• Image Credit: Copyright 2015 AOL
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2015 AOL
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2015 AOL
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2015 AOL
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2015 AOL
The future can't come soon enough for Honda. The Japanese automaker plans to start domestic sales of its first production hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle, the Clarity, by next March. There's a problem, though, according to Honda, in that the Japanese government is taking longer than it needs to in order to finalize hydrogen refueling station regulations, according to Bloomberg News.

Japan's economy ministry is responsible for such regulations, which would help make Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's goal of a mass uptake in fuel cell vehicles a reality. Honda, for its part, is working with hydrogen supplier Iwatani Corp. on what's called a Smart Hydrogen Station, but there are currently only two in Japan that are being used for testing purposes.

Some of the regulatory questions involved with refueling stations involve issues such as what materials can be used to store the hydrogen and how far the stations need to be from the roads. Japan's economy ministry says such questions will be answered by the end of March 2016. Toyota is already committed to ramping up production of its Mirai fuel-cell vehicle from about 2,000 units to this year to as many as about 30,000 by the end of the decade. Honda, which has been leasing its FCX Clarity fuel-cell vehicles in limited numbers for many years now, is starting to produce the Clarity with a production rate of about 200 units a year, for now. Honda said in early November that Clarity sales should reach the US by the end of next year.

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