Toyota, Nissan & Honda Joins Forces To Support Hydrogen Infrastructure In Japan

JUL 15 2015 BY MARK KANE 50

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

Categories: General, Honda, Nissan, Toyota

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50 Comments on "Toyota, Nissan & Honda Joins Forces To Support Hydrogen Infrastructure In Japan"

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Throwing good money after bad.

How sad.

Hydrogen Hydrogen stations make excellent explosive terrorist targets. Hydrogen stations are very expensive, cost per station: $1 Million, who is going to be forced to pay for this? Difficult to make hydrogen and store it.   Hydrogen isn’t a source of energy, you can’t mine it, you can convert something else to hydrogen, like methane, but then you lose energy in the process.   Hydrogen from water( in a global drought? ), is extremely inefficient.   Hydrogen from methane gives you No Help with global warming, it actually makes things worse.  As methane wells typically leak like sieves Hydrogen must be supercooled and compressed to 10,000 psi to store sufficient energy, which requires lots of energy. Burning it as a fuel is less than 50% efficient. The energy to do all this could be used to directly run an EV from a battery, and get you Twice as far. Hydrogen likes to leak. Hydrogen has a general problem of metal embrittlement, so you need special tanks. Hydrogen leaks as an invisible gas. Hydrogen is extremely flammable with an invisible flame. Right now hydrogen is a loser vs. current batteries, not to speak of the battery chemistry in the coming solid… Read more »

Hey, but you can refuel a bit faster (in ideal weather conditions).

>hydrogen’s per gal equivalent costs are $5, w/US nat gas @$3/mmbtu

in Japan, they have $12 mmbtu’s

The retail price of gas at my house in Buffalo is about $5/ mmbtu. So if its about $12 for Japan that sounds about right.

Not sure exactly what you’re getting at pjwood. but your are mixing units if you are comparing gge and mmbtu.

Assuming 118,000 btu/gallon of ethanolled gasoline, makes my gge cost around 57 cents for the gas cost alone (assuming $4.70/mmbtu).

To that I’d have to add the compression cost or liquification cost, depending on they type of vehicle I was trying to run. But its very cheap – the gas cost – of under 1.6 cents / kwh


No Nissan, no…. 🙁

I really thought you knew better…

Oh, do not forsake Nissan my indolent friend. Fear not, Anon, all is not as it seems. InsideEVs missed the best part, the joint press conference. While it wasn’t exactly Kabuki theater, it did provide a bit of drama:

“Aligned in front of a full court Japanese press, the representatives of Japan’s big automakers practiced the high art of the subtle snub. On the Toyota side, Senior Managing Officer Kiyotaka Ise stuck to the company’s party line that FCVs are for the big cars, while BEVs are perfect for the confined spaces of the inner cities. Hitoshi Kawaguchi, SVP of Nissan, was not happy about this remark, and he countered by saying that BEVs enjoy the world’s densest charging network in Japan, with 5,000 public quick chargers, and 9,000 conventional ones, in addition to the tens of thousands of home chargers, which shows that FCVs need help.

Polite smiles all around.” 😀



Smacked down. Still I really think Nissan shouldn’t involve themselves, they know they have the next generation of batteries in the pipeline for next year (hopefully). I honestly think that synthesized liquid fuels have a better chance of succeeding than hydrogen when it comes to the niches that EVs aren’t applicable to in the future.

Anon said:

“No Nissan, no… 🙁

“I really thought you knew better…”

I, too, am stunned to see Nissan jump on this sinking ship.

Perhaps it’s a case of a Japanese firm going along with what the Japanese government is pushing hard, so they don’t get into a political position of being accused of “not being a team player”. That’s a lot more important in Japanese society than it is in ours.

That’s right. Japan government has instructed the automakers to build the HFC infrastructure and FCVs. Compliance is a combination of Japanese cultural respect for authority and not wanting to face public condemnation, and the fallout of opposing government support for the technology. In private, I’m certain some automakers understand the HFC transportation future is not going to happen.

And the Japanese Government is Bribed and Extorted by the carbon Oligarchy, just like the US.

They are now Fracking, and poisoning there freshwater supplies and their people, just like the US.

Oncology, it’s now great for Global Employment.

Wow. Nissan. I feel betrayed. This just shows that they don’t really have their heart into it.

Not at all. I merely shows Ghosn plays ball with local governments when the broad interests of the company are at stake. Why would he risk having the Japanese bureaucracy turn against Nissan? Here he spends a few million and forgets about that problem.


The devil is in the details. Initially, Nissan be spending no money or very little money on supporting Hydrogen infrastructure, since the amount they are required to contribute is based on the number of FCVs they sell and Nissan isn’t expected to sell a FCV until the end of the decade, if ever.

“The outlays will be split among the three automakers according to the numbers of FCV cars they sell. This will shoulder Toyota with most of the cost, while Nissan and Honda will show mostly moral support, at least in the beginning. Toyota is the only company that has released a commercial FCV car, the Mirai, even if it will be limited to homeopathic numbers for the time being. Honda said it will release an FCV next year. Nissan’s lukewarm support of the hydrogen society may result in an FCV by the end of the decade.”

That’s interesting, so it’s all really about showing support without actually putting much money or effort into it. Good to know.


Read the quote in my response to Anon above to reveal how Nissan really feels about hydrogen FCVs. The Nissan VP basically dissed FCVs in response to the Toyota VP dissing EVs.

It’s interesting that Japan has over 100,000 residential fuel cell units already in place. They seem to really like fuel cells. Germany is looking to fuel cells for cheap grid storage.

Let’s look at the reality: Japan has an almost complete lack of domestic energy resources. Furthermore, following the 2011 tsunami, they shut down almost all their their commercial nuclear power reactors, resulting in a critical shortage of electricity. Given that situation, perhaps it’s not surprising that the Japanese government is so desperate for any way to provide energy for their industry and transportation that they’ve turned to a very bad solution: Hydrogen fuel.

Here’s a reality check: Despite all the talk about how popular domestic fuel cells are in Japan, according to Bloomberg as of last December: “Sales have been slow, in part because they are expensive. After more than five years on the market, the devices are installed in just 0.2 percent of Japanese households.” (see source below)

The laws of thermodynamics work in Japan just like anywhere else. The Japanese government may be promoting hydrogen fuel out of desperation, but in the long run a better, more energy-efficient, less wasteful, and more affordable solution will be found.


Yeah, except hydrogen is not a fuel. It’s just a storage medium like batteries – some external energy source is required to produce molecular hydrogen.

It’s correct to say that when hydrogen is generated by electrolysis, it’s an energy carrier rather than an energy source. Of course, 95% of commercial hydrogen comes from reforming natural gas, and the gas is an energy source, not just an energy carrier. However, the process of transforming and transporting natural gas into highly compressed hydrogen in a FCEV’s gas tank wastes so much energy added from external sources — sources we have to pay for — that the energy originally contained in the natural gas is almost irrelevant.

But, Larry, regardless of the source of hydrogen, when you put it into a tank to power a car, it is “fuel”. If you think it’s not, then look up the meaning of the word “fuel”.

Gas is a source of problems not a source of energy. Look up for global warming, ocean acidification, sea level rise, financing of islamism, mafia and big oil, fracking catastrophy, energy blackmail.

That should end your fossil gas enthousiasm.

For those that are saying they are disappointed in Nissan, see sven’s post about the awkward press conference.

The context that should not be missed is that the Japanese prime minister and the government overall is pushing hydrogen in a big way. Being one of the big three automakers in Japan, if they don’t even show token support, they would be in an awkward situation of going against national policy.

100 gas stations in 5 years. At that rate Japans 34,000 gas stations will be fully converted in 1700 years.

Mirai meens future. How do you say Distant Future in Japanese?

“Hydrogen is the fuel of the future, and always will be.” 😉

That joke is just as true now as the day someone first said it.

It is the fuel of the future for thermonuclear fusion and for rockets from 15 km altitude and above.

If you don’t power your economy on fossil fuels or uranium and you don’t have enough renewable energy what do you run you economy on? Renewable energy will play a part in Japan but this isn’t the USA or Canada where you have massive renewable energy resources this is Japan, they don’t import 90%+ of their energy because they are lazy, stupid or keen to support foreign governments.

The hydrogen society is not the best choice for Japan, its pretty much the only choice for Japan. Maybe there are other choices, like completely getting rid of agriculture and only farming for energy or massive high voltage DC lines across the ocean to Russia or South Korea but really the only sensible option is to import a fuel.

What fuel would people here suggest? and what would they suggest the Japanese use to convert that fuel back into energy? Fuels like – Methanol, ammonia, synthetic natural gas, liquid hydrogen, compressed hydrogen, etc… all have issues but are options. Gas turbines, ICE, steam turbines are also power conversion options but all of these are less efficient than fuel cells.

What’s wrong with solar and wind?

That is right and they have a huge potential for floting wind generators at sea of the new Norwegian type that tilt and have reversed direction rotor. They also have geothermal energy since they are on the ring of fire. In fact Japan is mismanaged on an energy point of view since they should be in an excess situation instead of a lack. The uk is placing wind like crazy and they are right to do so.

Just_Chris asked:

“What fuel would people here suggest [for Japan]?”

Not fuel, but electricity should be the primary source of power. Japan has foolishly chosen to shut down nearly all their nuclear power reactors, but the same thing that makes Japan an earthquake-prone region means geothermal power should be relatively easy to access.

And even in overcrowded Japan, there are still uninhabited areas where little grows, so solar farms could be installed there.

Offshore wind farms would be a third source of renewable energy, one which would not reduce land available for farming or lebensraum (living space).

But if Japan was really smart, they’d be doing a crash research program to develop safer fourth-generation thorium nuclear power plants. Sadly, if understandably, media-fed anti-nuclear propaganda and public hysteria over “RADIATION!!” has affected Japan even more than other industrial nations.

As it is, only China is working on a prototype thorium commercial nuclear reactor. I guess we can see who is now leading the way to the future, can’t we?

“And even in overcrowded Japan, there are still uninhabited areas where little grows, so solar farms could be installed there.”

Japan is installing solar farms at a very fast pace. They have installed solar farms in some unusual places including a floating array on a reservoir, a fixed array above a sewage treatment sedimentation pond, on the side of a dam, on the slope alongside a highway, and in evacuated areas in Fukishima such as the abandoned mountaintop golf course. This website shows and details many of the Japanese solar farms:

Click on the “News” and “Special” tabs for even more Japanese solar farms.

Thorium is the better choice of a bad decision.
Less radiation and shorter emissive half life.
Still, expensive and producing radiated waste that nobody want or know how to dispose safely forever.
But, the main reason it has not been choose is that there’s much less, if any, strategical military advantage for using it instead of the actual uranium and by product.

From the country that built a whole airport out in the middle of the bay, why isn’t offshore wind, offshore solar options?

Then there’s also geothermal for baseload power. Their choices aren’t just fossil fuels and nuclear. This is just fealty to the patriarchy.

Hydrogen is not a fuel, anymore than electricity is, and I mean that in the most literal sense. There may be niches that hydrogen is the right choice, but light duty vehicles is not one of them.

Just like the U.S., Japan does not need fossil fuels. Their best move, like ours, is to develop their solar and wind power generation with battery storage; Their best move for transportation is to electrify everything that needs power to move; ships, trains, cars and in the future, planes.

Hydrogen is a lie by the oil companies to maintain their control of the transportation energy markets using the same system we’ve had for a hundred years by using hydrogen instead of gasoline.

It’s ‘Gasoline Two’ all over again and brings with it the same old game of price instability, oil wars and life-shortening, pollution.

What Japan needs is a little “Ballsmanship” from their government to say No to the international oil companies and a course of action to become independent…just like us.

Lad said:

“Just like the U.S., Japan does not need fossil fuels.”

You must live in a U.S. in some alternate reality where natural gas fracking isn’t the biggest boom industry in the entire nation, and where the approximately 500 coal-fired power plants which are currently operating in the country where I live, have all been shut down.

“Necessity is the Mother of invention.”
Start closing down coal plants and see how fast Renewables grow into the space.

Right now there are few coal plants that couldn’t be replaced by natural gas as a bridge to future renewables. If our politicians were working for the people instead of the fossil companies, we would be well under way toward that future.

When you vote, and I do hope you vote, vote for the person who will do you the most good and not the candidate who is tied into the giant corporations because of their election donations…don’t vote for a party, vote for the best man/lady.

Yes, there is one …and he’s running for President. You figure out who he is.

Is it Hillary?


Look down the road a few years.

In the early 1900s, photos of major cities show almost all horse drawn vehicles. 10-15 years later, photos show almost all automobiles, few horses. People were sick of horse produced pollution (the kind that sticks to your shoes),and this led to the rapid adoption of the automobile. A similar shift is occurring from fossil fuels to solar, wind and electric cars.

Nissan is forced to ….
Japan government want’s this hydrogen crap.

Nissan forced to bow.

Nissan president right with so many quick charging stations WTF with hydrogen ?

Japan is a hilly country – distributing hydrogen to remote areas = what a joke.

Besides most Japanese are getting poorer affording a hydrogen car and then driving long distances to refill it.

Only a Japanese government idiot could ever think this is a good plan.

BEV is where it is at dear government of Japan. Hydrogen is an expensive joke on motorists and the environment.

This is all a short-term example of governmental and corporate idiocy. In just a few years, HFCVs will lose out due to brute force economics, in the form of much cheaper batteries. We’re getting very close to the tipping point for batteries no longer being an obstacle for long(er)-range EVs and large scale renewable energy storage.

Articles like this one bug me, too, and seeing Nissan perceive they have no alternative but to go along with the charade is particularly annoying. But this will all change as the market “sorts itself out” when economies adjust to cheap batteries.

… or they are going to figure out how to generate hydrogen from some photosynthesis or other biological process or similar and have the last laugh.

OK a bit speculative but if you are Japan you should not reject the possibility.

En so a combined turbine vapor generator with 60 % yield would still make it more interesting to burn the hydrogen in a big utility station to make electricty for bev cars, instead of liquifying it transporting it by truck to hydrogen gas station and convert it in a hfcv with 50% yield.

Okay, why the Japanese fascination with hydrogen? They don’t have any cheap natural gas, do they?

Why do they want to squander many millions on the infrastructure when a battery recharging infrastructure would cost a fraction of that?

Can’t the companies and the govt see the BEV train coming at them?

Perhaps the headline should read:

“Exxon-Mobile, Saudi Aramco and BP all join forces to support hydrogen infrastructure in Japan.”

The oil companies have bought off Japanese politicians like they have done here?

Sad. What happened to that “losing face” shame thing? They should commit hara-kiri.