Hydrogen Station in Ebina city, Kanagawa Prefecture

Hydrogen Station in Ebina city, Kanagawa Prefecture

Three Japanese carmakers Toyota, Nissan and Honda, agreed to jointly support hydrogen infrastructure development in Japan.

Toyota already launched the low-volume Mirai fuel cell car, while Honda intends to begin sales of its FCEV before April 2016. Nissan, up to date, is engaged in EVs, but is planning FCV for 2017.

"Toyota Motor Corporation, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., and Honda Motor Co., Ltd. have agreed on key details regarding a new joint support project for the development of hydrogen station infrastructure in Japan. In addition to partially covering the operating costs of hydrogen stations, the three automakers have also agreed to help infrastructure companies deliver the best possible customer service and create a convenient, hassle-free refueling network for owners of fuel cell vehicles (FCVs).

The joint project (conducted alongside the Japanese government's support for hydrogen stations) will partially cover hydrogen station operating expenses incurred by infrastructure companies, and was first announced on February 12. Furthermore project partners will jointly raise awareness regarding these support measures, in order to encourage new companies to enter the hydrogen supply business. Financial assistance will be provided through the Research Association of Hydrogen Supply/Utilization Technology* (HySUT), which is setting up a project to stimulate demand for FCVs."

Hydrogen cars and refueling stations aren't cheap, so the only way to bring them on the market are subsidies. How about $89,000 per station annually?

"Annual financial support per station is limited to ¥11 million (US$89,000). (The annual limit is ¥13 million (US$106,000) where two or more mobile stations are operated.) The partners envision funding support until around 2020. 100 hydrogen stations will be constructed initially, with a gradual increase expected thereafter. The total value of the support is estimated at around ¥5-6 billion (US$41-$49 million)."

Source: Green Car Congress