Setting up a fuel cell bus project today still requires the strong support of many stakeholders to provide personnel capacity and relevant expertise, money etc. 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. For example, stakeholders must be prepared for challenges, have them explained when they occur and feel comfortable that solutions will be found.
Early in the projects, local JIVE and JIVE 2 site coordinators were asked about their expectations for the major project outcomes. These expectations and the reasons for starting a FCB project constitute important elements of the narrative (‘story’) to be communicated to stakeholders. The focus of the communication, and the level of detail depends on the individual stakeholder group (see Section 1.3).
Expectations were also collected on FCB & HRS performance e.g. expected availability of the FCBs and HRSs, fuel consumption, time required to refuel a bus etc. In summary, site coordinators have high project expectations. These initial expectations will be compared with what has actually been experienced towards the end of the projects.
Interviews carried out in the acceptance study of the CHIC project showed that a perceived lack of communication led to irritations and scepticism, and, at worst, loss of support. The study concludes that whenever there is a lack of official information, there is a risk of unofficial stories emerging, made up and communicated by people looking for a story or wanting to influence the process.
Expectations of JIVE Project Coordinators