There's no such thing as a free lunch. A free hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle, though? It may become a possibility in Japan, says Automotive News.

We know the Japanese government is being plenty supportive of hydrogen vehicles since it will provide about $20,000 worth of incentives to prospective customers of the $69,000 vehicle. And with local governments like Toyota City's Aichi prefecture supplying another $10,000, out of pocket costs could reach less than $40,000 for the Toyota hydrogen car. We don't know for sure that the 'free' H2 car will happen, but with Toyota starting sales of its first production FCV next spring (potentially named Mirai), it could happen. That would also spell good news for Honda, which will follow up Toyota's effort for its own hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle.

The case for the free car is still pretty tenuous. Automotive News, citing the Nihon Keizai business publication, reports that the Japanese government has thrown around the idea of subsidizing the vehicles outright to early adopters just to gain some momentum for this kind of zero-emissions vehicles. Heck, the government would even throw in free fuel for good measure. We'll see about that. To see some of the official hydrogen excitement, click here for a video of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe taking a Toyota fuel cell vehicle for a brisk test drive.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 97 Comments
      electric-car-insider
      • 4 Months Ago
      Give the handle for free, sell blades...
      Lab Rat
      • 4 Months Ago
      Hydrogen is a joke.
      BipDBo
      • 4 Months Ago
      H2 is like Google+. It's just not gonna happen.
      Neil Blanchard
      • 4 Months Ago
      Are we surprised? Hovering around hydrogen filling stations is a deal-breaker.
      archos
      • 4 Months Ago
      Seal the underbody with an aluminum sheet, stick an boat engine on the bumper, and jam a harpoon gun out the back window. Instant success in Japan
      archos
      • 4 Months Ago
      Why wouldn't people just buy it and instantly part it? Are they going to have to agree to drive it or give it back? Then its not for sale. Its just another prototype run. Same as last time.
      Ben Crockett
      • 4 Months Ago
      I'm a sure people would be smart enough to realise that the 'free fuel' will only be a short term subsidy to owners which the government could withdraw at any time - thus reducing overall demand for the vehicles new and used and thus reducing resale values. The devil will like always be in the detail - the 'free fuel' may apply to the new vehicle buyer but may not be transferable to the second hand buyer. Further it may only be a limited to a set number of klms or for a certain time period - I would doubt that it would be unlimited.
        archos
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Ben Crockett
        They're talking about offering free hydrogen CARS. My guess is 95% of them will be parted by resellers.
      jimmy_james44
      • 4 Months Ago
      They should give away Nissan Leaf's: you can give away 3 for 1, and get an immediate drop in air pollution and an immediate drop in gas demand, with Jobs going to Japanese Solar Companies.
      Letstakeawalk
      • 4 Months Ago
      And so here we can behold the amazing power of the ABG commentators... Undoubtedly, the Japanese government monitored yesterday's thread about how FCVs will not succeed, and all the unassailable arguments against hydrogen. Their response? With an evil cackle, and while counting their undocumented gold bars that mysteriously arrived in the morning's mail, they decide that FCVs shall be free! If it weren't for the ABG body public, the Abe administration (or the "Anything But Electricity" admin, as it is referred to by the methane hydrate lobby) might just allow the anti-Tesla automakers to go it alone, but now that the Japanese see how their disreputable machinations are being picked apart - they instead decide to double down in order to crush the rebellion against them.
        EVSUPERHERO
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Letstakeawalk
        For once I agree with you LTAW! lol Seriously though, talk about a government picking winners and LOSERS!
        danfred311
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Letstakeawalk
        LTAW, have you changed your tune on HFCs? or did you confuse yourself enough to make that observation thinking HFC are the good guys.
        bluepongo1
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Letstakeawalk
        Rebel Alliance: To your Model X - wings LOCK - AND - LOAD !!!!!! :-P
          bluepongo1
          • 4 Months Ago
          @bluepongo1
          :-D
          Jesse Gurr
          • 4 Months Ago
          @bluepongo1
          Escort the Mercedes B - Wings while they drop hydrogen bombs. Good ol' Star Wars ;D
      Dave D
      • 4 Months Ago
      Geez, talk about losing all common sense and perspective. Someone at the top is being paid a LOT of money to even consider something this horrible on other taxpayers. I hope the Japanese people kick their moronic PM out of office. He might as well be waving a red corruption flag.
        fairfireman21
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Dave D
        Just like Obama, but in this case it is a red and white flag to his Islamic friends.
      JonZeke
      • 4 Months Ago
      No one wants to buy an expensive ugly car. Why Toyota didn't make their wild FT-1 Concept supercar a fuel cell is beyond me, but at least make it sexy. Early adopters spend for the tech, but get emotionally attracted to the look!
      Spec
      • 4 Months Ago
      Here kid. Try my drug. The first dose is free . . . you might like it.
        EVSUPERHERO
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Spec
        Now that was funny Spec! LOL
        danfred311
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Spec
        the difference is, there is nothing addictive about this. it will fail, spectacularly
          Spec
          • 4 Months Ago
          @danfred311
          Oh, I see of plenty of gasoline addicts out there . . . they are just trying to move them over to a new addiction before gasoline becomes too expensive.
        elctrNmbliT
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Spec
        In this case it's more like: Here kid. Try my brussels sprouts. The first dose is free....you might like it.
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