Japan's own version of the Big Three is taking on a transportation effort that's a far cry from the large-engined history of General Motors, Ford and Chrysler. In fact, Toyota, Nissan and Honda are looking to do their part – and maybe a little more – for the environment by working together to collaborate on accelerating the deployment of hydrogen fuel delivery in Japan. More refueling stations means more convenience for prospective hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle owners.

Toyota says the specifics, including investment amount and the number of stations to be deployed, will be "determined at a later date." Still, the effort dovetails with that of the Japanese government. That government announced a so-called Strategic Road Map for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells last June and subsequently said it would start offering about $20,000 worth of incentives for fuel cell vehicle buyers.

In December, Toyota started selling its first mass-produced fuel cell vehicle, the Mirai, in Japan and said it would almost triple production to 2,000 vehicles in 2016 from 700 this year. Last month, the Tokyo government began talks with Toyota and Honda to collaborate on ensuring that there'd be at least 6,000 fuel-cell vehicles on Japan's roads in time for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Tokyo officials are looking to have 100,000 fuel-cell vehicles on the city's roads by 2025. Check out Toyota's press release below.
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Toyota, Nissan, and Honda to Jointly Support Hydrogen Station
Infrastructure Development

Toyota Motor Corporation, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., and Honda Motor Co., Ltd. have agreed to work together to help accelerate the development of hydrogen station infrastructure for fuel cell vehicles (FCVs). Specific measures to be undertaken by the three manufacturers will be determined at a later date.

For hydrogen-fueled FCVs to gain popularity, it is not only important that attractive products be launched―hydrogen station infrastructure must also be developed. At present, infrastructure companies are making every effort to build such an infrastructure, but they face difficulties in installing and operating hydrogen stations while FCVs are not common on the road.

Following the formulation of its Strategic Road Map for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells in June 2014, the Japanese government has highlighted the importance of developing hydrogen station infrastructure as quickly as possible in order to popularize FCVs. Consequently, the government is not only supporting the installation of hydrogen stations by means of subsidies, but has also resolved to introduce a range of additional policies aimed at promoting activities that generate new demand for FCVs, including partially subsidizing the cost of operating hydrogen stations.

The three automobile manufacturers hope to both popularize FCVs and ensure that it will be easy to refuel them. Consequently, they have jointly recognized the need for automobile manufacturers to promote the development of hydrogen station infrastructure alongside the government and infrastructure companies, with the aim of working towards achieving the aims of the abovementioned Road Map, the source of the government's subsidy support. The three automobile manufacturers will give careful consideration to concrete initiatives, such as underwriting a portion of the expenses involved in the operation of hydrogen stations.

FCVs are expected to play a central role in the drive towards establishing a hydrogen society. Toyota, Nissan and Honda are aiming to contribute to bringing about such a society through ensuring the widespread use of FCVs.

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