Toyota, Nissan, Honda back hydrogen stations for fuel cells
Japan’s top three automakers today said they would spend up to ¥6 billion ($48.92 million) combined for subsidising the cost of operating hydrogen fuelling stations as the country aimed to lead the world in developing cars that used the fuel.
A hydrogen fueling station in Ebina City in Japan. Honda, Nissan, and Toyota say that they’re going to be deeply involved in the entire hydrogen fueling experience. The only exhaust is water vapor.
The latter includes an app for finding fueling stations, which are expected to grow to 100 in California by 2020.
The hydrogen infrastructure is in its infancy, but Toyota predicts greater hydrogen fuel availability in the near future, especially in California.
Hitoshi Kawaguchi, an executive from Nissan, said automakers can compete in products, including fuel cell cars, but they have to cooperate in infrastructure, such as hydrogen fueling 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 FCVs.
Financial assistance will be by the carmakers through the Research Association of Hydrogen Supply/Utilization Technology (HySUT), which is setting up a project to stimulate demand for FCVs. The vehicle itself hits all the important sedan marks: aggressive styling, solid acceleration (0-60 in nine seconds) and, from our time being driven on the track, solid handling thanks to the fuel cell stack residing under the passenger compartment for a low center of gravity. With the first cars due for delivery to California customers this fall and numbers from the EPA now in hand, maybe they can. Hyundai said it will be another 10 years before hydrogen cars start gaining wider acceptance. The state plans to set up 46 hydrogen fuel stations by the end of the year.
The stations already get government subsidies, but they are very expensive and are operating in the red.