fuel cells or pure EVs will be dominating the streets in a few decades, and thankfully they share enough technology for us to think they can peacefully co-exist -- just like Apple and Microsoft fanboys and girls have been known to host really great parties together where they engage in long, respectful discussions regarding their differing opinions. However, while EVs are already well on their way, for fuel cells to take off we're going to need more hydrogen filling stations and more cooperation between auto manufacturers. That's happening now in Japan, with 13 companies -- Toyota, Nissan, and Honda along with a number of gas and utilities companies -- joining forces to enable a "smooth domestic launch" of fuel cell vehicles as soon as 2015. They hope to create about 100 hydrogen stations across the country, work to form a broader hydrogen supply network, and also educate people about FCVs in general. We'll give them a head start by letting you know that stands for "Fuel Cell Vehicle," though they're also often called FCEVs, or "Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles." Bam! Two items off the to-do list.
January 13, 2011
Toyota Motor Corporation
Nissan Motor Company, Ltd.
Honda Motor Company, Ltd.
JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corporation
Idemitsu Kosan Company, Ltd.
Osaka Gas Company, Ltd.
Cosmo Oil Company, Ltd.
Saibu Gas Company, Ltd.
Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K.
Taiyo Nippon Sanso Corporation
Tokyo Gas Company, Ltd.
Toho Gas Company, Ltd.
13 Japanese Companies Eye Smooth Domestic Launch of FCVs
-Development of Hydrogen Supply Infrastructure Key-
Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC), Nissan Motor Company, Ltd., Honda Motor Company, Ltd., JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corporation, Idemitsu Kosan Company, Ltd., Iwatani Corporation, Osaka Gas Company, Ltd., Cosmo Oil Company, Ltd., Saibu Gas Company, Ltd., Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K., Taiyo Nippon Sanso Corporation, Tokyo Gas Company, Ltd. and Toho Gas, Company, Ltd. jointly announce the following details regarding the launch of fuel-cell vehicles1 (FCVs) - one of a number of potential next-generation vehicles - in the Japanese market in 2015 and the development of the hydrogen supply infrastructure necessary for the successful adoption of the vehicles.
As development of fuel-cell systems progresses, Japanese automakers are continuing to drastically reduce the cost of manufacturing such systems and are aiming to launch FCVs in the Japanese market-mainly in the country's four largest cities-in 2015. The automobile industry hopes to popularize the use of FCVs after their initial introduction as a way of tackling energy and environmental issues.
Hydrogen fuel suppliers are aiming to construct approximately 100 hydrogen fueling stations by 2015, based on the number of FCVs expected to initially enter the market, to ensure a smooth launch and to create initial market.
With an aim to significantly reduce the amount of CO2 emitted by the transportation sector, automakers and hydrogen fuel suppliers will work together to expand the introduction of FCVs and develop the hydrogen supply network throughout Japan. The two groups are looking to the government to join them in forming various strategies* to support their joint efforts and to gain greater public acceptance of the technology.
*As a specific initiative in the immediate future, the companies plan to approach local governments and other concerned parties to discuss strategies for creating initial consumer demand for FCVs and for the optimal placement of hydrogen fueling stations, targeting Japan's four major metropolitan areas (Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka and Fukuoka).