Chinese automaker JAC is considering building electric vehicles in Bulgaria, according to the Balkan state's economy ministry. "JAC Motors looks at Bulgaria as an entry point to the European markets for the electric-powered cars and buses it is manufacturing," says the ministry. JAC told state officials that it would consider building EVs there using locally manufactured components. As the poorest country in the EU, Bulgaria is looking to attract new foreign investment in part with its low taxes and labor costs. Read more from Automotive News Europe.
Toyota has delivered Norway's first Mirai to Uno-X Hydrogen. The Norway-based company is building a network of 20 hydrogen fueling stations in the country by 2020, and will build the world's first hydrogen station powered by surplus renewable energy. The Norwegian government is also supporting the rollout of fuel cell vehicles with incentive programs targeting 50,000 on its roads by 2025. "Today we are very excited to receive the new Toyota Mirai with zero emissions," says Uno-X Hydrogen Managing Director Roger Hertzenberg. "Uno-X wants to contribute to making hydrogen cars a real alternative for all households." Read more at Green Car Congress, or in the press release below.
• Following the United Kingdom, Denmark, Germany and Belgium, Norway is the 5th European country to start selling the world's first fuel cell sedan
• Uno-X Hydrogen receives the first Toyota Mirai – a fuel cell car with no tailpipe emissions other than water vapour and offering the same advantages as any conventional car thanks to similar range and between 3 to 5 min refuelling time
• In addition to its plan to open 20 public hydrogen stations in Norway by 2020, Uno-X Hydrogen will soon start building the world's first hydrogen station powered by surplus renewable energy – adding the benefits of an increased environmentally friendly hydrogen production process to the car's zero emissions
• Norwegian Government underpinning the creation of a hydrogen society by supporting roll-out of a nationwide hydrogen refueling infrastructure and by offering a range of benefits to fuel cell car drivers (tax reductions, free toll roads and public parking, ...)
• Norway has plans to sell 50,000 fuel cell cars by 2025
Brussels, Belgium - Uno-X Hydrogen, a newly established joint-venture that plans to establish a 20-station hydrogen network by 2020 in Norway, is proud to be the very first customer of the country to take ownership of the Toyota Mirai. The Mirai, which means "Future" in Japanese, is the world's first fuel cell sedan. The electricity that powers the car is created in the fuel cell stack where the oxygen from the air reacts with the hydrogen from the tank leaving no tailpipe emissions other than water vapour.
Pioneering Uno-X Hydrogen relies on renewable energy to produce hydrogen
One of the major advantages being that driving the Toyota Mirai is completely emission free, the process to produce the fuel for the car is not fully yet. Uno-X Hydrogen is stepping up to the plate: the first of the 20 planned stations will use the surplus solar energy produced from the solar panels on the roof of the neighbouring energy-positive office building. After receiving the keys of the Toyota Mirai, Roger Hertzenberg, Managing Director of Uno-X Hydrogen commented: "Today we are very excited to receive the new Toyota Mirai with zero emissions. Uno-X wants to contribute to making hydrogen cars a real alternative for all households. We are happy to see that the majority in the Parliament has agreed to a support program for hydrogen infrastructure. This means that we can start building stations as the cars are coming to the market."
Governmental support for both hydrogen cars and stations
The Norwegian government recently not only confirmed its support to a nationwide network of hydrogen refueling stations, it has also set up programs with the aim to reach sales of 50,000 hydrogen cars by 2025. The program offers many incentives that will make fuel cell cars even more attractive: these cars are exempt from registration taxes and value added tax, which can be very high in the country. Additionally, cost of ownership is further reduced for Norwegian fuel cell car drivers thanks to free toll roads and ferries, free public parking, access to bus lanes and 50 % company car tax.
Toyota Mirai contributor to ambitious 2050 Toyota Environmental Challenge
During a small ceremony that followed the delivery of the Mirai to Uno-X Hydrogen, Espen Olsen, General Manager PR from Toyota Norway said: "We are pleased that the first Mirai in Norway will be delivered to Uno-X hydrogen, a company that will contribute strongly to build a comprehensive hydrogen fueling network in Norway. Toyota has made a clear commitment to reduce the CO2 emissions of its new vehicles by 90% in 2050 (versus 2010 levels). We believe hydrogen fuel cell vehicles will be essential to achieve our ambitious targets."
Toyota has been engaged in the research and development of automotive hydrogen fuel cell technology for over 20 years. The result of this hard work is the Toyota Mirai, a remarkable zero emission car with a driving range of up to 550 km that can be refueled in 3 to 5 minutes. Toyota started commercializing the Mirai in 2015 and to date has delivered cars in Japan, California, Germany, UK, Denmark and Belgium with the Netherlands and Sweden to follow later this year. Toyota is now continuing its Mirai roll-out in Norway.