforcement of regulations.
Original languageEnglish
Article number106390
JournalEnergy Economics
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022


  • Hydrogen refueling stations
  • Evolutionary game
  • Numerical simulation
  • Chinese hydrogen pilot cities

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