11

In Germany there are only a few H2 gas stations.

  1. Why do they all have the same price? Why is the free market disabled here?

  2. Which law is responsible and why was it created?

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  • 3
    AFAIK it is not a question of Law, but there is only one Company that has gas stations (H2 Mobility) so the usual price fluctuation of the petrol stations is not present.
    – Daniel
    Sep 11 '20 at 8:49
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    seems like a big leap from "they have the same price" to "the free market is disabled"
    – user253751
    Sep 11 '20 at 9:31
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    @user253751: Yes, the free market is working in the choice of whether to buy a hydrogen-fueled vehicle or not, knowing that hydrogen supply is very limited, and in the decision of all but one company not to enter a market with very limited demand.
    – jamesqf
    Sep 11 '20 at 16:41
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    It is an example of a market failure, as an "axiom" of free markets is that they have competition and that new competitors can easily join and leave the market, low barriers to entry, blah blah blah.
    – eps
    Sep 11 '20 at 20:08
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    @eps: I would see it as an example of a market success. An insignificant number of people want hydrogen-powered vehicles, so there's an insignificant market for hydrogen fueling stations, so no one enters the market. (I wouldn't be surprised to discover that the existing stations receive some sort of government subsidy.) I'm sure we can all think of many examples of products that were introduced, and flopped.
    – jamesqf
    Sep 12 '20 at 2:29
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Currently only one company builds, maintains and operates these H2 Stations.

Its the H2 MOBILITY Deutschland GmbH & Co. KG which in turn are six companies (Air Liquide, Daimler, Linde, OMV, Shell and TOTAL).

So its not a law and more market dynamics as it is a monopoly.

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    In other words, it's the free market at play, not the free market "disabled".
    – TylerH
    Sep 11 '20 at 20:57
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    @TylerH It's probably somewhere in between, as undoubtedly the industry will be subject to some regulations which present barriers to entry. The "free market" is a theoretical concept which doesn't really exist in the real world.
    – JBentley
    Sep 12 '20 at 8:19
  • @JBentley: But the barrier to entry here is simply lack of demand. Which of course is a consequence of a lot of technical factors that make hydrogen-fueled cars a really bad idea.
    – jamesqf
    Sep 12 '20 at 16:13
  • @JBentley Yes, of course; I meant 'free market' such as one exists in the world/Germany today.
    – TylerH
    Sep 14 '20 at 15:17

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