We're not sure how "hydrogen superhighway" translates in Japanese, but it looks like Japan is looking to promote the kind of public-private partnership to accelerate hydrogen-refueling infrastructure that the US government has espoused at various times, Hydrogen Fuel News reports.

Japan will set up a "task force" led by Yuriko Koike, Japan's former environment minister, and supported by the country's Liberal Democratic Party. Toyota, Nissan, Honda and Kawasaki Heavy Industries are all chipping in to try to speed up infrastructure development while helping cut the costs involved in building hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicles (FCEV). All efforts are geared towards having a refueling infrastructure up and running in Japan by 2015.

While Toyota has long been working on a production FCEV, Honda, which leases its FCX Clarity FCEV in limited numbers in the US, recently made news by agreeing to partner with General Motors on the co-development of a future fuel-cell system by the end of the decade. Meanwhile, Nissan, which is far better known for its work on battery-electric powertrain technology, said it would work with Ford and Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler on their own fuel-cell technology. The Japan Times reported in May that 13 companies, including JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corp. as well as the major automakers, were working on developing about 100 hydrogen refueling stations in various cities throughout Japan.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 24 Comments
      Chris M
      • 1 Year Ago
      If history is any guide, that planned "100 hydrogen stations" will end up being 10. After all, Honda's plan to lease 200 FCEVs in the US ended up with just 20.
        Marco Polo
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Chris M
        @Chris M, If history is any guide with Japanese corporations and government's, 100 will end up 1000 ! Having announced these policy initiatives, it would be a considerable loss of face not to fulfil the target. The Japanese, and Asians in general, are long term planners. Western ambitions often don't last until the after the next election.
        DaveMart
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Chris M
        Do you want to bet? Hydrogen and fuel cells are making progress in spite of the grey drizzle of negativity from those who can imagine only one solution and like to kid themselves that there can never be any good news for fuel cells. Personally I welcome progress in both fuel cells and batteries.
          EVnerdGene
          • 1 Year Ago
          @DaveMart
          @krona Careful what you bet. There were over 200 EV charging stations built with gov-funds in SoCalifornia in the late 1990s . Probably more charging stations than EVs used on a daily basis. Just because gov finances stuff, doesn't mean it makes any sense. When something is even close to being financially viable, private markets will smell the money and invest - like Tesla. Notice 'close'.
          krona2k
          • 1 Year Ago
          @DaveMart
          I'll bet. I've offered before to make bets for real money using PayPal but no-one is interested when real money is put down on the table. Name some terms then. How many *public* hydrogen fueling stations will be open and fully operational by the end of 2015 in Japan? I'll start with less than 100.
      DaveMart
      • 1 Year Ago
      Meanwhile Europe is putting $1.8bn into fuel cell and hydrogen infrastructure development: 'The European Commission is launching a second phase of the first Fuel Cells and Hydrogen (FCH) Joint Technology Initiative (JTI) set up in 2008. The new Fuel Cells & Hydrogen 2 Initiative—with a proposed combined 50:50 EU-industry budget of €1.4 billion (US$1.8 billion)—will continue to develop a portfolio of fuel cell and hydrogen technologies to the point of market introduction. The new FCH 2 JTI is expected to start in 2014 and will end in 2024.' http://www.greencarcongress.com/2013/07/fch2jti-20130710.html The heavy lifting for the technology is happening right now, whatever battery only people think.
        JakeY
        • 1 Year Ago
        @DaveMart
        $1.8 billion over 10 years is the same as the standard hydrogen research budget for the US, which is about $170-180 million annually. Bush pushed a $1.2 billion hydrogen initiative over 5 years back in 2003 and it still did not result in a hydrogen car.
          JakeY
          • 1 Year Ago
          @JakeY
          "Yep, it is just great to hear that great old American can do in action. If there are any problems, give up, says Jake - at least for technologies he does not happen to fancy." Why to put words in my mouth. Where did I say just give up? I'm simply pointing out the spending is nothing impressive compared to current and past US spending on hydrogen. And given even more spending than that was not enough to push a hydrogen car into sale in the US, that kind of spending probably isn't enough to do that in Europe either. And looking at it more closely it's a 50:50 split budget, which means that the EU will spend half that much (industry contributes the other half).
          EVnerdGene
          • 1 Year Ago
          @JakeY
          second paragraph above, you said: "using fuel cells for combined heat and power in the home was futile, and that ICE engines would do the job cheaper and more effectively." Nobody ever said that. BTW: I'm not a FC hater; just a pragmatic engineer. FCs for stationary applications? Great - have at it. Has little to do with FC use in automobiles. This is AutoBlogGreen, not PowerYourHome.com
          DaveMart
          • 1 Year Ago
          @JakeY
          Yep, it is just great to hear that great old American can do in action. If there are any problems, give up, says Jake - at least for technologies he does not happen to fancy. Meanwhile fuel cells are making steady progress on all fronts. We were told by fuel cell haters not so long ago that the dream of using fuel cells for combined heat and power in the home was futile, and that ICE engines would do the job cheaper and more effectively. Well, for the first time last year micro CHP fuel cells sold more than combustion alternatives: http://www.fuelcelltoday.com/news-events/news-archive/2013/july/fuel-cells-now-outselling-conventional-micro-chp-technologies Since most of the fuel cells used for this purpose are the same as those in cars, fuel cell technology is not going to go away.
        archos
        • 1 Year Ago
        @DaveMart
        Lets be real. It takes more than that come out with a new car model, and this budget is spread out over 10 years. Just think how much further BEVs will advance in lower prices, range, and charging infrastructure by 2024.
          JakeY
          • 1 Year Ago
          @archos
          @Letstakeawalk Unless I'm reading a different report, that one only refers to that specific office using $1.5 billion. Read a bit down, and you see from 2003-2012 the total DOE spending for hydrogen/fuel cells was $2.5 billion. From 1990-2002 there was $412 million spent by the DOE on hydrogen/fuel cells.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 1 Year Ago
          @archos
          Sorry, that should be $1.5 Billion over the last decade (singular, not plural).
          Letstakeawalk
          • 1 Year Ago
          @archos
          Look at how far fuel cells have come here in the US, over the last decades, with a total budget over that whole time of a mere $1.5 Billion. http://www.hydrogen.energy.gov/pdfs/13004_historical_fuel_cell_h2_budgets.pdf For all the complaining about how much fuel cell research has cost, in reality it's been a relative bargain
          Letstakeawalk
          • 1 Year Ago
          @archos
          Thanks for pointing that out. It is truly amazing how far fuel cell development has come on a budget of around $250 Million a year!
      BraveLil'Toaster
      • 1 Year Ago
      "We're not sure how "hydrogen superhighway" translates in Japanese" Oh, the same way it translates here, actually: F-A-I-L-U-R-E. The I-5 corridor supposedly is already operating a hydrogen highway. They've been doing that for years. Trick is, THERE STILL AREN'T ANY CARS! And when they *do* start selling these cars, people are going to have the same objections to them that they have about electrics today: They're too expensive. Except that electrics will already be way ahead of H2 cars when that day eventually comes, and might even almost be competitive with gas cars at that point, and operating expenses will make it so you'd have to be nuts to *not* drive electric. Hydrogen doesn't have that little benefit though, so you'll be paying too much for the car and too much for the fuel, nevermind a little problem with station owners paying too much for the stations, and thus the infrastructure not materializing at all. So while it would be faster to gas up a hydrogen car, *you still won't be able to go anywhere*. What hydrogen is for, is for inflating politicians with hot air so they can let it out at ribbon cuttings and make themselves look green to... I don't know, idiots who actually think that this matters a whit. Because it's not fooling anyone else.
        Marco Polo
        • 1 Year Ago
        @BraveLil'Toaster
        @ BraveLil'Toaster Shouting won't make that nasty H2 bogeyman go away ! But try putting your fingers in your ears, a brown paper bag over your head, and chibe under your bed, until tea time !
          EVnerdGene
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Marco Polo
          Hybrid FCEVs (Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles): page 4 "Fuel cells using hydrogen can achieve nearly 60% efficiency" --nearly Great ! Repeat: Where do you get the hydrogen and at what efficiency and cost ? Whatever a truthful answer; pure EVs beat the crap out of foolishcell vehicles. PERIOD If you do an overall efficiency analysis from NG reforming -> compression/liquefaction -> transport -> on-board FC -> electric drive -> drivetrain It is no better than current DIEsel vehicles. And, gas-powered vehicles are catching up. And, NG-powered combustion vehicles could. page 4 "Fuel cells using natural gas or propane can achieve 45% electrical efficiency in stationary power systems" OK. That's only slightly better than using natural gas to make electric power and getting it to your home. (btw: CCGTs wipe the floor compared to this, but I digress). [don't forget with the FC, you still have to get the NG to your home] Only good thing about stationary FC use: you can use the waste heat for water heating and heating a home in winter. negs: $$$, maintenance Sorry, I didn't see anywhere in the report where they specifically address arguments. If you want to send me your private list, I'll be glad to address them. Wait; I'm not getting paid to give my professional opinion like the DOE personnel that wrote this sales document. Send your contact information; and I'll send a rundown of my consulting fees for truthful, fact-based, un-biased reporting. from the 3rd sheet of the report: " . . .The fuel cell/hydrogen R&D is viewed by the committee as long-term, HIGH-RISK, high-payoff R&D that the committee considers not only to be appropriate, but also to be of the type that much of it probably would not get done WITHOUT government support.” cha-ching, cha-ching ->>> paychecks
          Marcopolo
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Marco Polo
          @ Spec, EVnerdGene, My comment was intended as criticism of BraveLil'Toaster's gratuitous employment of capitals and stentorian prose. As for his 'reasoned' argument, what does it consist of ? Basically he's saying that H2 and FCV technology will never be viable because it's not yet fully developed ! That's not a reasoned argument, just biased speculation. If and when, the development of FCV technology makes it possible to build economically viable vehicles, rolling out refilling infrastructure will occur very quickly.
          EVnerdGene
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Marco Polo
          @Marco. Specs right. Put some substance in your brewhaha. Hydrogen highway in CA? Down the I-5 corridor ? Never happened. Take a look at this map of H2 refueling stations in CA. Only nine (9) public in the entire state. http://cafcp.org/stationmap Hydrogen weinies: Where do you get the hydrogen ? and at what efficiencies (throwing energy away). And Japan has to import NG. They could use nuclear I guess.
          DaveMart
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Marco Polo
          EVnerd: Since well sourced analysis of all the points you and Bravewhatever make have been provided countless times here, perhaps you should 'address the arguments' first given for instance here: http://www.hydrogen.energy.gov/pdfs/program_plan2011.pdf I look forward to your point by point detailed rebuttal of the analysis. When you have finished that you can move on to why Norway is mistaken in its view that to make an economy using a lot of renewables viable hydrogen storage is needed: http://www.fuelcelltoday.com/media/1838763/fuel_cells_and_hydrogen_in_norway.pdf Your 'strategy' for continuing to post the same questions apparently consists of sticking your fingers in your ears and repeating 'I can't hear you!' when it is explained time after time.
          EVnerdGene
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Marco Polo
          dang Marco, "stentorium"? Had to look that one up and I remember reading the Illiad in highscrewel. How about a kinglearian voice? Never^7 You'll never catch me saying never. Been burnt and even fired on that one more than once. 'let me get this straight, you hire me for my knowledge and advice; and then "you can't handle the truth" ' Biased? I have no dog in this fight. Did get a big big thank you a long time ago telling a friend to sell her Ballard bubble stock. "FCV" - really better to call it FCEV so people will start to understand it's not just a FC driving the wheels. "rolling out refilling infrastructure" Whoa, now there's a topic I don't even want to get started on.
          Spec
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Marco Polo
          BraveLil'Toaster made a reasoned argument. You, Marco, just mocked him without addressing his arguments at all.
      EVnerdGene
      • 1 Year Ago
      I thought the Japanese were smarter than that.
    • Load More Comments