Nissan, Toyota, Honda Agree To Jointly Develop Hydrogen Fueling Infrastructure In Japan

FEB 12 2015 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 39

Hydrogen Station in Nerima ward

Hydrogen Station in Nerima ward

Nissan has officially joined the hydrogen fuel cell bandwagon with this joint announcement

“Toyota, Nissan, and Honda to Jointly Support Hydrogen Station Infrastructure Development”

“Toyota Motor Corporation, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., and Honda Motor Co., Ltd. have agreed to work together to help accelerate the development of hydrogen station infrastructure for fuel cell vehicles (FCVs). Specific measures to be undertaken by the three manufacturers will be determined at a later date.”

This is a Japan-specific announcement, with no impact on Europe or the U.S. at this time.

For the record, Nissan has never publicly shown disinterest in hydrogen.  Rather, the automaker always felt that electric cars make the most sense today, but perhaps hydrogen fuel cell vehicles will become the more viable solution well into the future.

This doesn’t change Nissan’s commitment to electric cars.  Instead, it shows that Nissan is prepping for future times when perhaps some breakthrough and additional cost-cutting make fuel cell electric vehicles commercially viable.

Hydrogen Station in Ebina city

Hydrogen Station in Ebina city

Press release below:

Toyota, Nissan, and Honda to Jointly Support Hydrogen Station Infrastructure Development

Toyota Motor Corporation, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., and Honda Motor Co., Ltd. have agreed to work together to help accelerate the development of hydrogen station infrastructure for fuel cell vehicles (FCVs). Specific measures to be undertaken by the three manufacturers will be determined at a later date.

For hydrogen-fueled FCVs to gain popularity, it is not only important that attractive products be launched―hydrogen station infrastructure must also be developed. At present, infrastructure companies are making every effort to build such an infrastructure, but they face difficulties in installing and operating hydrogen stations while FCVs are not common on the road.

Following the formulation of its Strategic Road Map for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells in June 2014, the Japanese government has highlighted the importance of developing hydrogen station infrastructure as quickly as possible in order to popularize FCVs. Consequently, the government is not only supporting the installation of hydrogen stations by means of subsidies, but has also resolved to introduce a range of additional policies aimed at promoting activities that generate new demand for FCVs, including partially subsidizing the cost of operating hydrogen stations.

The three automobile manufacturers hope to both popularize FCVs and ensure that it will be easy to refuel them. Consequently, they have jointly recognized the need for automobile manufacturers to promote the development of hydrogen station infrastructure alongside the government and infrastructure companies, with the aim of working towards achieving the aims of the abovementioned Road Map, the source of the government’s subsidy support. The three automobile manufacturers will give careful consideration to concrete initiatives, such as underwriting a portion of the expenses involved in the operation of hydrogen stations.

FCVs are expected to play a central role in the drive towards establishing a hydrogen society. Toyota, Nissan and Honda are aiming to contribute to bringing about such a society through ensuring the widespread use of FCVs.

Categories: Honda, Nissan, Toyota

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39 Comments on "Nissan, Toyota, Honda Agree To Jointly Develop Hydrogen Fueling Infrastructure In Japan"

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The round trip efficiency of storing energy in hydrogen is very low. But hydrogen is one way to extend the range of an EV. I guess it makes sense for the automakers to keep their options open.

Hydrogen was dead the day the Chevy Volt rolled off the assembly line.

1) Expensive
2) Fuel is invisible, flame is invisible
3) Leaks
4) Chevy’s Bolt makes this obsolete as well with a 200 mile range, there essentially is no range issue.
5) Hydrogen is the ultimate Range Anxiety machine, because you have restricted pumping stations and Cannot Charge at HOME.
6) Another carbon solution with the rapid damage Global Warming is causing Suicide for the Nation.

Aside from every station being a high value terrorist target.
Explosive.

Each issue you mention after the first is moot.

Even with carbon, it’s all about cost. You can build clean wind energy for less than 4c/kWh in a 20-year PPA, and at 56 kWh/kg, that’s ~$2/kgH2 energy cost. That’s only $1/kgH2 more than natural gas cost for SMR.

Having said that, cost is a gargantuan hurdle. The fuel cell needs to be $100/kW or less, and the automakers have to be willing to invest $5-10B in infrastructure.

That’s why the Volt and other PHEVs will win.

The Volt made this car obsolete 4 years ago.

I’d rather they just keep their hydrogen stations in Japan. If they want to build them in the US, then Japanese taxpayers can pay for that too.

California taxpayers are being forced to build some hydrogen stations, as I recall. A result of Toyota’s political influence?

Momentum is building for Japan. They will be well-positioned once the breakthrough in artificial photosynthesis arrives.

Photosynthesis is a horrible inefficient method of converting solar energy into stored energy.

Solar PV’s are extremely more efficient. Both to make hydrogen but even more so if used directly.

If you think about the existence of solar panels has wreaked the hydrogen industry before it’s even born. Such is why should I pay something that is like $5.00 a gallon for fuel when I can charge up my car for free on the roof of my house.

More like $7-8 to $14-15 for the energy equivalent of a gallon of gas. $7-8 to make it from natural gas (thereby substituting one fossil fuel for another!), or $14-15 to make it via electrolysis. And that price -cannot- be substantially reduced; the laws of physics form a very firm barrier to cheap hydrogen fuel.

Bollocks. If you have cheap electricity, you have cheap hydrogen.

And as seen in Europe already, with more renewables on the grid, we can even have too much electricity at times, with wholesale prices hitting zero or even negative.
Great to charge EVs, yes, but if not enough of them are plugged in and ready to gobble down electrons, dumping that surplus into electrolysers would be a very smart thing to do IMHO.

Just make sure you don’t let it leak.

http://www.ghgonline.org/otherhydrogen.htm

I’m with KDawg, as long as they aren’t looking for American tax payer $$$ I don’t care what hydrogen stations they build. I can’t see ever buying one but you never know.

I think this is an instance where we can point to the EV industry and Tesla, VW, and Nissan among others among private industry installing charging stations across the US. There may be some state and federal subsidies involved but certainly not on the order needed to get a hydrogen station going.

Also, compressed gas is a bomb and hydrogen is flammable. I’m sure the risk is very small but it won’t be like a tesla fire where the car asks you to pull over and get out before a small fire turns big. http://www.wthr.com/story/27949832/trash-truck-carrying-propane-explodes-on-citys-northeast-side

There’s a lot of technical and financial hurdles to make hydrogen viable.

Why would Nissan jump onboard? Nissan is doing well with battery Electrics? What’s in it for Nissan?

Either a bribe or extortion.
Since all three companies are involved, I’d say Bribery.

Because only a fool would spend money on hydrogen now that the Volt is out and 200 mile EV’s are so close.

It’s a money losing disaster.

There is obviously political pressure for this in Japan. Ghosn is too much of a diplomat to fight it. Smarter to spend a little money and play along rather than make enemies in regulatory agencies in Japan.

Japan is resource poor. I can certainly understand why they’d be desperate for a substitute for gasoline. But this is insanity, even more insane than shutting down all their commercial nuclear power plants just because one or two had a catastrophic accident after a tsunami. (Certainly their emergency procedures need to be substantially revise, and alterations do need to be made to make their reactors safer. But crippling their industry by keeping nearly all the nuclear power plants is insane!)

The laws of physics work in Japan just like everywhere else. It would be as easy to make a working perpetual motion machine as to get cheap hydrogen fuel, and for the same reason: Thermodynamics prohibit it.

Seriously. Japan should restart some of the nukes . . . at least ones with great seismic planning and not vulnerable to tsunamis. Use the nukes to power-up EVs.

Japan doesn’t even have long-range driving needs that the USA has. They have a great rail network and they have extensive Chademo deployment. Trains, PHEVs, and longer-range EVs equipped with Chademo, they have no need for hydrogen.

Japan occasionally suffers from ‘groupthink’ and I think this is an example of that. Times when they have consensus but the consensus is around a bad idea.

Keiretsu & political pressure.

Or, did you mean Yakuza.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yakuza

Yakuza control of the natural gas industry in Japan is a viable theory.

The Hyrdogen fuel cells will be great in the future when we land on a planet that has liquid hydrogen oceans. On Earth right now it makes no sense unless you can get hydrogen as a by product from industry.

Expending energy(and polution) to get hydrogen seperated from water is just.. dumb.

I did make that the plot of a science fiction book once. In it a alien race known as the Brim start bringing in tanker loads of liquid hydrogen to Earth to feed Earth’s hydrogen economy that depends on the cheap Brim hydrogen.

The twist is the Brim are doing this to change earth’s air to their liking by enriching it with oxygen which in turn mixes with the hydrogen to make more water.

Even the general media is picking up on the Failure of Hydrogen.

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/02/12/3621136/tesla-elon-musk-hydrogen-dumb/

Elon Musk said it “fool cells”

Musk also said Tesla will sell thousands of cars every month in Germany.

One was a projection… the other was not.

Physics is an exact science. Economics is not. Confusing the two is not wise.

Making disparaging, self-serving statements is anything but science.

I can understand politicians jumping on this bandwagon. Especially if they are being paid off to do so. But don’t these companies have engineers? With like degrees and stuff?

-Facepalm-

I’m sure the engineers at Nissan, Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, and every other auto maker that has (or is planning to) jump on the “fool cell” bandwagon understands quite well all the reasons why fuel cell cars are a non-starter.

Sadly, large corporations are not run by the engineers. They’re run by the bean-counters. And if the government is dangling the carrot of incentives and subsidies to build cars which only a fool would buy, then the bean-counters will take the bait.

Eventually reality will set in, of course. All the Big Oil propaganda promoting the “hydrogen economy”, environmentalist delusions, and wishful thinking in the world can’t change the laws of physics.

Et tu, Nissan?

This will definitely lose them points with the Purity Police.

“Why would Nissan jump onboard?”

They’d be foolish not to.
For reasons you and I can only puzzle over, Japan has made a commitment to a “Hydrogen economy”. Try googling “Hydrogen +Japan”.

There’s some thought of showcasing the wonders of H2 transportation at the 2020 Olympics.

Hopefully, what happens in Japan stays in Japan!

View this more as a government private industry partnership. While Nssan is not actively pursuing H2 technology vehicles, it can shun government mandated programs.

FYI:
There is a similar program that has been deploying EV charging stations for the past couple years. Honda and Toyota are just as much partners as Nissan, even though the don’t sell as many PEVs and BEVs in Japan.

Sorry to see Nissan joining those auto makers walking down the wrong path to “fool cell” cars. Complete waste of time, talent, and money.

How did that analog HDTV system work out for you, Japan? MiniDisc?

I think this represents a cultural difference between the Americans and the Japanese. While the japaneese focus on how to cut their carbon emissions. Americans are thinking how do we get to 0, and can we go beyond that.

“Americans are thinking how do we get to 0, and can we go beyond that.”

Slow down with that self praise.

Yes, some Americans do this. But not enough. We have too many science denyers.

so much wisdom in such a little space.