With the two main Japanese automakers, Toyota and Honda, leading the charge for hydrogen vehicles (along with Korea's Hyundai), we shouldn't be too surprised that the Japanese government is supporting the technology big time. We knew the national government is ready to kick in the equivalent of $20,000 for a new FCV, but now we learn that at least one prefectural government is ready to chip in another substantial sum: $10,000.

Yes, according to The Sydney Morning Herald, Aichi prefecture is considering hydrogen fuel cell vehicle incentives worth around one million yen (just under 10,000 US) on top of the two million already discussed. Various government and stakeholder groups are also pledging to install around 100 hydrogen refueling stations in Japan. In Japan, national incentives for electric vehicles only climb to around $8,500.

According to the SMH, lopping $30,000 off the price of Toyota's new, $69,000 hydrogen car means a roughly 40 percent discount and is enough to drop the price of the newfangled car into the same category as a luxury hybrid like the Lexus CT200h in Japan. No price for hydrogen cars has been announced in the US (where we offer a $4,000 incentive), but can you imagine how popular current plug-in vehicles would be with a $30,000 discount? Whew. Oprah would make sure we all get a Tesla.


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  • 70 Comments
      • 4 Months Ago
      As battery technology is further advancing, use of hydrogen to power your car is steadily becoming more ridiculous. There are major losses involved in the energy cycle of hydrogen making it far less efficient than pure EV. It takes about 10,000 liters of hydrogen at atmospheric pressure to make the equivalent of one gallon of gas. Then when you drive in a hydrogen powered car, you will need a battery anyway for the regenerative braking and for getting reasonable acceleration. For example, 100hp is 74.57 kilowatts or the equivalent of 1243 light bulbs of each 60 Watts. Let's say you want to make a hydrogen powered car with 416hp (like Tesla Model S P85), that means power like about 5170 60 Watts light bulbs. Tesla Model S has made the magic trick possible by using a lot of very peak power drain capable 18650 battery cells. It's the secret behind getting down to 4 seconds from 0-60mph. Hydrogen simply can't do that without having a very power capable battery, and then what is the entire point of hydrogen anyway? Battery technology is evolving that will provide 500+ miles per charge and longer durability. Never will hydrogen become more efficient than batteries because it involves incremental losses.
      Pancakes
      • 4 Months Ago
      Hydrogen is probably the future, it has the big energy density advantage over pure lithium batteries, the charging advantage and weight advantage. The infrastructure is the only thing holding it back. But that's just a matter of time before it's fixed.
        Ricardo Gozinya
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Pancakes
        There's a flaw in your argument: The energy density of H2 is static; it's never going to improve. On the other hand, batteries are getting better and better. You can swap out an older generation battery pack for a newer, better one. Can't really do that with hydrogen.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 4 Months Ago
          @Ricardo Gozinya
          " However, the fuel cells could get denser and more efficient as well as cheaper than they are now." Not only can the fuel cell itself get more compact and produce greater amounts of power from smaller volumes, the actual storage volume of hydrogen can also be reduced. Currently, compressed gas tanks are the easiest option, but they only store about 6% hydrogen by weight. There are undoubtedly gains to be made, such as metal hydrides which might store 10% or more hydrogen by weight. So, the statement "The energy density of H2 is static; it's never going to improve." is true in the case only of pure molecular hydrogen, but incorrect in terms of onboard hydrogen storage. There is a great opportunity to increase the stored energy density on FCVs - as evidenced by increase seen in the simple doubling of compressed gas tank pressures from 350 to 700 bar.
          Jesse Gurr
          • 4 Months Ago
          @Ricardo Gozinya
          To play devil's advocate here, you are right that hydrogen has static energy density. However, the fuel cells could get denser and more efficient as well as cheaper than they are now. You could also theoretically take out the old fuel cell and plop a new and better one in its place. Although you could do that with ICEs too, it's just too complicated to do that in any short amount of time.
        MikeThinker
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Pancakes
        Nope. Pure Lithium cathode just developed. Secondly, hydrogen is a very dirty fuel. The industry depends upon you not looking at it's waste stream.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 4 Months Ago
          @MikeThinker
          SMR refers to "steam methane reforming". Indeed, a certain amount of hydrogen is liberated from the steam (as well as from the methane), as the oxygen bonds are broken and the oxygen reacts with the free carbon to create the carbon dioxide that so many complain about. "CH4 + H2O ⇌ CO + 3 H2 Additional hydrogen can be recovered by a lower-temperature gas-shift reaction with the carbon monoxide produced. The reaction is summarized by: CO + H2O ⇌ CO2 + H2" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steam_reforming
          Jesse Gurr
          • 4 Months Ago
          @MikeThinker
          LTAW, I know, but kinasi made it sound like the steam came from CNG not added to the reaction from an outside source.
          Jesse Gurr
          • 4 Months Ago
          @MikeThinker
          "it can be gotten from pure water electrolysis or steam from gas" First part yes, second part, I think not. You should probably go back to kindergarten. You just basically said you can get hydrogen from the steam of natural gas. What does that mean?
          kinasi
          • 4 Months Ago
          @MikeThinker
          you're an idiot, hydrogen is the cleanest energy source in the world, it can be gotten from pure water electrolysis or steam from gas...did you ever make it past first grade to not know this??
      Spec
      • 4 Months Ago
      $30K? At what point does this violate world trade rules?
        paulwesterberg
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Spec
        The Japanese wants their manufactures to be market leaders in hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and then become the Saudi Arabia of methane by mining offshore methane hydrate deposits. Of course this will result in releasing large amounts of carbon dioxide and methane, which is a 20x worse global warming gas. The Japanese will live like kings as the world burns.
          MikeThinker
          • 4 Months Ago
          @paulwesterberg
          Do they want a massively radical increase in the rate of Global Warming? Because that's how you get a massively radical increase in the rate of Global Warming.
          Spec
          • 4 Months Ago
          @paulwesterberg
          I've brought the methane hydrates thing up several times but at this point, it is very speculative. There is no hard evidence that they will be able to extract methane hydrates from the ocean at an economical price. I think the fact that I TODAY have solar PV on my roof that powers my EV, is going to be a tough thing to beat. I have two proven technologies are they are gambling on two speculative technologies and both have to come through for their system to make sense.
        Letstakeawalk
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Spec
        What "world trade rule" would apply?
          Letstakeawalk
          • 4 Months Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          Could you be more specific? There are lots of state-sponsored subsidies that go to BEVs every day.
          Joeviocoe
          • 4 Months Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          @ Spec --"Laws against state sponsored subsidies." More like limits.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 4 Months Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          "More like limits." Again, specifics please! Where is the limit spelled out?
          Spec
          • 4 Months Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          Laws against state sponsored subsidies.
          Joeviocoe
          • 4 Months Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          Oh... I wasn't suggesting there were... just that there "should" be limits on subsides (both in amount and duration). I wasn't really addressing the original comment, sorry.
        Dave D
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Spec
        I don't think it would violate any trade rules unless they kept out competitive HCVs from the program. Of course, the Chinese do things like that every day and nobody says anything cause they don't want to p*ss off the Chinese and lose a shot at that market. Of course being able to do it and SHOULD they do it...now those are two different questions. I don't like subsidies in general and this one seems *obscene*. But hey, it's their money....they can spend it how they want.
      Aaron
      • 4 Months Ago
      Nissan LEAF - $30,000 subsidy = FREE CAR! Mitsubishi i-MiEV - $30,000 subsidy = FREE CAR plus $7000 for a used ICE car for long trips!
        MikeThinker
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Aaron
        And the Nissan leaf requires NO Rollout of an Expensive Hydrogen Infrastructure.
        Jon
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Aaron
        This is beyond bizarre. Is there any outcry from Nissan on this?
          Letstakeawalk
          • 4 Months Ago
          @Jon
          If the subsidy on a Leaf was higher, then Nissan could raise the MSRP and not lose as much money on each one they sell. I'll bet the Nissan execs are burning up the phone lines to the Japanese government...
      krona2k
      • 4 Months Ago
      What be great to put those subsidies towards Tesla Model S buyers. Imagine a car with decent styling and performance with massively cheaper infrastructure and long range usability not far off these hydrogen things.
      MikeThinker
      • 4 Months Ago
      Purely an Oil Conspiracy Play, now with a Bought Out Japanese Government. http://insideevs.com/jx-nippon-oil-to-build-100-hydrogen-stations-in-japan/ Whenever management makes an incredible BLUNDER look for corporate bribery as the reason. There's no way this Turkey would fly without the Japanese Oil Industry attempting to Shove this down the Japanese Publics Throat.
      korblalak
      • 4 Months Ago
      I get it, Japan wants to shove H2 down people's throats. Get them hook on another fuel monopoly and cash in long term. Figuring out these crooks is as easy as following the money trail.
      Letstakeawalk
      • 4 Months Ago
      Also: "Japanese government to make fuel-cell cars the official vehicle for all ministries KYODO JUL 25, 2014 The Abe administration has instructed all ministries and other offices to introduce fuel-cell cars as official vehicles, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Friday." http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/07/25/business/japanese-government-to-make-fuel-cell-cars-the-official-vehicle-for-all-ministries/#.U9fOHPldUUM
        Ricardo Gozinya
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Letstakeawalk
        Japan's got a real obsession with hydrogen. I wonder what the profit motive is for that.
          paulwesterberg
          • 4 Months Ago
          @Ricardo Gozinya
          Japan wants to mine large deposits of Methane hydrates in its coastal waters.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 4 Months Ago
          @Ricardo Gozinya
          "Phase 1 of “Japan’s Methane Hydrate R&D Program,” which started in FY2001, was executed by the Research Consortium for Methane Hydrate Resources in Japan (also known as MH21), an industry-government-academia collaboration research group. It completed in FY2008. Phase 1 carried out seismic surveys and drilling surveys in the eastern Nankai Trough (the deep water zone spanning from the area off the coast of Shizuoka Prefecture to the area off the cost of Wakayama Prefecture), which was selected as the model area. These surveys showed successful results in discovering methane hydrate concentrated zones with a strong possibility for development, establishing a methane hydrate concentrated zone exploration method, and establishing a method for calculating the amount of original methane hydrate in place. As for the establishment of the production method indispensable for methane hydrate development, MH21 propounded the depressurization method-based production going ahead of the rest of world through the establishment of a laboratory experiment method and the development of the methane hydrate development simulator. This theory was field-verified in the permanently-frozen ground of the Mackenzie Delta in Canada. The above achievements positioned Japan as one of the world’s leading countries in methane hydrate development. Consequently, MH21 is advancing to Phase 2. These achievements are explained in clearly understandable terms on this website. We hope you will take the time to visit the site. In Phase 2, offshore production tests in the areas surrounding Japan are scheduled. These tests will be the world first offshore methane hydrate production test. The main objectives of Phase 2 are to verify production methods and field development technology through the offshore production tests, while also extracting new required tasks from the test and solving them. Although methane hydrate development studies have made remarkable progress over the last 10 years, many issues still remain to be solved in order for us to realize a stable and cost-effective commercialized production system. Under the new organization and with strengthened collaboration between industries, government and academic circles, MH21 is determined to work together to build technologies to commercially produce methane hydrate. Please follow the activities of the Research Consortium for Methane Hydrate Resources in Japan in Phase 2." http://www.mh21japan.gr.jp/english/mh21-2/greetings/
          Dave D
          • 4 Months Ago
          @Ricardo Gozinya
          @JakeY, that last part is what seems the strangest to me. They really need their nukes as a source for the H2, and they have almost ZERO natural gas resoures...so where does it come from?
          Jesse Gurr
          • 4 Months Ago
          @Ricardo Gozinya
          I really don't see hydrogen as a viable power generation source. Since you need, you know, power generation sources to get it. Round and round it goes, where it stops, is a black hole!
          Dave D
          • 4 Months Ago
          @Ricardo Gozinya
          Ricardo, The motive is simple: follow the money. Someone's getting paid to push this. It makes no sense in Japan with them losing their nukes as a source of H2.
          JakeY
          • 4 Months Ago
          @Ricardo Gozinya
          The only logical reason I can see is the country's loss of trust in electrical infrastructure (the whole TEPCO Fukushima nuclear plant incident), so they are finding an alternative in hydrogen. TEPCO's also the one at the forefront of CHAdeMO. Ironically, nuclear's also one of the few viable large scale sources of hydrogen (besides from methane), so losing nuclear will be a big hit to Japan's energy security no matter what pathway they choose.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 4 Months Ago
          @Ricardo Gozinya
          Anyone care to translate? http://www.nedo.go.jp/news/press/AA5_100292.html "The nation’s first “hydrogen energy white paper,” released Monday, calls on the country to become a “hydrogen economy” by adopting the fuel for utility power generation. The paper was produced by the government-affiliated New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization. In a fuel-cell vehicle, hydrogen is used to create electricity and to power an electric motor. Hydrogen can also be burned for thermal power. Japan isn’t alone in looking at hydrogen for utility power. Germany, for instance, has been experimenting with a project to inject hydrogen into natural gas grids. The new-energy body, known as NEDO, is expected to hold discussions with utilities to produce a more detailed road map for hydrogen-power generation. The government currently envisages use of hydrogen at utilities by 2030."
          Letstakeawalk
          • 4 Months Ago
          @Ricardo Gozinya
          Background for those unfamiliar with Japan's methane hydrate interest: "One of JOGMEC's corporate objectives is to overcome the constraints of limited resources. Our investigation of next-generation energy resources includes research on methane hydrates. Known as "burnable ice," methane hydrates available within Japan's territorial waters may well be able to supply the nation's natural gas needs for a century. JOGMEC also aggressively investigates and researches mineral resources deep in the ocean, where rare metals are abundant. Methane hydrate is a crystalline solid like ice that stores gas molecules, usually methane. Each flammable gas molecule is surrounded by a cage of water molecules. Methane hydrate can be found and under in the permafrost of polar regions and in the sediments of deep-sea regions where the temperature is low and the pressure is great. Methane gas is used as municipal gas and fuel for vehicles and fuel cells, and is a cleaner fuel than oil and coal. Deposits of methane hydrates have been reported in marine sediments in the Nankai Trough off the Pacific coast of central Japan, where the water depth is more than 500 meters. Some estimates indicate that the reserves of methane hydrate correspond to a 100-year supply of natural gas for Japan, making it an important potential source of energy. The Japan National Oil Corporation (JNOC) began research work on methane hydrates in 1995, and JOGMEC has overseen the project since the JNOC's restructuring. An international joint research team including Japan has obtained successful results in experimental production of methane gas by injecting hot water into a borehole in the Mackenzie Delta in the arctic region of Canada. In accordance with Japan's Methane Hydrate Exploitation Program established by the Advisory Committee for National Methane Hydrates Exploitation Program under METI, JOGMEC promotes the evaluation of methane hydrate resources in the Nankai Trough and other regions. Plans for test production of gas from the methane hydrates in the Nankai Trough will depend on the results." http://www.jogmec.go.jp/english/oil/technology_015.html
          EVSUPERHERO
          • 4 Months Ago
          @Ricardo Gozinya
          It's pretty clear the push for this is, JANOC gets a revenue stream. We know what is in the headlines of Japan's news papers. Wonder what is going on behind the scene? Oil corp says, "if you guys push this hydrogen thing you can collect more taxes and we as oil/energy corps can addict them to a new kind of fuel." Thank you very much oil corps. "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss."
          Letstakeawalk
          • 4 Months Ago
          @Ricardo Gozinya
          They want to build and sell FCVs. That's the motivation.
      Ricardo Gozinya
      • 4 Months Ago
      Ok, something I can't figure out. The only truly economical way to make hydrogen right now is from natural gas, so why not just power your car with LNG, propane/autogas, etc.? It would be a much more efficient use of resources than going through all the trouble of processing natural gas to make hydrogen, which not only uses up a fuel source, but requires a fair amount of energy. And that brings me to another question. Is hydrogen like ethanol, in that it takes more energy to make it than it provides? Or is it actually a net positive? I've never seen any numbers on that, and it's something I'm curious about.
        Pancakes
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Ricardo Gozinya
        "he only truly economical way to make hydrogen right now is from natural gas 100% FALSE
          MikeThinker
          • 4 Months Ago
          @Pancakes
          If you meant 100% True, you would be right.
        JakeY
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Ricardo Gozinya
        Yes, making hydrogen takes more energy than it provides. FCVs however are more efficient than a standard CNG car because all FCVs are hybrids. However, a CNG hybrid may be about the same efficiency as the FCV, although no automaker is focusing on making those.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 4 Months Ago
          @JakeY
          Just pointing out, the Clarity is a full-sized luxury sedan weighing 3,528 lb, while the Civic Hybrid is a compact sedan weighing 2,853 lbs...
          Jesse Gurr
          • 4 Months Ago
          @JakeY
          The Tesla Model S weighs over 4,000 pounds and gets 1.5x the efficiency of the Clarity while being a power hog for an electric car. BTW, Clarity is considered a mid-sized car not full-sized.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 4 Months Ago
          @JakeY
          NGVs are simply a stepping stone to FCVs. Give them your support! "Fortunately, tremendous synergy and continuity exists between deployment of today’s NGVs and tomorrow’s hydrogen-fueled FCVs. As further described, NGVs and related technologies are moving America towards commercially sustainable FCV markets – faster and more affordably than would otherwise be possible." http://www.ngvc.org/about_ngv/ngv_hydrogenfuture.html
          JakeY
          • 4 Months Ago
          @JakeY
          @Jesse Gurr it's an ideal "theoretical" model. So far there is no data collected for real world SMR, so we don't know yet. @Letstakeawalk The Clarity is also more aerodynamic and uses a full hybrid system (not just the inferior IMA system of the Civic). I could have used the Accord hybrid for comparison, but it's actually better at 47mpg, so it makes the hydrogen case worse! http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/noframes/34395.shtml
          canuckinaz
          • 4 Months Ago
          @JakeY
          Source for saying that a CNG hybrid would be as efficient as an FCV? Fuel cells producing electricity for an EM powering the wheels is actually much more efficient than combustion of NG in an ICE. It's not just that FCVs are hybridized.
          Jesse Gurr
          • 4 Months Ago
          @JakeY
          LTAW, The NREL link you gave doesn't take into consideration the source energy to get that hydrogen. So while tank-to-wheel efficiency of FCEV is better, well-to-wheel efficiency is notably less whether they use SMR or hydrolosys or any other kind of method to make it. JakeY, I don't agree with that 72% efficiency for hydrogen production without some supporting documentation and the link you provided did not have that information that I could see. All the real world systems I have seen are around 60% efficient by using my own calculations. If you know of an actual system that gets good efficiency I would love to see it. Oh, I also agree with everything else you said. :) Good work.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 4 Months Ago
          @JakeY
          He's taking into consideration the conversion of NG into hydrogen, so the comparison is only apt if the FCV is using NG-derived hydrogen. Still, it would be nice to see JakeY's actual source and work. As far as real-world testing goes, FC buses "... showed improved fuel economy ranging from 1.8 to 2.4 times higher than that of diesel and CNG baseline buses." http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy13osti/56406.pdf
          paulwesterberg
          • 4 Months Ago
          @JakeY
          Here is one analysis of greenhouse gas emissions and vehicle efficiency: http://cleantechnica.com/2014/05/20/fuel-cell-vehicle-ghg-emissions/
          Letstakeawalk
          • 4 Months Ago
          @JakeY
          "However, a CNG hybrid may be about the same efficiency as the FCV..." But it is nowhere near as clean, and relies absolutely on a fossil fuel, while hydrogen can also be made from other sources - giving the FCV a much greater flexibility.
          JakeY
          • 4 Months Ago
          @JakeY
          I thought it was simple, so I didn't show the math. The 2014 Civic Natural Gas (CNG) with 5 speed automatic gets 31mpg. For comparison, a gasoline Civic with 5 speed automatic gets 32mpg. A gasoline Civic Hybrid gets 45mpg. So a CNG Civic Hybrid would get around 44mpg (if Honda made one). http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/PowerSearch.do?action=Cars&path=4&year1=2013&year2=2015&make=Honda On the FCV side, the 2014 Honda Clarity is 59mpg, the Tuscon is 49mpg, B-Class F-Cell is 50mpg. Unfortunately there is no FCV Civic for comparison, but the Clarity is most efficient so let's that that one. http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/fcv_sbs.shtml According to the GREET model, efficiency of hydrogen production from Natural Gas SMR is 72%. I'm going to ignore energy used by transportation of that hydrogen and the compression (assuming compression is similar to CNG) which should bias things toward hydrogen more. https://greet.es.anl.gov/files/h2-13 CNG Civic: 31mpg CNG Civic Hybrid: 44mpg Clarity FCV: 59mpg * 0.72 = 42 mpg So a normal CNG car is less efficient than an FCV, but a hybrid one can be about the same efficiency as an FCV.
      Jesse Gurr
      • 4 Months Ago
      Cost of hydrogen is apparently at $9.08/kg. I gotta wonder how much it is in Japan where CNG is at a premium compared to the US. http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy14osti/60527.pdf page 6
        Dave
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Jesse Gurr
        http://www.iphe.net/docs/Events/Seville_11-12/Workshop/Presentations/Session%203/3.3_IPHE%20Workshop_Yoshimura.pdf
          Dave
          • 4 Months Ago
          @Dave
          I'm trying to figure out the cost per kg from this report. They claim 29.7 yen per normal cubic meter of hydrogen (delivered to Japanese port, not including transport to station, compression, and dispensing.) 1 yen = $.0098 1 kg = 11.126 normal cubic meters. (http://www.uigi.com/h2_conv.html) 29.7 yen / nm3 X 11.126 nm3/kg X $.0098/yen = $3.23 per kg liquid hydrogen delivered to Japan.
          Dave
          • 4 Months Ago
          @Dave
          "Dave, that's once again projected cost (2025), not what it actually costs today." Yes. Why on earth would anyone care what hydrogen costs when there are no cars yet? Obviously, economies of scale are necessary. Just like electricity. Or gasoline for that matter.
          JakeY
          • 4 Months Ago
          @Dave
          Dave, that's once again projected cost (2025), not what it actually costs today. Most projections would put cost at $3-4/kg as the desired target, but I suspect the actual costs are far from that (esp. at the station).
          Dave
          • 4 Months Ago
          @Dave
          Note - this includes CCS (carbon capture and storage)
        Dave
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Jesse Gurr
        It should be mentioned that the average price of electricity in Japan is 26 cents per kwh. http://theenergycollective.com/lindsay-wilson/279126/average-electricity-prices-around-world-kwh
          Dave
          • 4 Months Ago
          @Dave
          Operating cost of a Nissan Leaf (3.33 mile per kwh): 26 / 3.33 = 7.8 cents per mile For a Toyota Mirai (~70 miles per kg) to achieve the same cost per mile, hydrogen would have to cost $5.46 per kg. Of course, the Leaf also requires a charging station which for some will be cheap, for others expensive, and for others nearly impossible. The real question is the price of the vehicles. Can Toyota, Honda, Nissan, et al really bring the cost of fuel cell vehicles down as much as they say they can?
      Letstakeawalk
      • 4 Months Ago
      "Toyota Motor Corp. (7203) is planning to name its $69,000 fuel-cell car Mirai, the Japanese word for future, a person familiar with the matter said. The person asked not to be identified because the decision hasn’t been made public. The name of the car will be unveiled closer to when it goes on sale, said Danny Chen, a company spokesman, declining to comment on Mirai, which has been trademarked by Toyota in the U.S." http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-07-29/toyota-said-to-plan-mirai-as-name-for-new-fuel-cell-car.html
      Joeviocoe
      • 4 Months Ago
      Subsidies for Zero Emission Vehicles are necessary and smart... but are only smart if "Temporary". $5k - $10k per vehicle is usually a smart subsidy because it can be sustained for a reasonable time (a few years) while automakers can reduce costs enough to cover the "eventuality" of that subsidy going away. $30k... is NOT sustainable beyond a few hundred vehicles (unless to detriment of the economy and political willpower). And when the government can no longer sustain that subsidy.... what happens? The automakers cannot reduce such costs so quickly. (Even a $7500/car cost reduction by the time of expire is something Nissan worked hard to achieve). This is asking for either two things: An implosion of the sub-market, where the lucky elite get a few cheap FCVs and the cost of the taxpayers... but they become rare novelties since the value cannot possibly reflect the true $70k pricetag. Or the industry attempts to set itself up for a 'perpetual subsidy machine' (like Ethanol tried in the US)... where they continuously beg government to keep the money flowing because, "it is taking longer than expected to grow the market demand and reduce costs of FCVs"
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