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Sector coupling and business models towards sustainability : the case of the hydrogen vehicle industry

  • The concept of sector coupling has been gaining increased momentum in political discourses during the past few years but it has only recently received the attention of international academics. The private sector is particularly relevant to foster sector coupling through entrepreneurial action – specifically, innovative business models for more sustainable technologies are needed to promote a transition towards more sustainability. So far, however, the literature on business models from a sector coupling perspective is scarce yet strongly emerging. To address the identified research gaps and enhance the current knowledge on the emerging hydrogen vehicle industry and sector coupling, this study adopts a qualitative and exploratory research approach and builds on information gained in 103 semi-structured interviews to discuss emerging business models in Germany. In particular, 33 business cases have been analyzed. Anchoring business model theory to the concept of sector coupling, this study identifies 12 business model archetypes in the emerging hydrogen vehicle industry and its value chain. It can be shown that, while the market is still emerging and the market players are not defined and are evolving, companies are currently engaged in finding their position along the value chain, fostering vertical integration, and promoting cooperation between the different sectors. While this study is relevant for both the academia and the industry, it is particularly interesting for policy makers shaping the future of sustainable development, specifically considering integrated energy systems.

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Document Type:Article
Author:Caledonia T.C. TrappORCiD, Dominik K. KanbachORCiD, Sascha KrausORCiD
Chairs and Professorships:Chair of Strategic Entrepreneurship
Parent Title (English):Sustainable Technology and Entrepreneurship
Issue:2 (May-August 2022)
Year of Completion:2022
Article Number:100014
Page Number:[10]
Tag:Business model; Cooperation; Integrated energy system; Sector coupling; Sustainable value creation
Content Focus:Academic Audience
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY - Namensnennung 4.0 International