Japanese automakers Honda, Nissan and Toyota have agreed to the key details in the expansion of hydrogen infrastructures all over Japan. The automakers have also agreed to cover the costs in the making of the hydrogen filling stations and have agreed to help construction companies in order to provide a network of filling stations for Fuel Cell Vehicle (FCV) owners.
Hydrogen Supply/Utilization Technology or HySUT project aims to raise awareness regarding these support measures, in order to encourage new companies to enter the hydrogen supply business. In order to give peace of mind to current and future FCV owners, the three companies will work with infrastructure companies to take the following steps:
1)Using information such as customer needs and hydrogen station operating rates to improve customer service levels
2)Improving the convenience of hydrogen stations by increasing the number of days they are open, extending their business hours, enhancing and providing operational information, and developing hydrogen station infrastructure that is easy to access
3)Raising public awareness about FCVs and hydrogen
In the events leading to this agreement, Toyota sought the need for FCV's to gain in popularity. The solution is to create a nationwide network of hydrogen filling station for convenience. In June 2014, the Japanese government unveiled its Strategic Road Map for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells, which involves subsidizing the construction of hydrogen stations and reviewing regulations. In February 2015, the Japanese government agreed to partially subsidize the expansion of hydrogen infrastructures to stimulate the FCV market.
Toyota currently sells the Mirai FCV which was launched late in 2014. Honda has announced their plans to release an FCV to the market before April 2016 while Nissan currently working on their FCV with a target launch of 2017.