Toyota, Nissan and Honda have agreed to work together to help accelerate the development of Japan’s hydrogen station infrastructure for fuel cell vehicles. Specific measures to be undertaken by the three manufacturers will be determined at a later date.
For hydrogen-fueled FCVs to gain popularity, it is not only important that attractive products be launched – hydrogen station infrastructure must also be developed. At present, infrastructure companies are making every effort to build such an infrastructure, but they face difficulties in installing and operating hydrogen stations while FCVs are not common on the road.
Following the formulation of its Strategic Road Map for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells in June 2014, the Japanese government has highlighted the importance of developing hydrogen station infrastructure as quickly as possible in order to popularize FCVs. Consequently, the government is not only supporting the installation of hydrogen stations by means of subsidies, but has also resolved to introduce a range of additional policies aimed at promoting activities that generate new demand for FCVs, including partially subsidizing the cost of operating hydrogen stations.
The three automobile manufacturers hope to both popularize FCVs and ensure that it will be easy for customers to refuel them. To this end, the three OEMs have jointly recognized the need for automobile manufacturers to promote the development of hydrogen station infrastructure alongside the government and infrastructure companies, with the aim of working towards achieving the aims of the Strategic Road Map – the source of the government’s subsidy support. The three manufacturers will give careful consideration to concrete initiatives, such as underwriting a portion of the expenses involved in the operation of hydrogen stations.
FCVs are expected to play a central role in the drive towards establishing a hydrogen society. Toyota, Nissan and Honda are aiming to contribute to bringing about such a society through ensuring the widespread use of FCVs.