Toyota Highlander FCV - Click above for a high-res image gallery
A consortium of 13 Japanese oil and gas companies are collaborating in an effort to commercialize technologies enabling convenient refueling of hydrogen-powered vehicles by 2015. Coincidentally (or not), that date goes hand-in-hand with Toyota's target for selling hydrogen vehicles on the retail level.
According to the Nikkei in Japan (via Trading Markets), unnamed automakers are considering joining the group, which expects to start field-testing dozens of hydrogen refueling stations across Japan in short order. It's hoped that the oil companies can generate the hydrogen and the gas companies can use their existing pipelines and stations to transport it at a cost comparable to gasoline.
Considering that the great promise of hydrogen is its lack of tailpipe emissions, we can only hope the oil and gas companies find a way to generate the energy carrier in an environmentally friendly manner, even if it's not necessarily the most profitable solution. Sound likely?
Related GalleryLA 2007: Toyota Highlander Fuel Cell
[Source: Trading Markets via Fuel Cell Today]