11 Japanese Powerhouses Go All In For Hydrogen Stations

5 days ago by Sebastian Blanco 126

First Generation Smart Hydrogen Station (SHS) Los Angeles, USA

First Generation Smart Hydrogen Station (SHS), Los Angeles, USA

Toyota, Honda, and Nissan all part of expanded H2 push.

Anyone looking for more proof that Japan is serious about hydrogen power need look no further. The three main Japanese automakers – Toyota, Honda, and Nissan – announced today that they will work with eight other big companies on the “large-scale construction of hydrogen stations.” It’s all part of the Japanese government’s Strategic Roadmap for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells which wants to have 160 stations serving 40,000 fuel cell vehicles by fiscal 2020. Hm, wonder what is happening around that time in Japan?

There are three different kinds of companies involved – automakers, infrastructure companies, and financial institutions – each with their own responsibilities (“Construction and operation of hydrogen stations,” “Spread of FCVs, operational support for hydrogen stations,” and “Financial support, etc.,” respectively, according to the press release). The final goal is, unsurprisingly, “the realization of a hydrogen society in Japan.”

Joint Press Release:

11 Companies Agree to Collaborate on Large-scale Construction of Hydrogen Stations

New Company to Be Considered for Supporting Strategic Construction and for Achieving Wider Use of FCVs and Independence of Hydrogen Station Business

  • Toyota Motor Corporation
  • Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.
  • Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
  • JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy
  • Idemitsu Kosan Co., Ltd.
  • Iwatani Corporation
  • Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd.
  • Toho Gas Co., Ltd.
  • Air Liquide Japan Ltd.
  • Toyota Tsusho Corporation
  • Development Bank of Japan Inc.

Toyota Motor Corporation (President: Akio Toyoda), Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. (President: Hiroto Saikawa), Honda Motor Co., Ltd. (President: Takahiro Hachigo), JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy (President: Tsutomu Sugimori), Idemitsu Kosan Co., Ltd. (President: Takashi Tsukioka), Iwatani Corporation (President: Mitsuhiro Tanimoto), Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd. (President: Michiaki Hirose), Toho Gas Co., Ltd. (President: Yoshiro Tominari), Air Liquide Japan Ltd. (President: Shiro Yahara), Toyota Tsusho Corporation (President: Jun Karube) and Development Bank of Japan Inc. (President: Masanori Yanagi) have signed a memorandum of understanding on  collaboration toward the large-scale construction of hydrogen stations for fuel cell vehicles (FCVs).

The memorandum of understanding is aimed at achieving the acceleration of the construction of hydrogen stations in the current early stage of FCV commercialization using an “all Japan” approach centered on collaboration among the 11 companies. It stems from the Japanese government’s “Strategic Roadmap for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells”*1 (revised on March 22, 2016), which targets a total of 160 operational hydrogen stations and 40,000 in-use FCVs by fiscal 2020.

Recognizing the challenges facing the hydrogen station business in early-stage commercialization of FCVs, the memorandum of understanding is based on the idea that the companies concerned should cooperate and fulfill their respective roles*2 to achieve the strategic development of hydrogen stations for maximizing FCV demand and to contribute to the steady popularization of FCVs.

As a specific form of such cooperation, the 11 companies will consider establishing a new company within 2017. The new company would aim to: 1) achieve steady construction of hydrogen stations by implementing measures to support hydrogen-station construction and operation, and 2) achieve wider use of FCVs and the independence of the hydrogen station business through activities for reducing costs, including governmental review of regulations, and activities for improving operational efficiencies, thus contributing to the realization of a hydrogen society in Japan.

The 11 companies will consider ways for broad participation by other companies in the future and will disseminate information appropriately.

*1Compiled by Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and announced on June 23, 2014
*2Role of each company
Infrastructure Companies     :     Construction and operation of hydrogen stations
FCV OEMs     :     Spread of FCVs, operational support for hydrogen stations
Financial institutions     :     Financial support, etc.

Source: Honda

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126 responses to "11 Japanese Powerhouses Go All In For Hydrogen Stations"

  1. Brian says:

    Disappointed but not surprised to see Nissan on that list. I can’t really blame them – I bet the government offered them a nice hefty incentive to join the H2 train.

    1. William says:

      Before PU-PU gets his shade on, H2 for all its huge benefits and massive energy conversion inefficiencies, has FUTURE potential, as an EV range extender to make battery EVs need smaller on board commuter batteries, and road trip hydrogen highway quick refills.

      1. agzand says:

        Exactly! Most people think hydrogen is expensive, but as a range extender it makes sense. Until it becomes cheaper. At that point it can replace the battery as well.

        People who disregards Toyota will be proven wrong.

        1. SparkEV says:

          If you’re banking on some unknown and undiscovered process that will make H cheaper, you could say the same about anything. Maybe they’ll have 1000 miles range battery for millions of cycle life for $1/kWh.

          I don’t see any such breakthrough with regard to cost of H. For H to come from electricity (ie. clean), you’re still losing lots of energy compared to battery. If it comes from nat gas, it could be competitive if you assume mass scale. But if you do that, why even bother with H? You might as well drive gassers.

          1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

            Intermittent off grid wind or solar electricity has completely different price and application from your retail electricity with guaranteed availability that you use to charge your SparkEV.
            Recent PPAs signed in Mexico and UAE are at 3-2.5 cnt/kWh. Wind in mid US also at that level. You will never see this cost for charging your car at the time you will need it.

            And there are multiple pathways to produce hydrogen.
            Target price is around $5 dispensed in 2020 in 2020 dollars, assuming mature market.

            1. SparkEV says:

              Until I see $5 (I assume per kg), I don’t believe it will happen. But even $5/kg is more expensive than Ioniq hybrid, which is currently about $2.70/kg. Why pay double to get the same experience as gas cars? There’s no reason to go with H and FCEV.

              Electricity is like field of dreams; when you make it, they’ll come and use it. All the extra electricity you’re talking about is some fantasy. There just won’t be so much electricity laying around to be sold for cheap and lose >60% to be used in FCEV, especially as the grid gets smarter.

            2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

              zzzzzzzzzzz said:

              “And there are multiple pathways to produce hydrogen.”

              If producing H2 was free, H2 fuel still would never be able to compete.

              This is the most important thing that “fool cell” fanboys simply refuse to face: That the cost of handling the H2 after producing it (compressing, moving, storing, re-compressing, dispensing), is much greater than the cost of production.

              They also refuse to face the fact that this isn’t going to change. There’s no magic way around the Second Law of Thermodynamics, which says that no process can be 100% efficient. Every one of those additional steps which H2 has to go thru before it gets into the fool car’s gas tank represents greater cost and more inefficiency in the form of lost energy.

              It’s as if we point out that 2 + 2 = 4, but they keep arguing that someday a method might be invented that will let it be equal to 5 or even 6!

              In order to get significant deployment [of hydrogen fuel], you need four significant technological breakthroughs. …If you need four miracles, that’s unlikely: saints only need three miracles. — Steven Chu, former U.S. Secretary of Energy

              1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

                All these scientists working for DOE sure have no clue what they are doing and their works are not worth reading.
                Pu-pu can spell the Holy Laws of Thermodynamics on them and consider it proved that the Earth is still flat just like it was 1000 years ago!

        2. Mike says:

          I find it hard to square the need for H with Honda’s recent argument for why their pitiful EV range (I think it was for the Accord) was adequate for the Japanese market. Their logic was that people use the train if they want to go more than 60 miles from home. If you don’t need quick fueling and long range, an EV makes way more sense.

          1. super390 says:

            Like the UK Tories’ obsession with crushing onshore wind and solar, when you see politicians blindly imposing an energy agenda that clearly is inferior to an alternative that’s already on the ground, you know money is changing hands.

            Actually, I EXPECT money to be changing hands in Japan. This is a country where giving small monetary gifts to politicians has always been open and normal, making it impossible to draw the line once huge wealthy corporations arose in the boom times.

      2. Amperaguy says:

        Yes, we will need range extenders, but liquid biofuels can use existing infrastructure. When traffic is over 80% electric, we can make enough biofuels to take care of rest. Inefficient H2 with expensive infrastructure is not needed for oil free future.

        1. Brian says:

          I’m with you. Biofuels seem like a much better solution than hydrogen for this application. I’m willing to bet that the cost to refit a gas station to serve bio fuel will ALWAYS be cheaper than the cost to serve H2.

          And then there is the issue of fuel cell cost. Yes, it’s coming down. But it probably won’t ever come down to the cost of a small combustion engine. Say a <1L 4-banger that burns biodiesel for example.

          1. SJC says:

            Biofuels can be reformed on the vehicle to make hydrogen for fuel cells. In the 1990s Mercedes had the NECAR program that reformed methanol and drove across the U.S.

            1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

              Methanol fuel cells are still available. E.g. PowerCell sells them for light trucks in China. But methanol is highly toxic and pure hydrogen PEM cells are just simpler and cheaper, no emissions, no extra chemical conversion steps from electrolysis. Daimler dropped methanol for reason in historic times. High pressure tank adds some cost, but it isn’t game changer.

              1. SJC says:

                NECAR was a PEM with a fuel reformer, they did not continue because reformers and PEMs were not as advanced 25 years ago.

                Methanol is not toxic, California fueled a fleet of 1980s Ford Taurus with methanol no problems at all. That is fully documented.

                1. BenG says:

                  Methanol certainly is toxic. Aka wood alcohol, it can blind or kill you if you drink it. Who really cares, though, right? People don’t worry about gasoline being toxic.

                  But, the reformer adds complexity and expense to an already very expensive and complex fuel cell car, hence the reason Mercedes and others dropped their methanol and/or gasoline fuel cell projects. It’s hard enough to deliver a hydrogen proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell car for a reasonable cost without having a reformer on board.

                  IMO a small solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) fueled by ethanol, like Nissan uses on their e-NV2000 prototype, is a promising approach for a range extender. The SOFC is not so picky about it’s fuel stream as the PEM , so the reformation is a lot easier.

                  1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

                    Gasoline doesn’t cause irreversible blindness. Methanol vapor is toxic even before humans can detect it by smell 🙁
                    When used in fuel cells, it is shipped in sealed bottles with special valve that allows opening to cell only, to prevent vapor going outside.

                    1. SJC says:

                      “US maximum allowed exposure in air (40 h/week) is 1900 mg/m³ for ethanol, 900 mg/m³ for gasoline, and 1260 mg/m³ for methanol…
                      …producing a lower exposure risk for an equivalent spill.”

                      “..the effective toxicity is no worse than those of benzene or gasoline, and methanol poisoning is far easier to treat successfully.”


                  2. SJC says:

                    gasoline is toxic, it can kill you if you drink it. If you don’t like methanol then reform ethanol.

                  3. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

                    zzzzzzzzzz said:

                    “Gasoline doesn’t cause irreversible blindness.”

                    Will you ever stop shoveling out obvious B.S.? By any rational viewpoint, gasoline is significantly more toxic than methanol.

                    Huffing gasoline vapor (a cheaper way to get “high” than drinking alcohol) can, and does, cause serious and permanent damage to the brain, liver, kidneys and heart. The fact that it won’t damage your vision is not much of a benefit!

                    If you drank as much gasoline as the amount of methanol it would take to blind you, then you wouldn’t be merely blind, you’d be dead!


                    1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

                      “methanol poisoning is far easier to treat successfully.”

                      Yes, sure, if you know that you are poisoned and it is acute poisoning. Unfortunately, it becomes too late for complete reversal later. From your own wikipedia article:

                      ” As little as 10 mL of pure methanol, ingested, is metabolized into formic acid, which can cause permanent blindness by destruction of the optic nerve. ”

                      I can’t stop crazy people from playing with their life if they insist. But I certainly don’t want to participate in it.

                      “Out of 15 patients with renal impairment, 6 died.

                      Two patients made complete visual recovery, whereas the remaining 7 had permanent visual defects…

                    2. SJC says:

                      California had more than 100 cars fueled for years with methanol, there were NO cases of any problems. Spread the FUD if you want or reform ethanol for hydrogen, whatever but stop trying to mislead.

          2. zzzzzzzzzz says:

            Ethanol as 85% mix is available across the US for long time, and Flex Fuel vehicles from US automakers are plentiful with no price premium. But it isn’t going anywhere, as fuel is more expensive than gas in most places, and needs the same old ICE, or expensive and complicated on-board reforming like Nissan is experimenting in Brasil.

            PEM fuel cells are on track to reach $40/kW target for 2020 assuming mass production. The only issue is to come with initial investment to scale up. $40/kW isn’t much different from smaller diesel engines, especially if you add proper NOx emission controls, not VW style.


            1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

              zzzzzzzzzz said:

              “Ethanol… needs… expensive and complicated on-board reforming like Nissan is experimenting in Brasil.”

              Funny how fuel cell fanboys dismiss the ongoing advancements in the tech of reforming practical fuels such as gasoline, methanol, ethanol, methane, propane, etc., to produce hydrogen onboard a vehicle — Which might actually lead to practical FCEVs someday — in favor of continuing to promote the “hydrogen economy” hoax.

              It’s almost like their real motive isn’t really to promote fuel cell vehicles, but rather to act as Big Oil shills in promoting the “hydrogen economy” hoax. 😐

              1. super390 says:

                Not to even mention refuelable zinc-air cells, which have been in Army service for years. No handling issues, you just need a way to vacuum out the harmless zinc oxide left over when you run out of zinc.

      3. bjrosen says:

        The need for range extenders is a short term problem until batteries get good enough, i.e. about 2X the energy density that they have now which should happen in 5-10 years. Until then the range extenders that make sense are small internal combustion engines because the infrastructure for them is already in place. Hydrogen requires and entirely new and incredibly expensive infrastructure investment which nobody outside of Japan is willing to make. The Japanese are painting themselves into a quarter by making their home market fundamentally different from the rest of the world’s. While everybody else is putting their money into BEVs the Japanese automakers are burdening themselves with the expense of developing FCEVs that they won’t be able to sell outside of Japan.

        1. F150 Brian says:

          Battery capacity and cost are not the primary factors keeping PHEVs legit. It’s the lack of charging infrastructure.

          Even a 1MWh battery that costs $1000 is useless if you have to put energy into it via 120V outlet (which is the *ONLY* ubiquitous format in NA).

          1. Mike says:

            120? Find me a house that doesn’t have an oven. 240 is the real standard and charging at ~ 7 kW/h is adequate for >90% of the population. Add in some DC charging on the highway and BEVs with 200-300 miles of range can basically replace the entire ICE car fleet.

            1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

              Yes, but these 220 V outlets in North America are not designed for plugging/unplugging, like European ones. You are only allowed to plug permanent appliance to them.

              1. Mark.ca says:

                What do you mean by that? I can unplug my car charger and plug in my dryer if i want to, the plug is different from the regular 120v version but that’s it.

                1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

                  Typically you would need to pull your dryer or range from wall to access the single outlet and it would not be very convenient. In practice you may need to pay up to hundreds of dollars per car to licensed electrician to pull new wire from panel to new outlet. Smoke detector and infrared inspection are highly advised if you want to leave it charging at night.

                  Electric code in the US requires you to use 110V for appliances that you plug and unplug daily with some exceptions.
                  The common problem with these “plug once and forget” NEMA 14-50 receptacles is that once they overheat for whatever reason, like not perfectly clean plug, they tend do not create enough mechanical pressure on blades, connection resistance increases, it heats up even more in self-enforcing fashion and finally you end up with melting like this:

                  Please don’t do disservice to EV adoption by ignoring safety rules and creating evening news headlines like “… burned the house”. You can pay few dollars more and do it properly.

                  1. Mark.ca says:

                    I hear you on the proper wiring by a licensed electrician but your point on unplugging 240v is hard to understand for me. Done it many times and there simply is no danger to it if all is installed properly. Evan an 120v outlet can cause problems if the connections are bad and possibly catch fire. American houses burn down to electrical fires all the time and in most of the cases 120v is the culprit. Btw, i lieved half my life in Europe and do know life under both 220v and 120v.

          2. Brian says:

            Actually, the standard in NA is 240V going to every house. It is split into two 120V legs, which are run to your wall outlets. But every house that I know of has 240V going to the panel.

            1. Mark.ca says:

              That is also correct in Cali…all houses get 240 which is split in 2 so 240 is standard.

          3. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            “Battery capacity and cost are not the primary factors keeping PHEVs legit. It’s the lack of charging infrastructure.”

            No, it’s not. The main reason that 55% of PEV (Plug-in EV) owners say they have never, ever used a public EV charger is because they don’t want to deal with the hassle and the time wasted on hooking up to a strange EV charger and then waiting for an extended time for their car to charge.

            Larger battery packs mean longer range without recharging, and that absolutely is going to lead to more people switching to PEVs, because that means longer trips without ever needing to use a public EV charger.

            The average person isn’t going to wait around for 30 minutes, or even 15 minutes, to charge their car. 10-12 minutes is probably the maximum that we’ll be able to convince the average person to wait, and ordinary competition will likely drive charging time down to an average of less than 10 minutes, just as competition is already driving improvements in battery tech.

            1. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

              So you’re saying that a hydrogen range extender with a 3 to 5 minute fill-up time is a good idea. 😀

        2. BenG says:

          Do not expect battery energy density to double in 5 years, though 10 years may be possible.

          1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            If solid state batteries are commercialized, then we may see a lot more than doubling of energy density practically overnight.

            Did you see the solid state “plastic battery” demonstrated on the “Search for the Super Battery” episode of PBS’s “Nova”?


      4. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        William said:

        “H2 for all its… massive energy conversion inefficiencies, has FUTURE potential, as an EV range extender…”

        Why? Do the economics work any better if it’s only used as a fuel for a range extender, instead of a primary energy carrier?

        Will compressed hydrogen somehow magically become less difficult to work with, and magically develop the potential of becoming a practical fuel, if you relegate it to a secondary role?

        No, and no. In fact, relegating H2 to a back-up role would make the cost of those shockingly expensive H2 filling stations an even worse investment, as they’d be used even less, but you’d still need nationwide coverage.

        If I said “Dried cow dung, for all its disadvantages, has FUTURE potential, as an EV range extender…” then you’d immediately see that is B.S. Why can’t you see that H2 is very nearly as bad?

        The laws of physics are facts… not mere opinion.

        1. agzand says:

          The number of hydrogen fueling stations will be proportionate to hydrogen demand. So I don’t understand your logic. If you use less hydrogen you need smaller and fewer stations. It will be still 1000 times current demand, so it can be produced in industrial scale to reduce cost.

          1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

            There is no point to look for logic in Pu-pu posts 😉 He thinks “laws of physics” is incantation to woo away non-believers 😉

            I don’t even bother to read Pu-pu most of the time.

            1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

              There is no point in looking for logic in zzzzzzz’s fool cell fanboy posts. He doesn’t believe the Laws of Physics or Thermodynamics are real, and he thinks that if we really try, someday we can make 2 + 2 = 5 or 6, instead of merely 4.

              The odd thing is that he’s not arguing for perpetual motion, because from a physics viewpoint, perpetual motion would be just as easy as making H2 into a practical fuel, without all the difficulties of trying to handle highly compressed hydrogen!

            2. JIMJFOX says:

              Agreed. And, of course, he knows more about H than the Japanese engineers, scientists and government do.

              1. super390 says:

                Well, a lot of people know more about nuclear power than the guys who built Fukushima, apparently. The ones who said not to build it in the first place look pretty good right now.

                1. Mark.ca says:

                  No Super,
                  “Japanese engineers, scientists and government” are never wrong!
                  Seriously, it’s just Japan that’s left in this H race so i say let them go crazy. Maybe they will discover something useful.

          2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            “If you use less hydrogen you need smaller and fewer stations.”

            Yes, which means insufficient demand to support an H2 fueling station anywhere except where population density is high.

            Remember, the per-car cost of H2 fueling stations is much, much higher than it is for gasoline stations. At current prices, well over an order of magnitude higher. We could expect that price of H2 stations to drop somewhat if they became more common, but they’ll never get within the ballpark of the low cost of a gasoline filling station. Gas stations need only simple mild steel storage tanks and very simple pumps to handle the fuel. H2 fueling stations need expensive high-pressure pumps, storage tanks and fittings with special seals, and even then the pumps and tanks are going to have to be replaced every few years, because long-term exposure to H2 embrittles metals.

            If it was 10x as costly to build and 10x as costly to maintain a gasoline station as it does today, how many towns and how many areas simply wouldn’t have any gas station at all?

            Relegating H2 to a secondary status would make the entire “hydrogen economy” even less viable than it already is, because it would significantly reduce the demand for H2 fueling stations. In most places they would never even be built, let alone generate sufficient revenue to stay in business.

        2. William says:

          We shall see if Proterra can get the Hydrogen Highway ball rolling, (a little faster than the supposed Dung Beetle cow pie analogy). I absolutely loath the conversion of fossil fuel to Hydrogen, but in an imperfect world, the future of renewable energy and the storage problem/expense of excessive wind/sun electron generation, can be mitigated in some locals, by Hydrogen production and storage.

          Costs can initially be the burden of the commercial trucking industry, until if and when the consumer cost benefits become scalable. It will take time to see this strategy through, but the oil and gas companies will have a huge say in how and when this is achieved.

          1. William says:

            Meant Nikola, not Proterra, oops!

      5. JIMJFOX says:


        PU-PU bleating incessantly about “Laws of physics/thermodynamics” could do with reading this. Who knows where the research will lead?
        One thing is for sure- lugging a TON of batteries around is most certainly NOT ‘efficient’.

        Batteries as currently used is/are a temporary solution. Something different will replace them in the next decade, I’m guessing.

        1. super390 says:

          What about lugging around a quarter-ton? At what point does it not matter?

          Put the new Tesla batteries into this 1993 car:


          Note that it only had a 27 kwh battery pack for its record-breaking exploits. Convert that to li-ion and then bank the weight savings. Does a 250 pound battery pack satisfy you?

    2. Djoni says:

      If anyone thinks that Hydrogen road is all open without problem to be solved, he’s dreaming.

      One of them is that, efficiency aside, fuel cell and hydrogen tank are bulky, heavy and quite expensive to manufacture.
      Not that durable either, not even as durable as today’s battery, which are also to be perfected.
      Then you have to pay a sensible price for the fuel.
      But, who knows what will happen.
      I will believe it if it comes, and I don’t bet on that.

  2. Get Real says:

    Maybe sven is tuning Japanese?

    1. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

      So you think I’m masturbating after reading this story? Really?

      Perhaps you should replace your Elon Musk blowup doll with a Japanese sex robot made to look exactly like Elon.

      1. Get Real says:

        Calm down, its called a joke.

        1. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

          So you think making masturbation jokes on an EV website is funny?


          1. Get Real says:

            LOL, so says the person who occasionaly (and often angrily) has made sexual innuendo remarks here!

            1. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

              I really don’t care about your sexual orientation or the sexual orientation of anyone else on this website. I have a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

              1. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

                However, you do seem to be obsessed with me.

                1. Mark.ca says:

                  You can start your own “obsessed with me” club as you would have a few members already….that’s what you get for attaching ev’s on a ev website. Get used to it.

                  1. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

                    I own and drive an EV. I’m ZEV proponent and ZEV agnostic. I don’t care if a ZEV is an EV, HFCV, powered by alien technology, or runs on unicorn farts. If it’s a ZEV, it’s OK by me. I care about clean air, since I live in a densely populated walkable city, and am ofter a pedestrian, bicyclist, runner, or doing outdoor exercise.

                    I don’t believe in the “one size fits all” mantra of many/most EV proponents. An EV won’t work for everyone.

                    1. Mark.ca says:

                      I hope you actually mean what you say and stand against pollution and are for ev’s…it’s just that sometimes it seems you are not. Maybe you are just misunderstood.

              2. super390 says:

                No, he’s just saying that you’re a hypocrite who uses sexual smears to advance your agenda.

                1. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

                  What agenda is that? The advancement and uptake of ZEVs?

                  It seems to me that Get Real is the one using sexual smears against me to advance his agenda.

          2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            “So you think making masturbation jokes on an EV website is funny?”

            I think is pretty funny that the guy who likes to use scatological nicknames for others he’s arguing with, is complaining about that! Adolescent sexual humor is at least more mature than your infantile fixation on bodily excretions.

            Nice to see your chickens come home to roost, Sven! 😛

    2. SparkEV says:

      One of the stereotypes of Japanese was they take their cameras everywhere and love to take pictures. It seems we’ve all turned Japanese, especially the young, with our camera phones everywhere and taking pictures of all things.

      We may well behave like the Japanese do today in 20 to 30 years, though I doubt we’ll go H and FCEV route.

  3. MrEnergyCzar says:

    Don’t they have electrical outlets in Japan?

  4. CLIVE says:

    Fool Cells

  5. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    Do the laws of physics work differently in Japan?

    No? Then I guess the “hydrogen economy” hoax will fail there, too, eventually. In the meantime, a shocking amount of Japanese taxpayer money is being thrown down that rathole.

    What a waste. 🙁

    1. Mister G says:

      It’s not a waste if the money is going into your pocket LOL, the list of Japanese companies lining up for government cheese is from the fossil fuel industry.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Yup, and if the Japanese governments (both Federal and Prefecture) were not offering ridiculously large subsidies (up to nearly $20,000!) for fool cell cars, then almost certainly no auto maker would be making them.


  6. pjwood1 says:

    I’d guess it’s natural gas. Japan is going ga ga for the stuff, since the international LNG markets started taking up U.S. supply. Prices have fallen. NG is the lowest input cost method of producing H2, despite the couple PVs at the pictured pumps.

    The exercise shows market-control, over free markets, all over again. When CCGT electric can be 60% btu efficient through an outlet, why go through a less efficient process handling H2? “Density/Range”, they’ll argue. And winning the argument keeps the gas companies selling more natural gas, not less over an electric grid.

    1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

      Where do you think electricity comes from in Japan, or around the world for that mater? Pink unicorns mined from the bottom of the sea? Surprise! – no, it comes from the same lowest cost sources of energy, like natural gas or coal, as long as they’ll stay lowest cost. Steam reforming at least avoids burning and is more efficient than burning gas in average real life power plant.

      1. Brian says:

        “Steam reforming at least avoids burning and is more efficient than burning gas in average real life power plant”

        Not if you count well-to-wheels. It has been shown that burning the NG for electricity can take a Leaf farther than steam reforming it for a Mirai.

        1. SJC says:

          The average power plant efficiency is 40% with transmission and conversion loses you might get 30% out of the batteries. Reforming can be 70% efficient with compression and fuel cell you still get 30%.

          1. Scott says:

            Here in WA we get about 80 percent of our electricity from renewables, mostly hydro.

          2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            “Reforming can be 70% efficient with compression and fuel cell you still get 30%.”

            Oh, what B.S.

            First of all, you’re comparing the most inefficient, most polluting source of grid power, coal-fired plants, to the most optimistic numbers for fool cell cars.

            Only about 40% of grid energy now comes from coal, at least in the USA. Overall, the grid is significantly “cleaner” and more efficient.

            Any comparison using real-world figures, not the fake cherry-picked numbers that Big Oil propaganda uses, unquestionably shows that on a well-to-wheel basis, using apples-to-apples comparisons, BEVs are far less polluting and far more energy efficient than fool cell cars. (See link below)

            Arguing otherwise is quite literally being a science denier.


            1. SJC says:

              EPRI says on average the fossil fuel powered grid is about 40% efficient. Some natural gas plants are less, they are steam turbine converted from oil fired.

        2. zzzzzzzzzz says:

          “Not if you count well-to-wheels. It has been shown that burning the NG for electricity can take a Leaf farther than steam reforming it for a Mirai.”

          Good luck selling 100 mile cars on some marginal efficiency advantages based on some theoretical gas turbine records, not found in real life :/

          My bicycle can beat any car, it requires zero gas and zero electricity. 9999999 mpge! Now how should we outlaw all the cars and force everybody to switch to bicycles?

      2. Terawatt says:

        All the more important then to ensure a huge post in the energy budget like transportation is energy efficient. As everyone knows, hydrogen isn’t – in fact it’s about on a par with what we’ve got. Might as well keep using diesel really.

        It’s all quite stupid, and it will become clear to everyone that this is so within a decade.

        Toyota is perhaps the company in the world right now that causes the most damage, the number one enemy of the people. I for one passionately hate it, and would support any attack on it, including cyber warfare, hackings and physical attacks on its facilities and infrastructure. Pure evil, and it knows full well what it’s doing. How anyone can buy their product and still sleep at night is inexplicable.

        1. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

          Don’t hold back. Tell us how you really feel about Toyota.

  7. Terawatt says:

    I wish them lots of luck. They’ll need an extraordinary amount of it since they are betting against physics…

    Hydrogen cars will not make sense this side of fusion power. That’s my claim. Toyota may be a big company, but they are powerless to modify the fundamentals, and this will fail. And I’ll be laughing all the way.

  8. Serial anti tesla troll thomas says:

    Hahaha the battery gang gets nervous 😂😂😂

    1. Get Real says:

      LMFAO, you are lame even when you try and flip the script.

      It is the fossil fool shills that are getting increasingly nervous as PEVs (and RE) get closer and closer to mass adoption.

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Nervous? Just what is it that we are supposed to be “nervous” about?

      I’m not at all “nervous” about the possibility that the Laws of Thermodynamics will be repealed tomorrow. All of our technology — including that computer you’re using right now, as well as the engine or motor in the car you drive — are built using those laws. So it’s not very likely our understanding of thermodynamics is flawed on any fundamental level.

      I am, however, annoyed that there are so many science denying attempts to promote the “hydrogen economy” hoax to benefit Big Oil.

  9. Serial anti tesla troll thomas says:

    Here a interesting way how Audi wants to bridge the time until H2 station are common:


    1. Get Real says:

      “Until the time…”!

      Right, fossil fool shills just LOVE those words.

      The world is running out of time to transition away from fossil fuels AND I haven’t noticed any Big Oil companies putting their money where their mouths are by actually BUILDING H2 stations.

      They would rather have the taxpayers pay for the horrendously expensive (and money-losing) infrastructure required for such a boondoggle.

      Meanwhile, the price of batteries keeps getting closer and closer to the magic point of 100/kwh which means you LOSE!

      1. Serial anti tesla troll thomas says:

        Yes and the cadmium and all this things in the batteries are 100% biologically…..we will see then all this batteries put somewhere into ground in Africa

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      “…bridge the time until H2 station perpetual motion generators are common:”

      There, fixed that for you.

      1. SJC says:

        You did not fix anything.

  10. Showtime for H2 FC technology is July 24 – Aug 9, 2020 … the stage, 2020 Tokyo Olympic venue in Japan.

    For historians, H2 FC demonstrations have occurred at a number of previous Olympic venues. Question is how many of these demonstrations continue to operate today?

    • 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, BC had H2 FC bus fleet offering service, and was shut down and vehicles auctioned off within 2 years
    • 2012 London Olympics has H2 FC taxis that had to be transported o flatbeds daily due to concerns of H2 stations in central London at time. Concerns was they might be pose to be terrorist threat.

  11. Why Not? says:

    I think one aspect that never gets mentioned in these discussions is safety. Hydrogen in extremely flammable and although the high-pressure tanks are supposed to be “bullet proof”, the same was said about the Titanic, and we all know how that turned out.

    Electric car adoption was almost derailed early on by the fires in a Chevy Volt and a Tesla Model S, even though nobody got hurt. All it would take is one freak accident anywhere in the world, where a hydrogen car blows up spectacularly and kills its passengers. Driving one would henceforth be known as “Riding the Hindenburg” and billions spent on infrastructure would have been thrown out the window.

    1. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

      To my knowledge, nobody ever said the Titanic was “bullet proof.”

      FYI, those people who actually died or almost died in Tesla car fires didn’t derail EV adoption.

      1. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

        Oops, that should read:

        FYI those Tesla car fires where people actually died or almost died didn’t derail EV adoption.

      2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Typical of Sven’s Tesla bashing. That is, it’s 100% factually incorrect. There isn’t any compelling evidence that anyone has died due to a fire in a Tesla car.

        There have been a few people die, due to reckless driving at high speed and/or plunging off a cliff, in a Tesla car. Some of those cars did catch fire after the crash — when those people inside were, with almost mathematical certainty, already dead.

        Leave it to a serial Tesla basher to try to twist facts to claim they “died in Tesla car fires”.

        1. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

          Poo-Poo said:
          “There isn’t any compelling evidence that anyone has died due to a fire in a Tesla car.”

          That BS. In the deadly Indianapolis Tesla crash both the driver and owner/passenger were trapped in the exploding and burning Tesla. The coroner determined that the owner/passenger who was pulled out alive from the burning Tesla later “died of burns and smoke inhalation,” and the driver “died of crash-related injuries” and “the fire was a contributing factor.” It doesn’t get any more compelling than that.

          A news article in the IndyStar said the following:
          “Speckman, 27, and McCarthy, 44, were killed when McCarthy’s 2015 Model S crashed into a tree and parking garage then exploded near Illinois and 16th streets shortly after 1 a.m. Nov. 3.”

          The vehicle caught fire and burned quickly. Firefighters arrived to find a 150-yard debris field and exploding battery cells exploding.”

          “One witness told police he was driving slowly past when the Tesla exploded.”

          “Parts of the vehicle blew into the air,” the witness told investigators.

          McCarthy died of burns and smoke inhalation, according to investigators.

          Speckman, investigators said, died of crash-related injuries. The fire was a contributing factor.

          . . .

          “Indianapolis Fire Department Battalion Chief Kevin Jones said rescue efforts were hampered by the exploding battery cells.”

          “‘Some of those smaller cells that had broken apart were firing off almost like projectiles around the rescuers,’ Jones told reporters hours after the crash.”

          “Firefighters are experts at putting out fires in gasoline and even hybrid vehicles, but Jones said they had never before seen anything like the blaze in the Tesla.”

          “‘Lithium ion batteries, they burn really hot,’ Jones said. ‘To extinguish that fire takes copious amounts of water.'”

          Firefighters freed McCarthy, a former FBI agent, from the vehicle about 20 minutes after they arrived on the scene. He was taken to Eskenazi Hospital, where he later died.


          The CPA in California who drove his Tesla off a canyon road was trapped in his car as it burned to the ground and became a molten pile of metal.

          In the recent Tesla Model X taxi crash in China, the rear-seat passengers where trapped in the back seat as the Tesla’s batteries caught fire and started exploding. The falcon-wing doors refused to open when they pushed the buttons, and they barely made it out alive by crawling out of the Model X’s conventional front door, which did open.

      3. Mark.ca says:

        Oh, please do tell….
        So your H can will not explode when it gets smashed in an accident? Could we test this theory on you?

        1. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

          You actually think that Toyota and Honda didn’t design and test their H2 tanks to withstand violent collisions, and left themselves open to multimillion dollar personal injury lawsuits? Really? An H2 tank designed to hold H2 at 10,000 lbs of pressure is very strong. A Tesla battery pack is breached much more easily than a H2 fuel tank.

          1. Mark.ca says:

            How about if you replace “H” in your sentance with “gasoline”? Did Toyota make sure the tank is impossible to be breached in case of an accident? No! And how do you think they going to be able to protect the H tank anyway? How about in case the car catches fire? I will take the small Li battery explosion over the H tank explosion anytime.

            1. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

              “Hydrogen is lighter than air and diffuses rapidly — 3.8 times faster than natural gas — which means that when released, it dilutes quickly into a nonflammable concentration.”

              Hydrogen rises two times faster than helium and six times faster than natural gas at a speed of almost 45 mph (65.6 feet/second). Therefore, unless a roof, a poorly ventilated room, or some other structure contains the rising gas, the laws of physics prevent hydrogen from lingering near a leak (or near people using hydrogen-filled equipment). Simply stated, to become a fire hazard, hydrogen must first be confined; however, because hydrogen is the lightest element in the universe, it is very difficult to confine.

  12. Someone out there says:

    There is actually a good reason for Japan to go with hydrogen. Japan is a small and densly populated country. There isn’t much room for huge renewable energy installations and they don’t want nuclear. So where are they going to get their energy from?

    They could possibly build a really expensive cable to China but obviously they don’t trust China longer than they can spit a loogie. So the solution they are going for is to import hydrogen that can be generated anywhere and transported in huge ships. So given that they are planning on importing huge amounts of hydrogen it makes sense to drive their cars on it directly instead of going through the grid.

    1. BenG says:

      Are they really planning to import huge amounts of hydrogen? First I’ve heard of it. Seems highly improbable due to the difficulty in compressing and storing it.

      1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

        It will be liquid, not so much difference from natural gas shipping by sea.
        “24 yen per normal cubic meter (Nm3)” is around $2.4/kg

        1. Malcolm Scott says:

          Yes lots anticipated in the export of hydrogen from Australia to Japan. But everyone can forget about it being produced from brown coal in Victoria. The public will not tolerate the consequences in pollution, water table problems affecting farming and land subsidence that is already the result of open cut mining over the last 50 yrs. The rehabilitation costs are enormous.


        2. super390 says:

          Oh yeah, LNG terminals. The miracle solution to nothing but giving terrorists easier targets.

      2. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

        Norway and Australia are competing to supply Japan with renewable hydrogen (made from solar, wind, and hydro power) that will shipped to Japan in the form of liquid hydrogen or ammonia.


    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      “There is actually a good reason for Japan to go with hydrogen. Japan is a small and densly populated country. There isn’t much room for huge renewable energy installations and they don’t want nuclear.”

      You have talked around the fringes of Japan’s problem, but haven’t gotten to the heart of the matter.

      The problem Japan has is that it’s poor in energy sources. It’s poor in oil and coal; in fact, it was Japan’s lack of oil and iron resources that lead it to try military conquest in WW II, to seize the resources a modern industrialized country needs.

      Certainly we can understand Japan’s desperation for more electricity, now that it has almost entirely (and foolishly) shut down its commercial nuclear reactors; the desperation that has lead it to grasp at straws, clutching at the false hope of the “hydrogen economy”.

      For the same reason, Japan is also quite excited about the large undersea deposits of methane clathrates which in theory could be used as a hydrocarbon fuel to replace gasoline and diesel. But if that source is developed, it means a huge addition to pollution and CO2 generation.

      I hope that Japan will turn to pursuit of clean power sources such as solar power and the next-generation, much safer nuclear reactor tech of SMRs (Small Modular Reactors). Altho Japan is quite crowded, nonetheless there are still large areas too rocky and mountainous for agriculture or human settlements; wilderness areas where solar farms could be installed without displacing anyone.

      I realize that the public hysteria in Japan over “RADIATION!!” will make building new commercial nuclear reactors there politically difficult. I hope Japan’s leaders will take it upon themselves to fight this hysteria and educate the public on the benefits of clean nuclear power, and how it is actually much safer than most or possibly even all other forms of power generation.

      They could start by pointing out the actual facts about the Fukushima Exclusion Zone, which is that about 85% of the area is safe enough that people could move back in today. It’s rather absurd to forbid people to live in an area due to a supposed “radiation hazard”, when the background radiation level is less than that of Denver, Colorado!

      1. Someone out there says:

        I agree that the hysteria over radiation is over the top but I am just relaying what Japanese politicians have decided. They don’t want nuclear so they bet on importing hydrogen instead.

  13. BenG says:

    The headline saying these companies are going “All In” on hydrogen stations is an incorrect usage of the phrase. It implies that they are putting all their money and resources on hydrogen, which is obviously wrong given that all of them are also putting large resources into plug-in vehicles.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Yeah, the idea that Japan is “Going all in” on hydrogen power is apparently just another attempt to promote the “hydrogen economy” hoax.

      For example, doing a Google News search on [Japan importing hydrogen] brings up a link to a headline of “First municipal hydrogen power plant coming to Japan in 2018”. But the actual article (linked below) merely says the plant will burn 80% natural gas, 20% hydrogen. Not much different from Germany displacing 15% of the gas in natural gas pipelines with hydrogen. (That’s about the limit, since oil/gas pipelines are not built to carry compressed hydrogen.)

      In all cases, it’s rather far from being “all in” on the “hydrogen economy”!


    2. SJC says:

      More accurate to say all these companies are “going in” on this program.

  14. JK says:

    Last heard, Japan is working on installing floating offshore wind turbines 20 Km offshore that could help them start tapping into offshore winds that are estimated to harbor about 1,570 gigawatts of power—more than five times the current capacity of Japan’s power companies.

  15. Martin Winlow says:

    Well, let’s just hope they don’t put any of their H2 storage facilities right beside the sea!

  16. Mark says:

    And presently most of the Co2 extracted during steam reforming is dumped into empty gas/oil wells and capped off.

    1. Mark.ca says:

      Where did you get that from? Who is doing it?

      1. Mark says:

        Sure I read it somewhere, sorry but couldn’t find the link. If Co2 is not going underground after steam reforming it most likely goes up into the atmosphere.

        1. Mark.ca says:

          Maybe you remember reading that co2 is used for fracking…that is a real process and is pumped underground.

  17. BRM says:

    Hydrogen experiment

    1. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

      Lithium battery explosion:


        1. Mark.ca says:

          Do you want me to post the vid of the hydrogen bomb?
          Seriously, do you not think H is more explosive than Li battery ?

          1. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

            I made no claims that lithium ion batteries were more explosive than hydrogen. The videos that I posted above were for comparative and illustrative purposes only.

            Somehow I doubt that rear-ending a Toyota Mirai would cause the fusion of the hydrogen atoms in its fuel tank resulting in a thermonuclear reaction. I’ll even bet you money that it would be impossible

  18. Jay Cole says:

    Ok, this thread has had ~25 odd comments removed for going too far…and it is threatening to spiral out of control.

    Please consider the enjoyable/readability of others when posting going forward and try to co-exist with those of differing viewpoints.

    From this point on in this thread, a “zero tolerance” for even slightly egregious comments will be taken – and not because its right, or wrong, or fair…but because we don’t want to spend the weekend moderating comments, and determining their acceptability.

    For this thread going forward, comments need to be on topic and mature…or they will be removed without notice. Repeated offences will see the discussion locked.

    1. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

      Perhaps it would be better to put this warning at the beginning/top of the comments rather than at the end/bottom of the comments where people might not see it until after they already posted their offensive comments. Just sayin’.

      1. Jay Cole says:

        The last post in the thread is actually the optimal place to inform “combatants”. The top is the place to set the tone for new readers. People who are already going “back and forth” tend to not check the top of an old thread, but they do go to the bottom to see “what’s new”.

        The issue here isn’t new people coming into the thread disturbing it, but rather the endless back-and-forth trying to get in the last word/slight. As a case in point, you read this warning, decided to engage myself, then still went back into the thread thereafter to keep the ping-pong game going.

        Regardless of all that, things have continued after the warning from a few people, and its pretty much an unpleasant conversation for anyone coming to the article with fresh eyes and/or wanting to see rational discussion. So, we are now writing it off, and locking it down to better enjoy the weekend (or at least get back to writing new articles rather than policing old ones). I don’t suspect much in the way of further “constructive discussion” will be lost.

        Morale of the story: the moderator always gets the last word if he/she wants it, (=