Toyota, Nissan and Honda Shake Hands Over Joint Hydrogen Station Network in Japan

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Station 1 photo
Photo: Toyota
The auto realm has divided opinions regarding the future of electric cars. When Toyota announced the Mirai Fuel Cell EV, eyebrows were raised, especially from the Tesla Motors camp.
However, it turns out Toyota are not alone in their hydrogen fuel cell quest, at least not in Japan. The world's largest carmaker, together with its Japanese counterparts Nissan and Honda agreed on the main details regarding a new joint support project for the development of hydrogen station infrastructure in Japan.

The main goal is to provide a "convenient, hassle-free refueling network for owners of fuel cell vehicles (FCVs)", with Japan's government also willing to provide a helping hand.

Initially, the joint venture will cover one third of the hydrogen station operating expenses (including personnel and refurbishment) while a second phase will raise awareness regarding these support measures, to encourage new companies in entering the hydrogen supply business.

Annual support limit was set at 11 million yen (roughly $89,000) per station, but the overall initiative is not an easy one.

FCVs are a new entry into the market. Therefore, hydrogen station revenues are expected to remain small due to the limited number of cars currently on the road.

The only way to change that is by introducing new hydrogen fuel cell cars on the market; a step Toyota already took with the Mirai sedan. Also, Honda and Nissan (creators of the popular Leaf EV) are on the verge of launching their own FCVs before April 2016 in Honda's case and early 2017, according to Nissan's plans.

In the meantime, we're waiting for the new Mirai to debut in Californian dealers this fall - in October, to be more precise - especially after Toyota announced an EPA-rated range of over 300 miles for their green car.
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