JX Nippon Oil To Build 100 Hydrogen Stations in Japan?

JUL 29 2014 BY MARK KANE 45

Toyota Fuel Cell Sedan

Toyota Fuel Cell Sedan

It seems that Japan would like to be on forefront of alternative fuel vehicles and after high investments in CHAdeMO quick chargers, now a network of hydrogen filling stations for fuel cell vehicles is planned.

JX Nippon Oil & Energy will form a dedicated subsidiary to build and operate 100 stations by fiscal 2018.

As of today, JX Nippon Oil & Energy have just 5 such stations and planned to add 10 more this year, but now it raised the bar to total of 19 in fiscal 2014, 40 by fiscal 2015 and 100 in next 2-3 years.

Hydrogen dispensers will be installed at both existing gasoline stations and dedicated facilities.

According to Japanese media, the average cost of such station about is 460 million yen ($4.48 million), but should be lowered by a third. On the other side, government will provide subsidies of $280 million so we are guessing that all those installations could be done on only taxpayer money (at least most of those 100).

“The government has positioned the zero-emissions vehicle — powered by a chemical reaction between oxygen in the air and hydrogen to produce water — as a key automotive technology for the future. It wants a total of 100 hydrogen stations set up by fiscal 2015. But so far, definitive plans are in place for only 41 locations. JX Nippon Oil’s latest move will thus make a significant contribution to the effort.

To lower the financial burden of building hydrogen stations, which averages about 460 million yen ($4.48 million), the government provides up to 280 million yen in subsidies. It is loosening regulations to allow the use of cheaper steel materials in hydrogen tanks, just as Europe and the U.S. do. Requirements for building facilities in urban areas will be eased as well. The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry sees room to cut costs by 150 million yen.”

Honda FCEV Fuel Cell LA Auto Show 2013

Honda FCEV Fuel Cell LA Auto Show 2013

There are other companies willing to build hydrogen stations too:

“Iwatani, a trading company specializing in industrial and household gases, is planning hydrogen stations, as are Tokyo Gas and Toyota Tsusho.”

The first cars that use hydrogen announced by Toyota will cost about 7 million yen ($69,000) before taxes, and again government is expected to cover of up to 2 million yen in subsidies per vehicle. Toyota will begin sales in areas with hydrogen stations (that’s smart).

Honda should a release its second fuel cell vehicle by the end of 2015 with an estimated price below 10 million yen ($98,000).

Source: Nikkei

Categories: General


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45 Comments on "JX Nippon Oil To Build 100 Hydrogen Stations in Japan?"

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Joshua Burstyn

4.5M. Wow. Better double up then… such good value. Superchargers are rumoured to cost 150k…

Francis L

I just don’t get why consumers would like to buy a FCEV? It’s like an ICE car (with probably same fuel cost), except it cost more to buy and it’s harder to refuel (no stations). And nobody give a dam about the green aspect (which is unsure anyway).

scott franco

Because people believe that the range and the refill time are long, and short, respectively. The reality is that both will be equal to BEVs by the time this car is more affordable than space travel.

Francis L

Range and refill time are like ICE (if not a little bit less range and a kittle bit more time to refill). People won’t change just for the fun. They need something better than ICE to switch to something new, and FCEV don’t have it.


I agree. And not only is gasoline comparable or less in cost, but ICE cars have much better performance. How about 0-60 in 11.5 seconds for the Hyundai Tucson FC? Then, the cost of a FCV far exceeds anything similar.


Exactly. There is no incentive to buy H2 cars. The *only* advantage is no tailpipe emissions.



The Volt has Killed this car, the only thing making this viable is clearly the Bribery of Japan Oil to the Highest Levels of the Japanese Government.


— USA is NOT the only Oligarchy pretending to be a Democracy.


A very good point. It’s easy to forget this.


Don’t worry DaveMart will be along in a moment to tell us all that Toyota and Honda never make mistakes, and never will.


I have no opinion on whether Toyota and Honda are correct that fuel cells are the way to go, and Toyota for one is agnostic and which way it goes depends on how its battery research department which is continues to pump funds into gets on.

The people who are certain are the umpteen people on blogs who have conclusively proven on the backs of their envelopes that the Toyota researchers who brought us the Prius and now lean towards fuel cells are know-nothings, and Joe Blogger is in possession of the one and only truth about the how all the technologies will progress.

Any half wit can tell that Toyota is utterly wrong and fuel cells are useless, and many of them post here and elsewhere to tell us so.


Apologies for the poor grammar.
I adapted it to suit the audience! 😉
Plus I am typing on a lousy laptop!


Poor grammar? I didn’t notice. 🙂

Glad to have your contributions here at insideEV’s DaveMart.

Although, fuel cells *ar*e useless and Toyota and Honda (and Daimler, GM, Hyundai, etc) have wasted huge sums developing them. The opportunity cost of what they could have done with their resources is the worst of it.

Care to make a bet on future production of fuel cell, ICE, and BEV cars? 🙂



Hmmm… An oil company building hydrogen stations? Well, I guess they’ll be creating the hydrogen from electrolysis, right FCV fans?

Big Solar

Maybe the hydrogen stations will be a good match to Fukushima when that 6th story fuel pool finally falls over causing more issues?


God help us if that spent fuel pool were to get knocked down in an earthquake. But I think that is pretty unlikely.

Suprise Cat

The solar scam is spreading their fear mongering lies everywhere to rip off the people with bonzen prices.

You are just a dirty cheap liar.


The “solar scam” LOL.
Thanks man, most INSANE comment this month!
By tears are falling with laughters.

Nissan needs to LEARN from this man.
Match Bribery with Bribery, Make Japan Electric!

George Bower

Doesn’t this just mean that Japan has to import some sort of petrochemicals (LNG) to make the H2? They already have a huge burden of importing since they shut down their Nuclear plants.

And making H2 also takes electricity and their grid is now much dirtier because of shutting down the Nukes.

I think EV’s supplied by electricity from carbon free nuclear plants and or solar PV makes much more sense from both a CO2 point of view and also from an energy import POV.

This chart says it all. You don’t get any cleaner than EV charged with PV.


Welllll technically, well-to-tank for PV should really be like 15%.. consumer grade solar panels are not very efficient at converting solar energy into electricity.


But since sunlight is free, that is kind of a pointless statistic.


How efficient are plants in harvesting sunlight and becomming crude oil?

Paul Stoller

I am somewhat suspicious that the Japanese may have figured out how to economically mine methane hydrates, if they have accomplished this then fuel cells start to somewhat make sense. But until the many problems of hydrogen distribution are solved I just don’t see how fuel cells will ever makes sense for transportation.


Nice, this is the closest to an accurate representation of the efficiencies involved in all of these modes I’ve yet seen.


Since this is a well to wheel analysis, why does the hydrogen stat eliminate the transportation efficiency in the calculation? And although line losses are not included in the electric stat, is the assumption that hydrogen distribution eff is similar to electric distribution losses?


You’ll note that I had said “closest to accurate.” Transmission line losses are missing, but they are usually pretty low. In California regulatory circles, they are estimated at about 5-7%, and that’s being conservative. It’s probably lower.

Not sure what you mean by transportation efficiency? Are you referring to hydrogen distribution losses? There shouldn’t be any. Hydrogen will naturally react with the oxygen in the atmosphere (and will burn with an invisible flame). All distribution methods must be a tight seal.

Mark Hovis

This is the focus George. I can’t blame any manufacturer for going after the easy money. I CAN blame the politician that is dishonest with the public. Energy matters. Efficiency matters. Source matters.


The interesting information in this table is that it shows Hydrogen Fuel Cells only make sense when using fossil gas. Therefore it implies the use of fossil gas. From then on all its green credentials are to be considered as fakes since fossil gas is building up carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

The only Fuel Cell that could have some geen credit is the direct ethanol fuel cell that could run on bioethanol obtained from renewable plants or other vegetal material.

scott franco

I don’t know how any of this can fall under government subsides when all it does is RELOCATE the emissions down the street to a NG to hydrogen separator. It does not even move it out of the same city!

Where is the green outrage at this? This is just a stupid pet trick with no net effect on emissions whatever.

George Bower

eventually the oil companies will have to collect the CO2 from the reforming process.

mike w

Only if the government forces them to do it. That will drive the price of the H2 up so nobody is going to do it unless they are forced.

Mark Hovis



They’ll have more hydrogen stations than hydrogen cars. 😉


How’d that analog HDTV system work out for you, Japan?




I think Japan plans to restart some of it’s Nuclear facilities.
“Any half wit can tell that Toyota is utterly wrong and fuel cells are useless, and many of them post here and elsewhere to tell us so.”
Yes any half-wit like Elon Musk for instance.
Also note the first comment on the following story, who wrote and what they said.

I really like Tesla and I think Elon Musk is extremely intelligent and a very capable business man but he is not the virgin Mary nor is he an independent voice who stands nothing to lose if the technical hurdles around a fcv can be overcome resulting in fuel cell drive trains taking off in a big way. If you read a news story about a new battery chemistry that could be fully charged in 8 min, had an energy density of 1000 W/kg, operates in cold climate and hot climates the same, could be fully depleted without being damaged and had the potential to be much cheaper per kWh than any other battery chemistry would you expect Elon Musk to come out and support it? No, he would point out every possible weakness of the new technology. Now, I know there are big challenges to FCV and yes I have deliberately picked area’s where fuel cells are strong and batteries are weak. There are numerous advantages to battery technology that we are all aware of but I really don’t see the point of writing off an entire technology purely on the say so of someone who has invested heavily… Read more »

The Tesla Model S already comes close enough to these ideal targets to replace ICE cars and petroleum fuels.

That is with today’s batteries. The next generation of batteries in the Model III will be even more competitive.

In 2024 batteries will be much better than at the Model III launch. About half the cost and weight as the Model S batteries.



Oh my bad I was confusing David Murray with Dave Mart. Still Musk is not a half-wit.


“It is loosening regulations to allow the use of cheaper steel materials in hydrogen tanks, just as Europe and the U.S. do.”

This is what I was afraid of. As a Mechanical Engineer, I can tell you that pressure vessels (this is what a Hydrogen tank basically is) are really tricky to design and engineer. There is a reason why ASME has strict standards for pressure vessels. One mistake and…BOOM!

Of course, it’s no surprise that a bunch of corporate execs and their lobbyists would weaken the requirements for pressure vessels. Who cares if a few people blow up when there’s money to be siphoned…er…made?

mike w

This just shows that FCVs are puppets of the oil companies.


The Prius is now being trumpeted as a huge world wide success.

Whoa, wait a minute….not exactly. Toyota has sold about 6 million hybrids world wide in 16 years. In the U.S. this has amounted to about a 2.5 to 3.5 percent market share in recent years and actually, much less in the very early years just after 2000 Prius introduction.

The bottom line is that in the U.S., the Prius has averaged well below a 2% market share since it’s introduction.

Not exactly setting the world on fire. And in addition, hybrids are much less popular in Europe and even less popular in the rest of the world.

Modest success for hybrids and especially the Prius, at best. No real game changer.

Perhaps, altogether 10 million hybrid vehicles have been sold worldwide by a number of different manufacturers in the 16 years, since 1998.

This is about the number of standard ICE vehicles that companies like GM and Toyota sell every year.

If Toyota’s fuel cell vehicles end up being as successful as the Prius, then they won’t be spectacularly successful.

Micke Larsson

Here in Europe when someone says hybrid, they generally mean and I generally think PHEV. If you mean non-plugin hybrid you just say Prius.

I haven’t seen many Priuses here, and since it’s often less efficient than the diesels avaliable it has always been placed along with the gas guzzlers anyway.

This might surprise some but the time I’ve seen most Priuses were in Cambodia. They are crazy about their Toyotas and almost all of them were Toyotas (or Lexuses) and many of those (half?) were the Prius.


The big hydrogen push in Japan has actually been caused by a vast accumulation of butterflies nesting on Cherry trees.

But wait a minute !!! It’s so much simpler than that. It’s not butterflies nesting on cherry trees, it’s actually politicians selling their souls to Japan’s petroleum and fossil fuel industry.


Japan depends on fossil fuel imports.

They are for the most part dependent on outside sources for fossil fuel energy.

When Japan’s fossil fuel suppliers say “We want Fuel Cells”, the Japanese, of course, cave in.

Either promote fuel cells, or we will turn the oil import screws.

As a matter of fact, the Japanese have not always been right either morally or technology wise.

I think the Japanese are being pressured to go the fuel cell route by from fossil fuel suppliers in Japan. Certainly, there is also outside pressure from oil/coal/gas providers outside Japan.

Japan has no choice. They must do what the oil companies say, or potentially get cut off…..

Gee.. fantastical whizz ….. I am so glad that in Japan where there is absolutely no pressure from oil companies like there is in the U.S..